<RANT MODE ON> This has been bugging me for a little while now and it is time to vent. There are two things on my mind the first is trailers, sneak peeks, inside information, trivia, behind the scenes etc. I love all this stuff but I don;t want it all BEFORE I see the movie, yes I know that the movie studio and distributors need to get my attention and want me to pony up some hard earned cash to see their wares but there is a line that they all seem to cross these days, i.e. bombarding the media with so much information about a film that I get disinterested in it. When I watch a movie I want to know who is in it (maybe that is important and sometimes it is not), what the basic premise is, and a few (read that as F-E-W) choice scenes. I don’t want to see all the best bits, all the funniest lines, all the biggest explosions, that is what I am paying to see. I have a few theories about movies and their trailers, first, if the trailer is really long then the movie will probably suck because there is not much more that they can show me or expose.
Movies with an ensemble cast are probably going to suck, each actor will probably do a good job with their lines but they aren’t going to get many and are not going to be able to develop their characters too much because they have to share screen time with the other bozos. If a movie seems short when you watch it (if you find yourself saying that was short) then it was a good movie; movies that drag on are crap because they are not holding your attention.
How about an example, Man of Steel was an interesting movie, it started off well because it tried to show some of the background of Superman from various parts of his life even up to the current day. Then it went crazy with special effects which were (without a doubt) very impressive but the movie could have ended three times, each had a natural conclusion to the story. What we got instead was a long drawn out finale where the level of destruction started to get boring, yes we understand that there were two people with similar powers beating the crap out of each other and they were impervious to pain or getting hurt but finish the movie already.
A positive example of how to introduce something and show something without showing too much is the latest Riddick movie, there is just enough there to peak your interest but they don’t give away too much. We know that there will be action, heroics, Riddick showing compassion and there will be a twist at the end; that is the nature of a Riddick movie, it is a good move to make me discover these while I sit in the dark with complete strangers.
What about TV?
This is also getting weird and annoying, here is the scenario, you are watching a long running series (take Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy or the excellent new Low Winter Sun as examples) or a talk show like Graham Norton where the producer/director or some other wanker decides to ruin the show for you either during the show between the commercial breaks or at the end just before the credits.
The Graham Norton show is the worse (note that I am talking about how BBC America does this since this is on the BBC in the UK and they don’t have that problem), he has guests on the show and they are normally witty have great stories and interact with each other in a way that just makes me happy. However, just before they go to commercial break they show a clip of what is coming up in the next section so that I do not channel surf, what the f**k, the fact that I am sitting in front of the TV watching your show means that I am investing my time, no preview clip is going to make me stay on your channel or go to another one.
Then there is the scenes from next week thing that they do in these series, I don’t want to know, if you have a strong story and a good cast then I will watch the whole series from front to back no extra preview is necessary, in fact it puts me off.
So, how do I counteract all this previewing and extra clips etc., well it’s the wonder of the DVR, I rarely watch a show live these days, if it is on and it looks interesting I record it immediately, if its been on for a while I find out when it is on again and record it. Then I fast forward when I see any of these extras that are there to entice me. The negative of this is that the advertisers never earn a bean from me because I never see the ads.
For me watching most things is a journey, one that you have a rough idea where you are going but you do not know the exact route you will take, drip feeding the audience is treating the audience as idiots who need to be told everything before it’s going to happen, show them it and then remind them of what they just saw. You have to do that when you are doing a work related presentation but not when you are watching entertainment.
I want to be surprised, shocked, feel someone’s pain, laugh at someone’s ineptitude or just laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, but more importantly I want to discover this myself during the time I am viewing the stuff not before I even pay for my ticket.
<RANT MODE OFF>