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ConanPeterson
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I am a aspiring film maker, who has grown up on 80's movies. It is not only my asperations to make it into the film industry but to make movies as good as they use to be. So I have a couple of questions for everyone to see if they would at all be interested in some of my ideas.

1. Do you feel as i do, that the new camera technology used to film movies nowadays, lacks a cinematic look? And if i were to try and shoot movies to look like they had been shot in the 80's would that appeal to anyone?

2.Second aside from the look of films, i also have the following problems with the movies of today compared to those of yesterday, Actors and actresses aren't as compelling, interseting or rememborable well most of them anyway, color, too much CGI, lack of predominant memeorable movie themes and lack of good story. Could anyone tell me what they don't like about today compared to 80's and if anyone agrees or disagrees with me.

3. Third and final question is there anyone out there who still thinks that 80's esque movies can still be done as i do, even with today's culture as it is?

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JAY LEE
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1. I think you should embrace new camera technology. The question is, how you use it. The advances in camera technology are there to make your job easier. But it's just a tool. It is the style of cinematography of today, that I personally have a problem with. For an example: the jerky cam style, you see in movies like the third Bourne film or The Transporter 3, to name a few. It can be used on occassion, to create a frenetic pace, and sense of chaos or confusion. Which can work for a specific scene or situation. But when you shoot an entire movie like that, the audience becomes disorientated and least of all nauseas. Also, the editing is key. The quick cut, music video style editing is good for just that... music videos. Not movies. Some filmmakers (usually those that come in from the field of music videos or commercials, like Michael Bay or McG) think that this style is "hip" and exciting. When in most cases, it is just used to mask their inadequacies as directors. Your film language(use of camera, editing), should reflect your vision of the story you wan't to tell. I could go on about this, but will try to keep it short.


2. very few actors and actresses of today, "pay their dues" like the ones from the older generations. Back then, you would most likely take a slew of acting classes, do stage work, some commercials, some TV work, then bit parts, and on so on. Giving ou a well rounded foundation. I think many (not all) young actors and actresses today are in it for fame, and not a love of the craft. And many of them are thrust in by way of slick maneuvering by their managers/agents, from whatever field they come from, Disney channel sitcoms, music biz, reality tv or whatnot. They are there to make money, not just for themselves, but for all the people waiting in wings, that invested in them. ie stage parents, managers, agents etc. The less you have to struggle to get what you want, the less you appreciate it, when you get it. And I think that reflects in your work and work ethics as an actor or actress, or any field for that matter.

Regarding CGI, I think Hollywood of today have forgotten that CGI is just another tool of filmmaking. First of all, It doesn't look anywhere as good as the people in Hollywood has somehow convinced themselves that it does. I would say that it actually looks downright awful in most cases. Plus, if it takes me out of the movie, and I notice it, then it has failed. Of course I know that big spaceships and flying superheroes are not real. But there's a balance of subconciously "knowing" it is there, and conciously being aware of it, everytime it is used. Again, I could talk at lenght about this topic.

Themes and stories. Well, there's an old saying that there are only three stories in the world, and the difference is how you interpret them. That is a bit simplistic, but true to some extent. Back in the day, movies had soul and heart. They were usually made by people who were passionate about movies. Today, the studios are run by big corporations, who doesn't care about anything but the bottomline. It has always been "the movie business". But where as back in the day, I think the emphasis was on the "movie", it is now on the "business". And if your sole motivation for making movies is making as much money as you can, then you also have to reach the widest market possible. Which again means that the lower the MPAA rating for your movie is, the more tickets you sell. Thus potentially compromising your art, in the pursuit of more money. An example of this would be the Die Hard series. The three first movies made in '88, '90, and '95 were all rated R, for the language and violence. John McCLane was a violent person, killing other violent people in violent ways, while swearing like a sailor. Even his catchphrase included swearing. cut to 2007, Live Free Or Die Hard (even the title sucks). John McClane is now an old icon, so we shoehorn in a young hacker, a hot daughter, some techno babble, and worst of all, we eliminate any of the grit, edge and swearing that was so much a part of the franchise so we can get our PG-13 rating, reach to the younger demographic and sell more tickets. But what about his catchphrase? Oh, we'll just cut that short with a gunshot, no one will mind....


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3. I belive that there is still a large section of moviegoers that are itching for some good old, non watered down entertainment. But that generation is dwindling, and the teens and tweens are ruling the box office. Sad but true.

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P_a_u_l
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Interesting questions, and ones that have been long discussed on here! OK - let me think.....

1) These days, there's too much CGI and blue-screen being used. The technology that allows you to shoot an Antarctic scene without leaving the studio has taken away a lot of the realism. And the requirement that everything needs to be shot in sufficient clarity to allow for a spectacularly visual blu-ray release and HD TV means that in truth, many moveis these days are shot in sharper focus than we see in real life. But I think you'd struggle to go backwards with the camera technology because you'd then be cutting off the HD revenue streams, and no production company or distributor would be interested. So you'd need to work on camera techniques and actual location shooting, both of which are sadly likely to push your budget to the limit.

2) The reason that the movies of the 80s were so special can be summed up in three words. The Breakfast Club. Whilst I have other movies which I rate higher that TBC in terms of personal enjoyment / preference, as a study of what makes 80s movies so good, TBC can't really be beat. You have a simple story - no complexities to speak of, no major plot twists or thought processes to go through. You have sharply defined characters, who are easy to assess (The Criminal, or The Athlete, or The Basketcase, or The Brain, or The Princess). You confine them to a manageable universe, and then as they interact, you write them so that each one changes - slightly, but fundamentally - so that where you end up isn't where you started. And you keep it believable. Don't make one of them turn into a cyborg. Even if you have a CGI bloke who knows how to do that.

As for what I like / don't like about today's movies compared to the eighties, that kinda sums it up. Movies with well-crafted characters, played well, within a believable universe and with a strong but clear story to tell, are great movies wherever and whenever they are shot.

3) Yes - these movies can still be made. But the skills to do so are sparser on the ground these days, because it's often easier and cheaper to rely on CGI effects instead of real craftsmen.

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ConanPeterson
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I would like to thank the both of you , those are the best responses i haver ever recieved from the internet before. Mostly running into cynical people on the IMDB whom act as if my mind is gone.

I appreciate the two of you taking the time to express your opinions, and in detail.

I would further like to say that whether or not I make it in the film industry, and I hope that I do. I take solace in the idea that at least someone out there might appreciate it.

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JAY LEE
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I will be looking forward to (insert title here) Directed By Conan Peterson [Smile]
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P_a_u_l
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.... with prominent product placement of the Fast Rewind logo..... [Smile]
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gordongecko
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I agree JAY Lee.

Conan, keep an eye on this message board. I think it could be a great place for you to get feedback like you just did above. It's a good group!

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ConanPeterson
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Will do.
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Logan 5
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quote:
I would like to thank the both of you , those are the best responses i haver ever recieved from the internet before. Mostly running into cynical people on the IMDB whom act as if my mind is gone.
Your mind is clearly gone. There is nothing more to say.

Kidding. This is the kind of place that you'll get an honest response. No trolling and no pretentiousness here.

quote:
I would further like to say that whether or not I make it in the film industry, and I hope that I do. I take solace in the idea that at least someone out there might appreciate it.
It's a mountain that looks easier to climb from a distance. But like they say... the key is in the attempt. Remember; if you stay true to yourself and what you want to see, there will always be someone who likes what you do, and there will always be someone who'll tell you it's wrong. That's life.

They'll call you 'Conan the Barbarian' for your return-to-the-old-ways style of filmmaking. No! They'll call you 'Conan the Destroyer' for how you smashed through all the CGI bull.

On another note; there is a very real danger when trying to recapture the feeling of movies of the past, that what you do will be dismissed as 'homage' or 'pastiche', so it's a very fine line to tread.

Good luck. We're all counting on you.

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