Media Production Mentoring

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Don't Neglect the Needed Moments

Priest was a moderately enjoyable ride... but it could have been so much better had it included two shots.


This 87min movie would have been much improved with less than 6 seconds of missing footage.

Missing Shot 1: Walk it off
Our hero steps off a ledge into an almost bottomless pit. We cut away to other action for a while and come back to him, now at the bottom... walking around.

Huh? How did that happen?

Did he float to the bottom? Did he absorb the shock like Kate Beckinsale in Underworld? Did he have a cool roll move which transferred the force into horizontal momentum? We don't know. And that's the problem. Show us what happened. Help us understand how this character is awesome. And if you do, we'll cheer for him all the more. As it is, we're left scratching our heads wondering what transpired while we were forced to look away.

Missing Shot 2: Take one for the girl
Now, at the end of the movie, our hero is clinging to the side of a speeding train while clasping the hand of a young lady who will fall to her death without him.

Then the train blows up.

He must swing the girl and launch them both away from the blast. When the dust settles, we see the girl in his arms, shaken, but unscathed.

Again: What?

In the flying debris, smoke, and the various shots of what happened to other characters in those important moments, we lost the most important moment of all: The one where our hero saves the girl. We never see him tuck her onto his chest while he uses his back to absorb the impact. We don't see him roll, careful to keep her body shielded in his arms. We are left to imagine how cool that moment must have been for them to survive such a thing.

If they had bothered to get two seconds of landing in a pit and walking away as well as three seconds of bouncing along the desert floor amid a splintering train, we'd have cheered. Missing these needed moments, the rest of the special effects lose their impact. Visuals must support the story.

Those 5 seconds would have made a world of difference. But those two moments weren't the only things left out of the movie. Key motivations and backstory elements were conspicuously absent. They weren't that important for an action horror flick, but they would have helped.

As you work on your productions, carefully consider those needed moments that make your story matter.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

1 comment :

James Ford Nussbaum said...

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