Great comment above, DiB about the end result based on equipment, or lack thereof — that’s true creativity to make do with what you have and get a result that’s even more interesting at the end. And it makes for more talk by the people who weren’t in the know about how you were cleverly getting around the lack of an ideal setup.
Love that stuff.
What’s wrong with someone telling a student they need to fix the lighting or practice their anatomy. Their professionals and have been doing what they’re doing for a long time, so I’m some of them know what they’re talking about. If someone needs to practice their anatomy, they need to practice their anatomy, and they need to be told so, by an instructor. I don’t see why that’s such a problem.
@DiB – as I’ve said before, in every film studies program I’ve been in the material circumstances of production ARE discussed in concert with theory. I’ve taken classes at a state school and community college in Texas, a “name” university in NY and one in Canada so I see what you’re saying but I think it’s a moot point.
That Jaws story is told ad nauseum – at least in film studies programs (If film production students aren’t learning this that that is indeed fucked up) – as well as how the aesthetics and plot points of various films are informed by budgetary constraints or censorship concerns.
source: i am an undergraduate double majoring in neuroscience and film studies at a large university, taking a break from studying during finals week. i generally think school is what you make of it, but it is not for everyone and i get that.
the downward trend in student interest most likely has to do with the opening of universities to the more general public. In the US an undergrad education is a money pit for universities, and with online degree programs, a “university” degree is much more attainable and expected to employers nowadays, at least in North America. So, people who have less of a thirst for knowledge and more of a desire to feed themselves go to college now. Undergraduate is the new high school.
saying all you need is a library card to educate yourself is probably true, but it’s definitely nice to have a place to go where the probability is higher you’ll meet someone your age who has the time and interest to collaborate on a project with you. especially in the summer! also, speaking from experience, larger universities have tons of resources that often go untapped (equipment-wise especially). another great thing about starting in school is that lots of departments want video and web content, and instead of hiring outside, they are more willing to offer credit for students to do it instead (i.e. get it for free). working on mini projects like that is great practice, gives you a feel for what you want to do production-wise, and a lot less pressure than getting hired and being expected to deliver a something professional-grade. i’m sure you absolutely could do it on your own, but it would probably be a bit harder, and you don’t get to have quirky professors who wrote their dessertation on pornography.
and for people bitching about their fellow classmates not giving a shit about art and wanting to work in Hollywood, I mean, whatever. welcome to real life, where not everyone cares about what you care about. there is nothing wrong with someone wanting to work for the industry.
well, sucks for them philistines! or maybe not. maybe they draw their creative energy from other areas not normally considered “artistic”. or maybe they just suck and smoke weed and play video games all day, i have no idea. i rarely speculate on the lives of uninteresting people.
Plenty of artistic, intelligent, intellectually curious people smoke weed all day too.
I didn’t say all. I said plenty. Places like Brown and Wesleyan are full of weed smokers.
and a happy 4/20 to those who do.
Don’t worry, Renault – it doesn’t matter to me. I just found the remark funny. In my strange way. :D
Sometimes I don’t understand (film or everything else) students . There are always the bunch of kids who think they know everything on everything, when in fact they know nothing, and they’ll die useless in the end like everybody. They don’t even have the wiseness to turn this pedantery into something funny and absurd. “Adults” are the same, but generally they are more cynical and delusioned. I prefer to speak to a child or an old person, they are less boring.
A child knows who he is, or speaks like he does. An old person definitely knows who they are, and speaks like he does.
Everything inbetween is in flux, which makes it frustrating, but also interesting. The only thing that does not work well is that people in flux don’t know how to articulate what is happening to them, because their mind doesn’t want to believe they’re in flux, even though their heart knows it.
Flux can be very good for creative endeavors, if you know how to harness it.
polaris nails it. academic/theoretical constructs have their place but it is rarely on a film set.
I once asked Akira Kurosawa why he had chosen to frame a shot in Ran in a particular way. His answer was that if he he’d panned the camera one inch to the left, the Sony factory would be sitting there exposed, and if he he’d panned an inch to the right, we would see the airport – neither of which belonged in a period movie. Only the person who’s made the movie knows what goes into the decisions that result in any piece of work
Making Movies, 1995
A gallery owner asked me the same kind of question and I gave her the same kind of answer Kurosawa gave Lumet.
She got real – real close and yawned right in my face. I never gave an answer like that again.
Supposedly Pablo Picasso said this:When artists get together they don’t talk about theory, they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.
I think artists indeed like to talk about making what they make, shop talk, why wouldn’t they? Doesn’t mean however that none of them will ever touch on theory in their discussions. For example, what theories are being written about their own work. ;)
It is okay for Kurosawa to say that to Lumet, but for someone he was NOT friends with, the answer is the creative thinking that leads up to the shot, which isn’t necessarily a theory.
The point is that there are different strokes for different folks.
Polaris and others rightly pinpoint the impatience of a creative generation kept at arm’s length from the essential modes of cinematic production, chomping at the proverbia bit, tired of recycled lectures on lightweight topics in abstract theory. But this is hardly groundbreaking or new. In the 1960s, or so I’m told, a recurrent mantra said, “Make it relevant.” A number of departments and disciplines were born and prospered amid the chaos and disillusionment of the late 60s.
I have considered majoring in film, but, after speaking with several film majors, it seems totally pointless. When I was first looking at schools, I spoke to a film studies major at a school well-known for their program. When I mentioned people like Max Ophuls, Satyajit Ray, even Renoir, I was met with a blank stare. He told me he was more interested in current films. Similarly, I was talking to a film major the other day who worships Tarantino, but has never seen anything from the French New Wave. This is a guy who goes to an Ivy on scholarship – clearly no idiot. There just seems to be a total lack of interest in film history and theory with most students.
Charulata: I don’t mean to be an optimist—God forbid—but there are a hell of a lot of genuinely dedicated and erudite film students out there. A year on MUBI has taught me that.
@Z. – I agree, and they ain’t doin’ it for grades, either.
Edit — meaning they are genuinely interested in film, and expanding and using their knowledge of it.
No offense whatsoever to this thread but life is really just a grand dance of bullshit. People love to sell each other fantastical ideas and stories about everything but when it really comes down to it like RWPIII is saying it’s smoke and mirrors. Almost every great discovery in life has been by accident, then we dress it up like it was intentional and we are geniuses.
Thanks for the Forrest Gump philosophy, Designerprons: no such thing as talent, intellect, or aesthetic break-through after a lifetime of labor. Just bullshit and accident. The half-wit toiling away at the city dump is just as able tp pen a National Book Award-winning novel as Don DeLillo. You really have a splendid theory!
Wow, cynicism and sparring rules today. I think the full moon already happened, so what gives?
A philosophy, Designerprons, rooted in a life-long frustration: why do the kids who work the hardest win all the awards. It just ain’t just.
And, O, my moon is still full.
Really? OW-OOOOH, Werewolf of London! Er… Richmond!
I was thinking. When I was younger, I was taken to the orchestra and old movies. At that particular time, I did not really like classical music. I did, however, like movie soundtracks. But when I became a teenager and was exposed to it again, I began to like it. Blade Runner is one of my favorite films and I don’t think I really got into it the first time I saw it. And I was exposed to classic literature when I was a kid, but it was a kid’s version of literature classics such as Moby Dick and David Copperfield. Again, when I became a teenager and read Emerson’s Self Reliance, it led me towards reading literature again, ( this time, like it was originally written ), and other things such as religion, philosophy, poetry and psychology. And I think with such things as reading about filmmakers like Bergman with a book written about him called Bergman on Bergman and other books such as Filmmakers on Filmmaking, Understanding Movies and the Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, and a little later, books like Film Technique, it made me see that films could also be philosophical as well as popcorn entertainment. I guess, what I am trying to say is that perhaps you have to be exposed to things at the right time, in order for them to have an influence on you. And some films require more than one viewing to sometimes be really appreciated such as films like I mentioned before such as Blade Runner. Think of 8 1/2. That film is a combination of reality, dreams, daydreams and fantasy. It probably helps to see it more than once to understand what’s going on and to separate things so you can understand the film better. I am generation X. I guess the generation after me is Y. Perhaps they are exposed to things differently than my generation was. Computers were just gaining importance when I was going to school. We hadn’t reached things like the internet, Google and YouTube. We didn’t have cellphones or Final Cut. I’m talking about graduating in 1991 from high school. Generation Y might be learning differently than we did, which was more through things such as text books, but it could possibly be a rush to judgment to say that all of the people or most of the people of Generation Y are ignorant and illiterate. They are learning differently than we were. This does not mean that necessarily that they all watch Ozu or read Nietzsche, but it’s dangerous just to lump a whole generation together in one sweeping statement. And I think, as far as being exposed to things, you might have to be hit at the right time. I didn’t like jazz until after I had graduated from high school. I didn’t like Nirvana, until many years after they had stopped playing.
Wait, was the original intent of this thread then to slam an entire generation? Yikes, if so…