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Filmmaking Rules


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When someone is sleeping and somebody else comes into the room, or passes by them, that person will go over and adjust the cover, or put something on to cover them, even if laying down while awake the person didn't need, or wouldn't even have considered having a cover.  This rule is invariable.

If the person entering the room or passing by has affection for the person sleeping, they will kiss them after adjusting the cover.  This rule is almost invariable.

 

If someone says something has never happened, it will happen at some point later on.  This rule is almost invariable.

 

More rules to follow.

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Here is a rule for consideration-deep graves are always easily dug regardless of the terrain, the lack of useful digging tools and the physical condition of the digger.

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In classic movies, any woman who it is implied willingly engages in sex before marriage will ultimate pay a heavy price for her decision, up to and often including her demise.

And now here's a more modern filmmaking rule.

If you happen to be a movie director, whenever in doubt always remember you can NEVER add enough CGI effects into your picture.

Yep, always remember those kids out there who now make up the vast majority of the movie going audience just LOVE this stuff, and that this kind'a thing will also help sell your movie throughout the rest of the world a whole lot better too.

However, and on the other hand, if you decide to film your movie in Black&White and in some kind of an attempt to make it seem "more artsy", do not expect this same audience to attend your movie in droves.

(...I hear it somehow "hurts their eyes" and/or gives the youngins the impression that your movie is "dated"..."dated", and as in the thought that whatever you show being depicted on the screen, happened before they were born, and thus "dated")

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Darn, there was a list of Movie Rules floating all over the Internet about ten or twenty years ago (ie. "Bad news must always come on an answering machine, even if everyone uses voicemail by now", and "Any backstage Hollywood movie studio will always have some random cowboy, nun and showgirl extras milling about, looking for their soundstage, regardless of what's actually filming"), but can't find any way to look it up.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go shopping downtown, and remember to pick up a two-foot baguette and some leeks to stick up out of the bag.

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In making a western with a derivative plot (farmer's vs cattlemen; cattlemen vs sheepmen eg) and the usual crap script, there must always be a town dominated by a single greedy person. In that town must be a saloon. In that saloon must be a piano player, who need not be visible, but must always sense when things get tense so he can suddenly stop playing. That piano player can only play one of two tunes: Golden Slippers or Little Brown Jug.

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When someone is climbing, or going across a steep slope, or the face of a building, trying to get away from someone, or some place, or get to someone, or some place, they will slip and hang by their hands for a moment and then regain their footing.  This rule is invariable.

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8 hours ago, Thenryb said:

In making a western with a derivative plot (farmer's vs cattlemen; cattlemen vs sheepmen eg) and the usual crap script, there must always be a town dominated by a single greedy person. In that town must be a saloon. In that saloon must be a piano player, who need not be visible, but must always sense when things get tense so he can suddenly stop playing. That piano player can only play one of two tunes: Golden Slippers or Little Brown Jug.

And don't forget "Camptown Races". ;)

And that piano player will inevitably be wearing a bowler or Derby hat.

Even in crowded and busy New York City the star will have NO trouble finding a parking spot RIGHT IN FRONT of the building he wants to get into on one of it's busiest streets.

In both Westerns and contemporary settings, a SINGLE CANDLE will light up a room with the luminescence of a 75 watt light bulb.  And in many 30's and '40's films lung cancer isn't really a worry.  Although just about EVERYBODY smokes in these movies, an almost equal amount often snub them out after two or three drags.  And also seem to usually drink only HALF cups of coffee.

Sepiatone   PS:  And every time I hear "Golden Slippers" in a western I get the urge for a bowl of cereal! ;) 

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In classic movies, whenever a man and woman are walking somewhere together, the man must grasp the arm of the woman just above the elbow. This rule applies regardless of the relationship between the two.

In classic movies, if a woman is being pursued, she will always fall so that she can be caught by the pursuer regardless of how slow he is.

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If something scandalous or upsetting happens, one woman in the scene will need to faint.  It might be the leading lady, or it could be someone's mother, but in classic film, some women just cannot handle it. 

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4 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

If something scandalous or upsetting happens, one woman in the scene will need to faint.  It might be the leading lady, or it could be someone's mother, but in classic film, some women just cannot handle it. 

Yes, and this of course has come to be called "The Aunt Pittypat Effect", speedy...

 

tumblr_lnkrorgcoW1qbgi86o1_500.gif

;)

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2 hours ago, Thenryb said:

In classic movies, if a woman is being pursued, she will always fall so that she can be caught by the pursuer regardless of how slow he is.

Here's a fun bar bet to try:  Ask a male and a female movie fan to name their "favorite" worst-movie cliche', and seal your prediction in an envelope.  The guy will usually pick one of the easy ones Siskel & Ebert used to joke about, like "Every confrontation with the villain takes place on a skyscraper", or "Every car chase knocks over a fruit vendor"--But for the girl's prediction, you make a great show of your "psychic" abilities, putting a hand to your head like the Professor from X-Men, and witness her astonishment as she opens the envelope and it reads "I hate when the girl always trips when she's being chased!"

...Let me know if this ever doesn't work, it's never failed so far.  :P

Fortunately, movie couples in bed have the Couples Blanket:  It's irregularly shaped, so as to cover the woman's chest in bed, while leaving the guy's open to the waist.

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The lower the movie's budget, the more bullets a gun will shoot.  A revolver can shoot as many as ten bullets.  Evidently an expedient to control the budget on guns.  This can be expressed formulaically as the number of bullets a gun shoots is inversely proportional to the movie's budget, or more formally:

Bg = 1/ßm

Where

Bg is the value of bullets shot from a gun, and

ßm   is the budget of the movie.

 

This rule is variable by definition.

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Oh, so many. There have been threads like this before, possibly multiple times. I know I've previously mentioned:

Any major character in a movie who drives their car up to a building where they have some sort of appointment, there will always without fail every time be an open space right in front of the building. No one ever has to park down the street and walk two or three blocks in an old movie. It never happened not once ever.

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UUummmmm........

Now, WHERE have I read THAT before?  :rolleyes:

Here's another concerning classics....

In Westerns and contemporary stories, a person will only bleed when WOUNDED by a bullet.  But, when the bullet KILLS them there'll be no blood at all.  And when shot, you don't die instantly.  You can actually STAND there for half a minute when shot with a .44 and fall slowly to the ground.

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

UUummmmm........

Now, WHERE have I read THAT before?  :rolleyes:

Here's another concerning classics....

In Westerns and contemporary stories, a person will only bleed when WOUNDED by a bullet.  But, when the bullet KILLS them there'll be no blood at all.  And when shot, you don't die instantly.  You can actually STAND there for half a minute when shot with a .44 and fall slowly to the ground.

Sepiatone

Okay, scrolling up and seeing you did say this already in one sentence among the many posts before mine. Don't take it too personally, Sepia. People have said the exact same thing I have as few as one post later dozens of times over the years. It drives me nuts, but I see I'm now guilty of it, too! 

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Okay, here's one that hopefully no one else has already said. Whenever a character sneezes or coughs in an old movie, it's never just incidental (unless it's for comic effect). Someone else will say, "Are you all right?", and the character will say, "Oh, I'm fine. I just have a little cold." Then within 20 minutes, that character will be dead! (Or alternately that character will just barely and miraculously survive being deathly ill and his/her loved ones will weep and hug when the doctor announces the danger has passed).

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

UUummmmm........

Now, WHERE have I read THAT before?  :rolleyes:

Here's another concerning classics....

In Westerns and contemporary stories, a person will only bleed when WOUNDED by a bullet.  But, when the bullet KILLS them there'll be no blood at all.  And when shot, you don't die instantly.  You can actually STAND there for half a minute when shot with a .44 and fall slowly to the ground.

Sepiatone

Along with that, when a character that was previously featured in the film dies, he or she will die face up in the camera.  

When the leading lady is dying of some tragic disease and is bedridden, she will always be made up and looking gorgeous for the camera.  She never looks sickly as that would be unbecoming of a terminally ill woman. 

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When a woman is pregnant, she never explicitly says so.  You'll see her coming out of a doctor's office, or knitting tiny booties.  Her husband will discover the news when he walks in on her practicing how to fold cloth diapers.  The next scene will show her in the hospital, cradling her new bundle of joy.  She is beautifully made up for the camera and doesn't look exhausted at all.  

If there is time that passes between the woman discovering her pregnancy and her having the baby, she always looks the same and never has to wear larger clothing.  Maternity clothing does not exist in classic film. 

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Okay, here's one that hopefully no one else has already said. Whenever a character sneezes or coughs in an old movie, it's never just incidental (unless it's for comic effect). Someone else will say, "Are you all right?", and the character will say, "Oh, I'm fine. I just have a little cold." Then within 20 minutes, that character will be dead! (Or alternately that character will just barely and miraculously survive being deathly ill and his/her loved ones will weep and hug when the doctor announces the danger has passed).

And whatever you do, even if they have the Killer Cough, don't send them to a hospital--

If you see an old dad, or the cop's partner, on a hospital bed, presumably with IV tubes and machines going ping, they won't make it to the end credits.  In movies, people check into a hospital, but they don't check out.

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When someone is carrying a bag or tray of eggs, and they are being careful not to let them get damaged, something will happen to break them.

A corollary of this states that when someone puts an egg in their coat or pants pocket, they will forget it is there and either sit on it, or slap it, or someone else, all unaware will slap it and break it, causing great distress to that person--the one with the egg in their pocket.

These rules are invariable.

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