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Cliches and mistakes

So, I'm in the middle of a first draft of a satircal short about short films and all the cliches and mistakes that various student films, short makers, new film-makers, and YouTube celebrities bring in. To date, I've reviewed somewhere in the region of 5,000 short films, but would still like some input from others as frankly.... it gives me brain fog just thinking about.

Here are some of the various stereotypes we're including. It's a short narrative in the British London gangster genre, but akin to the style of Don't be a Menace to South Central while Drinking your Juice in the 'Hood.

Opening scene of alarm going off.
British London ganster genre. Already mentioned, but enough said.
"Mysterious stranger"
Pointless insert shots.
Shallow depth of field for no reason.
OBVIOUS TITILLATING FEMALE (not making a point with the caps, that's genuinely the name of the character in the credits).
Static shot of someone just walking down a hallway or corridor (my personal pet peeve above all others).
Exaggerated walking shots.
"Deep" voice overs on social issues.
Mirror reveal.
OTS shots without any reason.
Actors cast for roles outside their age ranges.
Terrible acting.
Poor locations and scenes.
Terrible music choice.
Bad lighting.
Lck of editing overlap. (that was a pun with "lck". "Lack", get it? never mind...)
Completely ridiculous, over the top, use of firearms.
Cut to black.

I wanted to use the "bad sound" stereotype, but to me that's such an obvious one, and I feel people only make this mistake because of lack of options.

Anyway, what would you ad to this list?
 
Oh, and I want to add in the "main character smoking and looking contemplative" scene somehow, before thats mentioned.
 
Interesting. I was going to say a very slow opening with not much happening. But then how would you make sure people knew it was satirical instead of just actually bad filmmaking? Maybe some big titles commenting on it? How would you establish right away that it's satire?

Another cliche is the cool gang walking in slo-mo. But then how could you do it differently to show it's satire? Have an excessive amount of it? Have them starting at the end of a corner & then just when you think it's done, keep going back to the start? Then intercut reaction shots of people, & pigeons, & a guy in a poster? Then people in real time almost bumping into them while the gang is still walking in slo-mo? :)
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
you could have your characters complaining about how poorly lit their scene is

you could have one person severely overacting and the other person wooden

they can turn the TV on for a few seconds, get relevant information, then turn it off
 
Interesting. I was going to say a very slow opening with not much happening. But then how would you make sure people knew it was satirical instead of just actually bad filmmaking? Maybe some big titles commenting on it? How would you establish right away that it's satire?

Another cliche is the cool gang walking in slo-mo. But then how could you do it differently to show it's satire? Have an excessive amount of it? Have them starting at the end of a corner & then just when you think it's done, keep going back to the start? Then intercut reaction shots of people, & pigeons, & a guy in a poster? Then people in real time almost bumping into them while the gang is still walking in slo-mo? :)

The idea that it's satire will come across very quickly. A great deal of this will be due to acting performance, which I've found in comedy plays a very big role. I do like the idea of using the super slo-mo. I reckon I will use that.

Thanks.
 
you could have your characters complaining about how poorly lit their scene is

you could have one person severely overacting and the other person wooden

they can turn the TV on for a few seconds, get relevant information, then turn it off

I love two of these ideas - characters drawing attention to the lights, and the TV trope. I'm not sure the latter would be able to work in this instance, but it's a very good idea.

Thanks.
 
On the nose dialog. (Example, a foot chase, character points at the person being persued and yells to his partner, "Look! There he is!")

Room tone changes drastically between cutaways in the same scene. At least one take should feature on-/in-camera mic.

SFX editing that doesn't blend. One of the ones I see most is a cell phone ring/ringtone that's terribly loud and has no room reverb added.

Rolling credits that list the same person over and over in various roles. Be sure to parse out "written by", "directed by", and "edited by". You should probably have a starring role as well. And hell... credit yourself for location managing and craft services, too.

Make sure you change fonts somewhere in the middle, for no reason. Especially in opening credits.
 
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On the nose dialog. (Example, a foot chase, character points at the person being persued and yells to his partner, "Look! There he is!")

Room tone changes drastically between cutaways in the same scene. At least one take should feature on-/in-camera mic.

SFX editing that doesn't blend. One of the ones I see most is a cell phone ring/ringtone that's terribly loud and has no room reverb added.

Rolling credits that list the same person over and over in various roles. Be sure to parse out "written by", "directed by", and "edited by". You should probably have a starring role as well. And hell... credit yourself for location managing and craft services, too.

Make sure you change fonts somewhere in the middle, for no reason. Especially in opening credits.
I love it. I'm tempted to name Hashem as being responsible for "lighting", as well.
 
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