Way back in the last century, when I studied theatre lighting I was particularly taken by one lighting technician saying "you'll know you've lit the stage perfectly when nobody notice the lighting." And I fully appreciate that the same thing goes for a
Seperate topic, and very counterintuitive for people early in their careeer, but this is the actual pro level advice. For many jobs in cinema, you're only really nailing it when they never notice you were there at all. The viewer is trying to enjoy the story, any time your contribution steals attention from that story instead of subtly enhancing it, it's a mistake. Mark Isham is a fair example of someone who nails this. You could call his soundtracks "forgettable" but they do exactly what they are supposed to, without stealing the spotlight.
What I'm seeing, though - or at least wondering about - is that it is the viewers that are accepting a low bar. There's no need for production houses to spend quite as much as the scene demands when the public is only half-watching, half-listening to whatever is on the screen.
Sure, I get what you mean, though it varies from tier to tier. Does a car have to be good for people to buy it? Kind of, not really. It needs to be ok. Does a formula 1 car HAVE to be good? Absolutely, no question. Point is, I'm not sure we can lump Avengers Endgame in with Property Brothers. I think it's more fair to say that expectations are often set relative to the source. It's kind of a weird phenomenon, the elasticity of our ratings of things, and how skewed that appears from a meta perspective. If you sit down at a county fair, and watch a guy play an old beat up acoustic guitar, and he's really nailing it, doing some impressive things, we would rate that performance 9/10. If you saw Pavoratti singing with the London Philharmonic, you'd rate it a 9/10. There is an immense different in the amount of talent and effort on display. One is the aggregateed effort of over 100 people, many of which trained since childhood to reach the highest rank worldwide in their craft. The other is a single person who bought a guitar and practiced hard for 10 years. If you asked people that saw both performances, they could absolutely tell you that the philharmonic performance was an order of magnitude greater, but if you simply went by the "out of ten" scorecard, they appear equal.
I think that part of the answer to my original question is that our media is now driven by algorithm, and while we can tell the difference between a banjo and an orchestra, the algorithm cannot tell the difference between a 9 and a 9.
This video really illustrates what's wrong with that. People don't always get what I'm upset about, but on a financial level, that network robot is really, really, screwing over that orchestra. Let's say you took those 100 musicians, the conductor, the stage lighting crew, etc and gave them a score of 9 per person, same for the one guy with the guitar. Now you see a more realistic score difference, 9 vs 927. I think people absolutely see the difference, but since all our video recommendations come from automated systems that can't see the difference, we have situations like the one in the video here, wherein an idiot making a box of trash gets paid the salary of 1000 Beethovens.
But do they, really? I follow one particular YT channel for very specific reasons (and ulterior motive!), one that revolves around a French chateau renovation project. There are about a dozen other chateau renovation channels linked, and the comments reveal that hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people watch all of these, despite the desperately bad production values. Given amount of padding on each of these videos, when do these people find the time to watch "real" movies? From what I've observed amongst family and friends, the closest they come to it is a group excursion to the local multiplex to "enjoy" the lastest blockbuster to the sound of popcorn, random belching, and illicit phone conversations.
I think the value of any one entertainment product is quite multidimensional. The Sound of Music, The Great Escape, or Goodfellas are all films people like based on their quality, but for formula one enthusiasts, Stallone's driven might have been a more exiting watch, as if addressed their very specific fantasy, similar to the purpose the Fast and Furious saga did for teens with a 6th grade education and 90,000 dollars to spend fixing up a 12,000 car. By the way, no one should ever watch Stallone's "Driven", it's terrible.