Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What I like in movies? Opinions (not onions) about art of movie making part 2½ /2

In this final and last part of this post we are diving into my opinion about things that create ambience; Movie sound design/music, lighting and animation & special effects in live action movies. Then we have covered almost every base. Of course there is a lot more what it comes to movie making than just these but these are shown in final picture what we call a movie. 


Let's start from the really important part for me: Sound and music. You can't really have movie without sound or music. Even old mute films had live pianist or even orchestra playing on the background. Now days sound is really important and sound design is something I loved to do in my school projects. I just really liked it.  Music and sounds are what make movie alive inside your head.
They create the ambience by embracing your hearing sense and deepening you into the story.
Musicals are something I've always liked but somehow haven't watched as much as I'd like to. It's really sad. Lindworm likes musicals a lot. Her favourite musical movies are Grease and Rocky horror picture show. She also likes Cats. (Art below by Lindworm. Thanks again love for this soundgirl <3)



Sound/Music: Music and sounds have always been really important to me. I couldn't live without them. I have musical background and I've played bass and guitar for about 7-8 years now. After graduating from movie school I thought I would like to make movie music but it turned out it really wasn't my thing. I am way more suited for story telling. What kind of music I like in movies? Well, as a fan of classical music, my taste is always leaning towards instrumental melodic fantasy movie music. I love listening movie and game soundtracks. I adore instrumental soundtracks of Lord of the rings trilogy and Hobbit but Disney animations and Studio Ghibli's songs with vocals are just as good! They just are so good music. 

One of my favourite tracks from whole symphony. It's really well composed. 
Thanks to Howard Shore. He is amazing composer. 
He has composed all songs in LOTR and Hobbit.


As I mentioned in part 1/2 The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is one of my 
favourite Disney movies of all time and this song... Wow, it's amazing!
 Lyrics they are so good and symbolic. They really suit the character Frollo very well. 
Composed by Alan Menken. Love his astonishing work.



What kind of music I hate in movies? Well, I hate dance pop and crap old school rock/metal. As I do outside of movies. I hate it when they use some kind of popular mainstream pop/rock in a movie.
It doesn't matter what kind of movie it is. It's awful!
(I am not talking about documents or movies that are based on musicians but you get my point)
Best example from worst music comes from movie The Great Gatsby
(latest version 2013. Directed by Baz Luhrmann).
 Films story happens in 1920s and has mainstream pop as a background music in every party scene.
It really is repulsive.
 But story wise what can I say without spoiling anything. Hrmm... I liked that the movie was from the point of the bystander. Main character was observing lives of others rather than his own. Movie is based on a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it explains it's narrative nature.
All though I liked the style how story is told I didn't agree with the character who is telling the story.
I think the main character, the bystander, didn't give fair treatment to some of the characters in his story and that's why I can't really say that I like the movie, quite opposite actually.
 I understand it's the character who is telling the story and
it's characters opinions and morals but just didn't agree with them.

These songs are terrible! In the movie and outside the movie!
I hate them! I am not a person who lets a detail to ruin movie
but this, this wasn't a detail! It ruined big part for me! It's supposed to be 1920?!
People who claim this makes movie unique, I face palm to you.
It doesn't. It's just plain disgusting. I am sorry but it is.


I always listen music when I do something what requires a lot of focus and imagination such as writing. I think it helps me to get into the mood and visualize the world I am making in my head.
My favourite youtube composer is named Adrian von Ziegler.
Here's some of his music. It is amazing! Check it out!

Evocation is my favourite song from his Celtic music collection!
So good! Love it! He is really talented and if one of my fantasy films
 ever gets made I am going to want to use his music in it.


Movie The Artist (directed by Michel Hazanaviciuz) 
is brilliantly made and filled with music but has none of sound design we know today. 
It's really well made movie all though genre isn't my favourite (Romantic drama). 
The Artist tells a story of a mute film actor at era when sound were mixed with mute picture.
 It demonstrates well the impact movie world had when sound was introduced
 and mute films started dying out.

This is the first shot what is shown in movie. It tells the story pretty much straight forward.
There is sound waves going into the main character ears making him suffer greatly.

These are first lines of the movie. I strongly suggest watching this film if you are into
romantic dramas or just well made movies in general. :)
All though film is made in 2011. Lines in this movie are made old fashion mute film style.
 Director Hazanavicius says the observation what inspired him to make this movie; He was tired of people to be able to follow movie just with hearing and use their telephones at same time. He wanted to make people actually watch movie as it was long time meant to be watched. Pretty neat if you ask me.


All though sounds are really relevant part of the movie it's usually the most underrated job in movie making. Everyone is listening just music of the movie but you don't actually need music to movie be perfect. Most fantasy are often built focusing on music because you want to keep it as fantasy, something to imaginable but in horror you want something realistic to basically make it more scary. Horror films are usually made with only minimalistic music and heavy, comprehensive sound design because it's the sound what creates the atmosphere not solely the music.


This is prologue for a film Antichrist (director Lars von Trier)
All though there's only music in the background of this clip,
I can say that sound design in actual movie is great,
(This is just a prologue. What is prologue? click here to find out. It's my past post about drama arc)
Like every other Lars von Trier film, Anti-Christ quite harsh
and I don't recommend to watch actual film if you are easily shocked.
This prologue is fine though, it's really well made and every shot is thematic.


On a side note. In Finnish films there is something I found infuriating. The sound levels. They are turned way down! Why? I don't know! Why this is in every Finnish movie?! It's really annoying. Maybe it's just way Finns talk? Mumbling with a monotone voice.. great, sounds 'bout right...  -.-
Don't get me wrong I am not a ''speaker'' myself but when you are actor making a movie. Speak. Speak clearly so everyone can understand. That is just one of the reasons why I don't like 90% of Finnish movies but we aren't focusing them right now. I mentioned dubs in animations in last post but they're totally another thing.

This is from Finnish Sketch show Pulkkinen. ''Äänimies Esko'' (eng. Sound guy Esko)
is a parody character about sound mixers of Finland. It's quite self ironic really.
Btw. I don't consider any Finnish sketch show funny. Just not my type.
I don't like stand up comedy either.


Lighting is just like in sound design something that you can really stand out, be creative, think outside the box but only few people have courage to do so because it's commonly accepted that artistic lights and sounds are just disturbing to a viewer and are something viewer doesn't want to focus on. I disagree but yeah what can you do x)

Lighting: Just as in photography; unintentionally poorly lighted pictures are dreadful! This applies movies as well. So, it's pretty self explanatory that movies that are poorly lighted are bad. Well lighted are descent but nothing memorable, I mean they are necessary to make movie physically watchable but I consider lighting great when it creates something artistic and atmospheric. For example Horror thriller film named Mr Jones (directed by Karl Mueller) is pretty well lighted and demonstrates how you can create mystical atmosphere without animation in a live action movie. Film is nothing exceptional but lighting was nice. It really created mystic ambience and it suited the story just fine.

This trailer explains why the lighting in the movie is so innovative.
It's really the best part of whole movie! Look how much you can do if you have 
good lighting crew without too much animation at all!
As a side note: Lightning storms are always fun and scary in their own way. In movies those are solely made by lighting crew, I like them. You can see them in a clip too.

Another great movie Lind introduced me to is: Amélie (directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet). Movie is great and lighting is really artistic. Big fan! Thanks Lind dear for reminding me of this great movie.
You can see how artistic you can be only using natural light. This shot is amazing.
On a side note: Soundtrack is also superb, it fits perfectly.

 This shot is interesting and very beautiful. Notice the angle of light.
Follow shadows and try spot where movie lights are.
Little lights on the background create an illusion that they are
 creating those shadows but in reality there is much bigger light on this shot.
Otherwise this picture wouldn't be this warm and well lighted.

Picture below has taken from our apartment. I really love lights and this post inspired me to make one when it's still dark outside in Finland. You can see Worms comic and her dolls also in a picture.

Animation and special effects are something not every movie has. I don't think they're necessary in most genres. Action as you might expect has a lot of special effects, such as exploding cars. Animation is found usually in fantasy movies or even some horror movies what has some kind of supernatural monster in them.

Animation/Special effects: Most of movies I like have some elements of animation and almost nonexistent special effects. I love animations but we're talking 3D Modeling in live action films, green screening etc. You come by animation quite as much in fantasy films as you might imagine. The fantasy creatures are often the best part. I would give an example of a very well made monster. This comes from a Korean movie: The Host. It's movie about father whose kid gets kidnapped by a mysterious monster. Father is destined to save his child with his brother, father and sister. The animation of a monster in amazing in this movie. The walking animation is so well made. It must have take hundreds of hours to perfect it. Also monster looks cool. :)

Here's the trailer of The Host. I don't want to spoil movie by showing the monster too much
 but you can see some of its great moving animation in this trailer. 

Bad animation is just clunky and not believable. Again. If it's a style of a director that's fine. I am talking about just bad animation, animation that looks like it's from the 90s video game.
That's pretty self explanatory. :D

Here's the example of bad animation. Movie is called Lovemilla,
Finnish movie that came to the theaters 6th of February 2015.
Haven't seen it but the trailer convinced me not to.
Here's the picture of quality animation that movie has.
It's supposed to be a space monster. Of course this one is a suit and not a green screen animation but everything that ''thing'' does is animated such as moves and shoots lasers.
So I count it as a half animated.


Movie what I despise, doesn't have that bad animation, no but the hype it got and the quality of story. I give you Avatar (directed by James Cameron). It's spectacle what in my opinion wasn't worth of it.
Not at all animation isn't even that good. Come on people! Stop being so hysteric about it!
 Nothing much more to say about this one. I really never liked sci-fi anyways. 

You overrated blockhead..


In my understanding the special effects are huge explosions, grumbling buildings and guns.
I really hate all of those things. I don't like special effects at all. They're okay on bare minimalistic scale but I hate when the special effects contain destroying stuff worth of millions and millions.

This example comes from a James bond movie Skyfall. In the opening scene 007 is chasing after a bad guy for like first 10 minutes and there is literally millions worth of budget
spent in destroying scenery and objects such as cars, trains and windows.
I've always hated destroying just because to make movie look ''great and epic''.
 It's so unnecessary and far, far from epic.What a waste.
Storywise it's an action film. I don't like action films. So, no comments.

Here's just small part of destruction what happened in this movie. Arh disgusting.
Sorry couldn't find better clip from the youtube and sound is kinda bad
 but you can just mute it and watch the mayhem occur. It's all good.

I think only good kind of special effects are animated and it's beside the point of special effects.
Best kind of special effects are just make ups, costumes and such.
Like I explained on last post. I don't approve any kind of destruction.
It's okay if you drop a glass but that is not a special effect or is it?

On  a side note: Lind and I watched a documentary about state of animation studios. This document focuses to the animation studio that made 3D animation in Life of Pi. Animation studio Rhythm & Hues Studios went bankrupt only two weeks after Life of Pi simply because they weren't paid enough but why? Animation in this movie was great but this documentary reveals truth about film industry as a whole. It shows how little they appreciate animators. All though Life of Pi was success animators (who did all the work in the movie) weren't paid enough because actor(s) took the huge slice as did production companies and everything else. Animators got paid least and studio ended up bankrupt as a result and by the way. The film would look like a giant green screen without animators, so... Think about it. I would appreciate if anyone cares about animation at all takes time to watch this documentary. Thank you.


So that covers it. It's a long post, again but hey it was really interesting to write this. It took some time but that's fine. I like to write. I thank you if you cared enough to read all three of these posts.
Hope you enjoyed as much as I writing this.

-'Lar

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