Friday, September 26, 2008
Storyboard Q&A :: 02
What are your opinions on spoon feeding the audience vs. giving them enough credit to add 2 and 2 to make 4 - such as in Wall-E, where his treads are old and worn, he looks at fresh treads on another Wall-E and we cut to him moving along with new treads. Cutting out the whole, taking his treads off, putting the new ones on etc. When and where do you find that it is perhaps, almost important to spoon feed the audience, if at all?
The audience should never be spoon fed anything. They have to be given the benefit of the doubt that they will be able to put 2 and 2 together. The worst thing is to underestimate an audience because it makes a weaker product. The thing I hate most is the "Scooby Doo" moment in movies where one character explains to another everything that has happened in the movie so far (there's a bit towards the end of the second Matrix movie with The Architect that drives me batty in this regard -- The last thing I wanted to see in the movie at that point is a talking head that attempts to explain EVERYTHING. An eye roller of epic proportions. See it here if you have 8 minutes to burn).
The Wall•E bit you mentioned is a little different; the cut was made to remove what's called "shoe leather", unnecessary business that will slow down the film. Good filmmakers and editors understand economic filmmaking and have the ability to see things to cut that will speed up a film and make it better.
During my student film, after 4 months of story revising, I changed the ending in the last couple weeks and decided to stick with it. Now, it almost seems as though my original one was much better and that the reason I changed it was due to the fact that just because it was *new* it was better (not realizing that at the time). How do you catch yourself from falling into this trap?
Trust your gut and try not to second guess yourself. A lot of the time, changes are made to things when they don't need to be, and the end product isn't necessarily better, just different. I find that when I'm boarding, gut instinct is often the best way to go because it's an emotional response; it's an impulse that "feels" right.
Also, when working on a project, make sure that you aren't in total isolation; ask your peers to look at and give notes on what you're doing; when you are with something day in and day out for a long period of time, you can lose sight of what it is because you're too close to it -- that's when the second guessing begins. Step back and get some feedback from others, then you will know if you are headed in the right direction.
Thanks to Randeep for the questions!