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Midweek Movie Mouth-off: filming gimmicks

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Whatever happened to straight forward filming? Between 3D, continuous shots, found footage, heck even shooting a movie over an eleven year period a la Boyhood, there are lots of different gimmicks to choose from when making a movie. Some work, some don’t. Now, we have an entire movie shot on an iPhone. Granted, it was mostly done with budget and permit requirements in mind, but still it is an intriguing idea.

Personally, I don’t mind these sorts of gimmicks, when they’re done right. When they’re done wrong, or overdone, it seriously detracts from the movie. For example: I am so sick of found-footage films. The set up to explain why a bunch of teenagers are filming everything they do is usually contrived, more often than not it adds nothing to the story and gets incredibly tedious to watch. The trend was novel when it started but it’s incredibly overdone, and advertising the fact that it’s a ‘found-footage’ experience will make me avoid it like the plague.

What about you? Do gimmicks put you off a movie, or attract you to it? Would you go see a movie because of the fact that they shot it on an iPhone, or would you rather avoid all that BS and watch a movie for the movie’s sake?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: May 6, 2015

7 Comments

  1. Blood Emperor Trevor

    May 6, 2015 at 11:09

    Found footage & shaky cam.

    Reply

  2. Kervyn Cloete

    May 6, 2015 at 11:42

    Stupid shaky cam. I would love to blame Paul Greengrass for this for popularizing it with the Bourne movies, but the problem is that Greengrass actually does it well, whereas everybody that jumped on the bandwagon after that just gives me a headache.

    Reply

    • justlikemo

      May 8, 2015 at 07:29

      dont ride on boats, I also don’t like the action cam thing unless I’m in control, like a fps game.

      Reply

      • Kervyn Cloete

        May 8, 2015 at 08:44

        I have no problem with my vision shaking, I very rarely get motion-sickness. My problem is in how it’s often used in filmmaking as a shortcut to hide the lack of action skills of the performers, under the pretense of making it more real.

        The Raid director Gareth Evans never uses it and his reason for that is because he says that he has all these martial artists who training their whole lives to be this good, so you want to show off their skills as clearly as possible, hence no rapid cuts or shaking of the camera.

        Reply

  3. Unavengedavo

    May 6, 2015 at 13:18

    I liked Chronicle, that was actually a good “found footage” movie… But the rest just seem tedious O_o

    Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      May 8, 2015 at 08:47

      Chronicle very cleverly overcame the usual “how could a camera be there, and so perfectly still?” problem by having the guys control it telekinetically. That was very smart. Also the fact that they don’t just use the footage from people’s cameras, but use all cameras in the area, like dashboard cams, security cams, etc.

      There is one scene though, where they go visit that one girl’s house, and she opens the door with a camera that’s recording for the lamest of reasons. Other than that though, they really got over the found footage problem pretty well.

      Reply

  4. justlikemo

    May 8, 2015 at 07:38

    I love gimmicks, but if that’s the only thing the movies based around then go away! Cos the stories gonna suck, then just give me a simple movie like barefoot, if I want all the gimmicks I’ll go watch Avengers.

    Reply

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