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Rant against current cinema-photography trends :)
Old 10-18-2015, 08:12 AM   #1
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Rant against current cinema-photography trends :)

/rant

I dunno, maybe it's my advancing years [61] and associated 'grumpiness', but I'm getting really irritated with recent, last 3 years or so, cinematic 'trends', but getting more and more evident with the current crop of TV shows & movies:

*) Use of 'shaky-cam' – hand-held filming that is, presumably, meant to convey a sense of 'natural' head-bobbing. Sorry, but my eyesight, dodgy as it is, does not constantly move up and down or side to side or take an 'orbital' route. This is rubbish and needs to stop, it just looks lousy on-screen and results in constant re-focusing of my eyes.

*) Rapid camera angle/perspectives/scene adjustment [flip-flip-flip] that only serves to f'k-up my focusing and does not add any useful narrative purpose. Again it is an unnatural viewing-motion that does not represent a normal human visual experience.

*) Rapid zooming in/out as a cinematic tool, especially when used in a close-up form. Yet again, this serves only to confuse the eyes and detracts from the story being told.

*) Use of lens-flare – enough already – clever once, that opportunity is long gone!!

Used in 'moderation', a case can be made for each of these techniques, 'where warranted for special effect'. But I'm finding them being used simply because they [directors/cinema-photographers] can, it's becoming a sort of McDonalds of TV/cinema.

What say you, am I just a grumpy old fart or does it irritate others..........should we create a petition.org campaign to rage against the machine and attempt to banish these useless traits from our screens?

/rant off>
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:08 AM   #2
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As a fan of concert DVD's, nothing more annoys me than the non-stop camera changes every 2 or 3 seconds. I'm sure it must be related to the short attention span of people today who have no patience and need constant stimulation.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:41 AM   #3
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I agree. When I watch an old movie like 'Wizard of Oz' or 'Gone With the Wind', the photography and sound are so excellent, and I think of those big old cameras on wheels and those big boom microphones. When I watch a new movie (all my stuff is off the DVR these days), the picture is crappy and the audio drops out half the time and you can't hear what people are saying. And those films that are supposed to be color but come out gray and green drive me nuts. It's like someone took a cheapie home camera with some crappy microphone attached to it and filmed the whole thing.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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I could not watch the highly recommended show Friday Night Lights because the shaky camera work nauseated me. Many of the Food Network and Travel Network shows are laughably predictable in the way they cut every 1-3 seconds, and 3 is really long for them. Maybe this is just a fad that will be replaced with shots that will end up being too long just to be different. But I doubt it. It does seem all of us are less patient than we were. I get frustrated with the loading of web pages sometimes, forgetting the days of dial up or, heaven forbid, going to a library to look something up.


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Old 10-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #5
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Those short takes too also help the actors that can't act and dancers who can't dance achieve an acceptable performance. No longer are there any any long takes like they did with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire. Another thing that bothers me is that it seems the special effects now of many new movies have actually gone backwards, looking more cartoonish than using the previous, more time consuming methods.

Eventually it will just be cheaper to do everything by computer. No actors, no sets, no stage, no props, no cameras. But by then there won't be anybody watching but robots so it should all be okay anyway.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:51 PM   #6
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If it's obvious to the viewer that a handheld camera is being used (unless it's the Blair Witch Project or something where the camera holder is part of the story), then we get taken right out of the magic. Sloppy or trendy work imho.

My similar pet peeve is when the lights are so low in interior scenes that the setting could be a cave. I noticed this a lot in Castle, which DH enjoyed, and would yell "Turn up the lights!" at the screen. Again, overly artsy to no purpose?

And don't get me started on gravelly whispertalkers--we like Chicago PD (yes, we like to watch TV) but at least two of the main characters are often impossible to understand.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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I wonder if part of it is the "we do it because we can" mentality. Also, perhaps it's more job security for the producers/editors since it takes 2x-3x as many people to sift through all of the cuts and patch them together?

Another factor might be the director wants to focus in on the one person talking/doing the action, rather than the entire scene, thinking that they are giving you a more 'realistic' feeling of being there, since if you were there in person, you'd probably be looking directly at the actor speaking when they are speaking, rather than looking at the entire scene with other non-speaking, non-action actors.

I do agree that it can be annoying at times and appears to be overused.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
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One of my pet peeves is the way they mix sound. So much attention is given to the loud sound effects that the voices are too low unless you really crank up the volume then the sound effects are too loud. I recently had my hearing tested and have no problems so I blame the movie producers.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:27 PM   #9
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Whoever said it was because of kids' short attention spans was spot on. I recall seeing the ubiquitous picture of the 6 kids sitting in a restaurant booth and all were texting - my take was that they were texting each other, but maybe not. In any case, I see it all around. Kids seem not to focus much on anything other than their I-phones. Whether the trend will ever change back, I do not know, but probably not in my life time.

In any case, most TV shows and most movies made for kids (14 to 25) are simply unwatchable in my opinion. But, then again, I'm getting (heck AM) old. What would I know. YMMV
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:35 PM   #10
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One of my pet peeves is the way they mix sound. So much attention is given to the loud sound effects that the voices are too low unless you really crank up the volume then the sound effects are too loud. I recently had my hearing tested and have no problems so I blame the movie producers.
This! I turn the sound down because gunfire and explosions are so loud I worry they'll disturb my neighbors, but then the dialog is so quiet I can't hear what they are saying and have to turn it up... Normalize the darn audio! :P
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:39 PM   #11
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One of my pet peeves is the way they mix sound. So much attention is given to the loud sound effects that the voices are too low unless you really crank up the volume then the sound effects are too loud. I recently had my hearing tested and have no problems so I blame the movie producers.
I am glad I am not the only one with this issue. It is annoying to constantly have to adjust the volume.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:41 PM   #12
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Sounds like a number of members might prefer to no longer watch filmed entertainment. Great! How about canasta? Or perhaps home movies?
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:48 PM   #13
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Sounds like a number of members might prefer to no longer watch filmed entertainment. Great! How about canasta? Or perhaps home movies?
I don't see any comments against filmed entertainment...what I see are comments are about poorly produced audio, poor audio levels, or excessive scene changes.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
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The shakey-cam thing feels very unnatural, so I don't watch content that employs it. When I'm conversing with someone I stand still. The technique has grown hoary and demonstrates a lack of confidence in the content. If I want shakey-cam there's plenty from amateurs on youtube who at least can claim they can't afford a tripod.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:51 PM   #15
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I don't see any comments against filmed entertainment...what I see are comments are about poorly produced audio, poor audio levels, or excessive scene changes.
Whatever.


Quote:
Rant against current cinema-photography trends

I dunno, maybe it's my advancing years [61] and associated 'grumpiness', but I'm getting really irritated with recent, last 3 years or so, cinematic 'trends', but getting more and more evident with the current crop of TV shows & movies
On second thought, maybe Turner Classic Movies might also work
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:57 PM   #16
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Whatever.

"Rant against current cinema-photography trends
/rant
Yes. "current cinema-photography trends"...as in current audio and video editing and production standards. Again, no one said they were against filmed entertainment. They said they couldn't enjoy filmed entertainment due to the techniques used.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:01 PM   #17
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This! I turn the sound down because gunfire and explosions are so loud I worry they'll disturb my neighbors, but then the dialog is so quiet I can't hear what they are saying and have to turn it up... Normalize the darn audio! :P
We keep the closed captioning on for action shows. It doesn't bother us and allows us to follow the conversation. I watch foreign movies with subtitles, and this isn't any different. I do have a small peeve with it, as I've noticed that a lot of the captioning doesn't accurately reflect the dialog. I guess that's just to keep from having too much writing scrolling too fast for most people (I'm a very fast reader). Just a slight distraction.

I tend to not watch the shaky cam movies, just from lack of interest in the subject, not because of the camera technique. I've also noticed the degradation in CGI effects, I guess for cost reasons. But I'm pretty good at getting into the moment with movies and TV, and don't usually let the minor distractions stop my enjoyment of the show.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:04 PM   #18
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Yes. "current cinema-photography trends"...as in current audio and video editing and production standards. Again, no one said they were against filmed entertainment. They said they couldn't enjoy filmed entertainment due to the techniques used.
You have an excellent point! Maybe those of us who feel upset by the way films videos are currently made should hire our own film crews! Or, as I formerly suggested before you kindly pointed out the flaw in my idea, just take up an alternate leisure activity?
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:20 PM   #19
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Sounds like a number of members might prefer to no longer watch filmed entertainment. Great! How about canasta? Or perhaps home movies?
I don't go to movies at all any more or watch much on TV. For some reason these activities bore me and I don't like the "high tension music" that so many shows include in their soundtracks.

But 21st century life includes so many possible forms of entertainment. We need not resort to canasta or shuffleboard; there is SO much to do these days. The possibilities are endless. In my case, I find that I prefer peaceful video games, posting on the forum, and listening to podcasts, instead of watching TV or movies.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:58 PM   #20
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I was the projectionist in the local theater from the age of 12 to 18 and have a lifetime pass. I have discussed the sound thing with the current owner and he said he first noticed the change in sound mixing about 20 years ago.
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