misc The Cinematic Experience

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
sfoster, I understand why you did this and where it came from. I'm now expanding
on what you have presented. Because I think it's a great topic to discuss.

I'm thinking that for the newbie skimping on one thing to put more effort into another
could be the road to ruin.

Audio is 50% of the movie watching experience. Should it only be 50% of the newbie's
movie making time? Should a newbie really only spend 5% of their time getting the
right cast? Should a newbie take 10% from audio and devote that to casting, thus spending
only 40% of their time with audio?

If a newbie spends 80% of their time developing a great story and script does that mean
there is only 20% left for everything else?

In other words; is making a movie a zero sum game? If you take from one does it add to
another?

I suspect my pie chart would be very unhelpful. I would assign 5% to 20 aspects of making
a movie evenly to get to the 100%. Or in broader terms, add one more to miesemann's five;

Story - 16.66%
Acting - 16.66%
Sound - 16.66%
Cinematography - 16.66%
Art Direction - 16.66%
Post - 16.66%

To sum up; From my perspective a newbie should devote an equal amount of time to everything.

For the movie watcher my pie chart would be different. And I suspect very personal and subject
to change depending on many factors.
 
What factors into the cinematic experience for the average audience member?
You need to know this stuff to know where it is most important to be putting your time.

Interesting question, in the first sentence; but the second (and the pie-chart) would appear to be addressed to the wrong audience. :mope:

If statistics are to be believed, for the "average audience member" the cinematic experience has a tenuous link to whatever is being projected on the screen - it's about going out with friends, it's about being the first to see the latest instalment in whatever franchise is currently a Big Thing, it's about being subjected to 90 minutes of psycho-sensorial manipulation (add another 30 if you include the wait to get into the theatre) passed off as entertainment. There's not a lot there that the creative teams slogging away with lights, cameras and action (oh, and microphones :D ) can influence.

But if your question is directed at the discerning audience member, well ... that depends, doesn't it?

It depends first of all on what you mean by cinematic experience. If that's restricted to the viewing of a full-length feature film in a darkened theatre, then the answer must surely be "all of the above" - a good story can be ruined by bad sound or bad acting; great actors can be wasted on a tedious meandering tale; spectacular sound and lighting can serve to enhance illogical editing and bizarre DP choices. Each viewer will have a greater or lesser tolerance for problems with one or the other, so it'd be hard to prioritise the division of creative capital unless you knew in advance exactly what audience you were producing for.

On the other hand, if you change the parameters, then the relative importance of the different slices of your pie change too. On long self-driving journeys, I like to listen to movies that I've watched several times, making the sound - and the story - much more important, and as I'm only watching it in my head, I can apply a mental filter and apply my own digital enhancements to the costumes, the lighting, the sets ...

Or if you include shorts in the description, then it's quite reasonable to dispense with any pretence at telling a story and concentrate on the experience part of the equation, pouring resources into precisely chosen camera angles, a pin-drop perfect soundtrack and silky smooth editing.

If the cinematic experience is, in fact, an evening of pyjama-party debauchery, well - bad acting, bad sets and the holiest of plots might be forgivable, as long as there's a non-stop singalong soundtrack or an unrelenting series of gruesome special effects to scream (or cheer) at.

All-in-all, something of an unanswerable question. What grade do I get? :contract:
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
There's not a lot there that the creative teams slogging away with lights, cameras and action (oh, and microphones :D ) can influence.
I give you an F to be honest LOL
Youre totally nuts and disconnected from reality and maybe a bit pretentious.

If you think that the average audience member isn't influenced by lights and camera movement we have such an enormous gap between our realities that i dont even know where to begin bridging this divide.

I promise you that if you make a film with really bad lighting every single audience member in the world will notice.

It appears you think that they will not notice and have no influence at all.

So we are at an impasse.

not sure what to tell you.
 
I give you an F to be honest LOL
Youre totally nuts and disconnected from reality and maybe a bit pretentious.

I can live with that! :yes:

My reality is heavily influenced by growing up at a time when "going to the pictures" was a Big Deal and we expected to see a properly told story, well lit, well shot, with the best sound that technology could provide us at the time. At any one time, we rarely had a choice of more than a dozen titles across the whole city but we could be fairly sure those titles would run for weeks if not months (and in one case, years and years and years ... ) and we would sometimes pay real money to go back and see the same movie in a cinema a second or third time.

These days, in the same city, with a choice of perhaps five times the number of screens, the same feature will be showing in half of them for two weeks, before being relegated to the early-bird slot in the bigger multiplexes for the rest of the month; and on my infrequent trips to the city, I struggle to find anything amongst the other titles that isn't a super-hero franchise or a re-make or a sequel of dubious validity.

But that doesn't seem to bother the average audience - they're there to consume what the studios pump out, and will quite happily let loose a storm of outrage over some perceived departure from the True Legend; or, equally, pour forth a twitterful of OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGSoooAmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzing-ness at in-your-face special effects ... but you can provoke the same reaction by feeding them home made fries, no cinema needed.

:pop:
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I can live with that! :yes:

My reality is heavily influenced by growing up at a time when "going to the pictures" was a Big Deal and we expected to see a properly told story, well lit, well shot, with the best sound that technology could provide us at the time. At any one time, we rarely had a choice of more than a dozen titles across the whole city but we could be fairly sure those titles would run for weeks if not months (and in one case, years and years and years ... ) and we would sometimes pay real money to go back and see the same movie in a cinema a second or third time.

These days, in the same city, with a choice of perhaps five times the number of screens, the same feature will be showing in half of them for two weeks, before being relegated to the early-bird slot in the bigger multiplexes for the rest of the month; and on my infrequent trips to the city, I struggle to find anything amongst the other titles that isn't a super-hero franchise or a re-make or a sequel of dubious validity.

But that doesn't seem to bother the average audience - they're there to consume what the studios pump out, and will quite happily let loose a storm of outrage over some perceived departure from the True Legend; or, equally, pour forth a twitterful of OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGSoooAmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzing-ness at in-your-face special effects ... but you can provoke the same reaction by feeding them home made fries, no cinema needed.

:pop:
Sounds like you have a real problem with story, complaining about superhero franchises and remakes.

IDK Why that would make you attack professional cinematography and say its irrelevant.
 
IDK Why that would make you attack professional cinematography and say its irrelevant.

I'm not saying it's irrelevant - I'm arguing that your original question related to the cinema experience as lived by an average audience, and my observation in this respect is that a modern average audience will pay to watch almost anything in a modern cinema if they're targeted with the right kind of marketing. That aspect - the marketing - is entirely outside the control of the artists and craftsmen that create the film, and these days has as much to do with hashtags and memes (or a lucrative franchise) as production values.

That's also why I deliberately made a point of separating my initial comments into one paragraph relating to mass movie consumerism, and four paragraphs discussing the topic from the point of view of people who actually care about what they're seeing and hearing on the screen.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I'm not saying it's irrelevant - I'm arguing that your original question related to the cinema experience as lived by an average audience, and my observation in this respect is that a modern average audience will pay to watch almost anything in a modern cinema if they're targeted with the right kind of marketing. That aspect - the marketing - is entirely outside the control of the artists and craftsmen that create the film, and these days has as much to do with hashtags and memes (or a lucrative franchise) as production values.

That's also why I deliberately made a point of separating my initial comments into one paragraph relating to mass movie consumerism, and four paragraphs discussing the topic from the point of view of people who actually care about what they're seeing and hearing on the screen.
Yes audience will pay to watch almost anything that cost 100,000,000 to make and was produced by professional cinematographers and screenwriters that are the best in the world and endorsed by businessmen. Its true audience will watch almost anything that matches that criteria.

But i have no idea what that has to do with the topic of the thread
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
The topic is "The Cinematic Experience" - so unless you define it in more precise terms, those multi-million-dollar blockbuster multiplex experiences are the "average" ... 🤷‍♂️
On this we agree lol.

But I feel like you are taking cinematographers for granted.

Just bc people will buy a ticket to something that cost 100,000,000 to make and just because it was produced by the most talented professional people in the industry.. it does not mean you can just dismiss the cinematography as not being part of the experience. It's part of it. How much of a part of it? how much of a part of it is sound, is story, is acting, etc that is the point of the thread.

point is not whether or not people will buy tickets to the only movies that are available in their society. of course they will.
 
it does not mean you can just dismiss the cinematography as not being part of the experience. It's part of it. How much of a part of it? how much of a part of it is sound, is story, is acting, etc that is the point of the thread.

Without cinematographers, there would be no cinema, and as it's a craft that's interested me for more than forty years, I certainly wouldn't take cinematographers for granted.

BUT: unless your question is addressed to producers and investors, there's little point in trying to prioritise the division of time and energy because the audience experience in cinemas is completely outside of your control. The "cinematic experience" includes the building, the hot-dogs and popcorn, the feel of the seats under your buttocks ...

If that's not what you were asking about, perhaps the question needs to be re-phrased? E.g.: "What contributes most to the enjoyment of watching a full-length feature on theatre-sized screen?"
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Without cinematographers, there would be no cinema, and as it's a craft that's interested me for more than forty years, I certainly wouldn't take cinematographers for granted.

BUT: unless your question is addressed to producers and investors, there's little point in trying to prioritise the division of time and energy because the audience experience in cinemas is completely outside of your control. The "cinematic experience" includes the building, the hot-dogs and popcorn, the feel of the seats under your buttocks ...

If that's not what you were asking about, perhaps the question needs to be re-phrased? E.g.: "What contributes most to the enjoyment of watching a full-length feature on theatre-sized screen?"
Yes its addressed to producers, we are all producers here.

Sure you can throw food and snacks and seating comfort in there too, that makes sense. great point.
 
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