Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Steadicam, please

I recently went to the movies and was made sick by what I saw. Really. Churning stomach, spinning sensation, headachy sick.

I wasn’t watching slasher flicks or dark tales of sadistic torture. I was watching trailers for upcoming action movies. Make that upchucking action movies -- ones I’ll be sure not to see as full-length feature films.

Maybe move makers think they have to pack all the action into 60 seconds to draw in viewers. Me? I want to know more about the story and the characters; the chase itself has become a given. In fact, I mentally check out during chase scenes anyway -- tires screech, cars crash, things go boom -- as I wait for the more interesting parts of the movie to reappear.

But no matter the movie, it’s the movie-making techniques that are becoming a major distraction. Just because the technology exists to make things swoop and swoon, you really don’t want to make your audience do so.

All the CGI special-effects stuff should support the actors, not become the star. The audience should pay no attention to the wizards behind the curtain.

For my recent night at the movies, I saw The Hunger Games. My two words of advice for the movie makers: more Steadicam. Going for fast and gritty is one thing; inducing motion sickness in your audience is just bad business.

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