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Movie Camp


brianNH
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OK. OK.  I told my wife last night that I would comment about this, so here goes. 

 

Am I missing the point of this summer's Movie Camp series?  I thought the set-up was to have filmmakers talk to potential or future members of the profession -- whatever age, I suppose, but presumably young.  Now, I've watched a few of the Movie Camp nights, and I can't really tell that the build-up is coming through.

 

Last night we saw Robin Hood, and how many times have we been introduced to the movie by Essentials co-hosts or other guest presenters?  They all say pretty much the same things about what makes the film memorable.  But last night I thought we might get a different take -- something along the lines of why a filmmaker would want to make this movie in the first place. 

 

I'm still of a generation that actually read stories from books when we were kids.  The Robin Hood stories were famous, and no doubt the people making movies in the 30's and 40's knew these stories from their own childhood.  So what is it about Robin Hood that would propel someone to bring the story to life the way they did in 1938?  Why such a big production this time?  Why make it so gorgeous?  These are the new things I think young movie-makers might like to know.  (Rather than "I hope this movie makes you want to go swing from trees.")

 

The other night that comes to mind is the night devoted to short film (yes, the schedule that got messed up)  The two shorts that particularly struck me were the bike-riding monkeys and the refrigerator promotional.  I thought it a wasted opportunity not to make mention to young filmmakers of some other uses of film production beside pure entertainment  or storytelling.  There are people who get quite creative when making advertising or promotional films for companies.  I remember hearing John Cleese at one time loved making them.  As for the other film short, there was someone many years ago who tried to find an entertaining way to teach kids about the proper handling and safety surrounding bicycles.  Who would have thought?!

 

Well, I don't want to go on too long here, but I thought this summer's "kids" centered programming could offer some new insights as to why people make the films they do.  Rather than hear again that the music's great.   The Movie Camp series sounds promising, and I hope they flesh it out some more.  (Actually, I suggested a rather tongue-in-cheekily devised alternative in another thread that went cold a week or so ago!)

 

So, OK, we can tell my wife that I wrote down some of the stuff I was pitching at her last night.  This will be a great relief in our Granite State household, and she can get back to her Clash of Clans wars.

 

Thanks for reading,

Brian       

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OK. OK.  I told my wife last night that I would comment about this, so here goes. 

 

Am I missing the point of this summer's Movie Camp series?  I thought the set-up was to have filmmakers talk to potential or future members of the profession -- whatever age, I suppose, but presumably young.  Now, I've watched a few of the Movie Camp nights, and I can't really tell that the build-up is coming through.

 

Last night we saw Robin Hood, and how many times have we been introduced to the movie by Essentials co-hosts or other guest presenters?  They all say pretty much the same things about what makes the film memorable.  But last night I thought we might get a different take -- something along the lines of why a filmmaker would want to make this movie in the first place. 

 

I'm still of a generation that actually read stories from books when we were kids.  The Robin Hood stories were famous, and no doubt the people making movies in the 30's and 40's knew these stories from their own childhood.  So what is it about Robin Hood that would propel someone to bring the story to life the way they did in 1938?  Why such a big production this time?  Why make it so gorgeous?  These are the new things I think young movie-makers might like to know.  (Rather than "I hope this movie makes you want to go swing from trees.")

 

The other night that comes to mind is the night devoted to short film (yes, the schedule that got messed up)  The two shorts that particularly struck me were the bike-riding monkeys and the refrigerator promotional.  I thought it a wasted opportunity not to make mention to young filmmakers of some other uses of film production beside pure entertainment  or storytelling.  There are people who get quite creative when making advertising or promotional films for companies.  I remember hearing John Cleese at one time loved making them.  As for the other film short, there was someone many years ago who tried to find an entertaining way to teach kids about the proper handling and safety surrounding bicycles.  Who would have thought?!

 

Well, I don't want to go on too long here, but I thought this summer's "kids" centered programming could offer some new insights as to why people make the films they do.  Rather than hear again that the music's great.   The Movie Camp series sounds promising, and I hope they flesh it out some more.  (Actually, I suggested a rather tongue-in-cheekily devised alternative in another thread that went cold a week or so ago!)

 

So, OK, we can tell my wife that I wrote down some of the stuff I was pitching at her last night.  This will be a great relief in our Granite State household, and she can get back to her Clash of Clans wars.

 

Thanks for reading,

Brian       

 

Warner Brothers wanted to make their first color film utilizing the 'new' three-strip Technicolor process.    Like the chicken or the egg, I don't know which came first but I assume Jack Warner and his producers reviewed the planned films in the hopper and picked the one they felt would benefit the most by using color;  an adventure, period picture.   The colorful costumes and other props were designed to show off the use of color. 

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BrianNH--I didn't watch the shorts, so all I can say is they think they're dealing with short attention spans--so I guess that is why TCM is doing the movie shorts.

 

As to the feature "The Adventures of Robin Hood"--I think TCM is trying to catch kids too late in the growing up process--I saw my 1st movie when I was three--it was "Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang--it's about a flying car--then, I was enchanted with the idea--now I wouldn't recommend the film for anyone over 5.  We both read books growing up--I think TCM is trying to show the possible wonders of film & the changes that can be made from book to film--but I also think TCM is flubbing the intros.  Hopefully, the films will speak for themselves--& TCM will come out with a better thought out "Movie Camp II".

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Yeah, and besides, and like the man kind'a sort'a says at the end of a certain notable Western:

 

"When legend becomes fact, film the legend...in vivid Technicolor."

 

(...and of course the story of Robin Hood IS mostly legend anyway, right?!...and so why NOT 'embellish' the story visually too, right?!)

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I've been disappointed by the series too and Robin Hood should never have been included, An over rated movie with inaccurate pretrials of history that is always sited for it's color. 20th Century Fox did better with that so it was just another instance of Jack being extravagant.  Maybe they can come back to that theme and do it some justice, or not.

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yeah, been kinda disappointed here

thought they were supposed to be encouraging young filmmakers

I can hear their enthusiasm for these films, but no connection, info or advice to young folks wanting to get into the business

I'd like to see them working on a film of theirs, showing how it comes together

 

maybe more still to come ??

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I've been disappointed by the series too and Robin Hood should never have been included, An over rated movie with inaccurate pretrials of history that is always sited for it's color. 20th Century Fox did better with that so it was just another instance of Jack being extravagant.  Maybe they can come back to that theme and do it some justice, or not.

 

Are we talking THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD??  If so, I couldn't disagree more.  Not only is it an exquisite bit of picture-making, from script to cast to photography to music, but in 1938 it was a timely story of a people being oppressed by a group of interlopers.

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I have to disagree solely on the matter of color--20th Century Fox Technicolor was always gaudy and shockingly unrealistic, to me; it threw me out of the film.  TAORH, from my remembered viewpoint as a kid seeing TAORH the colors were dazzlingly natural--I wanted to jump into the screen (this was Long before Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo", where something like that happens) & join the action.  Since I couldn't, the next best thing was learning all about the film & actors--once I learned more about Olivia de Havilland, I learned about Bette Davis--& wanted to know more about her.  The process is kind of like dominoes falling--whether TCM has got that 1st domino to fall--I don't know.

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Hey, some interesting peeling back of this topic's layers.  The focus seems to be on Robin Hood, but only insofar as that movie was the one shown last Sunday.  And judging by the varied responses, I think you all have hit on what could be done with a series such as a TCM Movie Camp.

 

As noted, what was available from a studio such as Warner Brothers had an influence on the film.  And the wascally irrepressible Dargo offered the storyline to follow --the legend, naturally, though one of several alternatives could be used as well.  Harding, on the other hand, seems to want to have made a completely different Robin Hood altogether.

 

And here is where I think the camp series could have gone.  Once someone decides to make a movie, he puts in motion a whole journey of decisions that have to be made -- first, of course is what the movie will be about.  I find this quite interesting, as I do when looking at anything of artistic and creative value.  A poet writes poetry when prose is insufficient.  A composer writes music or a painter paints when words fail.   I keep coming back to the question, "Why do filmmakers make the films that they do?"   

 

Explaining some of these initial steps in the process could be intriguing to young audiences who are contemplating making movies.  I do hope TCM takes some more time to put together a series of programs that will open doors to the wonderful possibilities of movie-making. 

 

Brian           

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"TCM Movie Camp continues this week with Strangers on a Train (1951), a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense film language. Join Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce this Sunday at 8PM EST on Turner Classic Movies to see this amazing example of how to tell a story using film.

Hitchcock never wasted a single frame in his films. Strangers on a Train is no exception, as every shot is packed full of meaning. In the film, many scenes visually represent the theme of “criss cross” through symmetry, repetition and mimicry. By using these visual techniques, Hitchcock illustrates that the two main characters Bruno (Robert Walker) and Guy (Farley Granger) are flip sides of the same coin – good and evil. This week’s infographic includes some of our favorite “criss cross” moments in the film: "

strangersOnATrainInfographic-1024x1024.j

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I have to disagree solely on the matter of color--20th Century Fox Technicolor was always gaudy and shockingly unrealistic, to me; it threw me out of the film.  TAORH, from my remembered viewpoint as a kid seeing TAORH the colors were dazzlingly natural--I wanted to jump into the screen (this was Long before Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo", where something like that happens) & join the action.  Since I couldn't, the next best thing was learning all about the film & actors--once I learned more about Olivia de Havilland, I learned about Bette Davis--& wanted to know more about her.  The process is kind of like dominoes falling--whether TCM has got that 1st domino to fall--I don't know.

 

Yes, the color in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD is wonderful as is the movie.

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I can add to the OP complaint about "Movie Camp". If TCM would allocate ANY MONEY to real writers, intros & outros could be well written and inspiring conversation.

They need to be written in such a way for the audience to be "captured" by what's been said, so they can't wait for next week's installment.

 

While I enjoy TCMs movies, I have always felt they have greatly missed the opportunity to "hook" viewers with interesting film knowledge & history. If viewers came to expect professional "notes", I think they'd tune in just to see what's being said and to learn something about a film - even if they are already familiar with it.

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Finally!  The older guy didn't flub the introduction, he gave interesting & useful information (about the instrument called a theremin & why it is used, especially in sci-fi movies)  but the younger guy just acted as secondhand jokester (although his 1st joke did have a point--You too, can see a horrible film for your 1st film & become part of the movie industry (he 1st saw the movie "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975)) Now for the the film to do its' part--will post later about the ending.

 

The outro--serviceable by the older fellow (you just saw what the world of film is like when Everything--cast, technicians, etc.--is hitting on all cylinders.  Younger fellow just reeled off a string of sci-fi classic titles--"E.T., "Blade Runner", etc.  Really need something good to close with--outro diluted impact of "The Day the Earth Stood Still".  How to fix--I don't know.

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I can understand Brian's disappointment in a way....

 

I too, misunderstood what something was, as opposed to what I THOUGHT and hoped it would be...

 

For me, it's the "commentary" feature on DVDs. 

 

I at first thought it would be a collection of specific clips from the movie and some guy, or two of them discussing what made that particular scene of the movie so vital, or explanations of how the scene was done, or some anecdotal story or such.

 

Instead, all it turned out to be was two or more guys TALKING about nothing particularily interesting while the movie was shown in it's entirety.  No different than sitting in a theater and having two inconsiderate azzwipes sitting behing you!  THAT'S the only thing about a DVD that gives one the "real" theater experience!

 

I suppose TCM could if they thought to, compile many episodes of "movie camp" for college film study classes.  And they properly realized that the crux of their viewing audience doesn't tune in for any kind of classroom.  The TRIVIA info is interesting, but most movie buffs don't care much about how the WATCH WORKS when they inquire about the time.

 

Oh, and I first saw a Theremin on a "Mr. Professor" type TV show back in the early '60's.  Fascinating instrument.  I DID try playing one somewhere, and it's FAR from being as easy as it might look!  But cool nonetheless!

 

 

 

Sepiatone

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If TCM had actually been serious about this series being some kind of "more in-depth and meaningful analysis of the technical end of classic films and film-making" and in efforts to impart some truly meaningful knowledge to those out there in television land who are or might be interested in this sort of thing, THEN they would have given these two jokers AT LEAST another TEN MINUTES for their wraparounds, and thus MAYBE in THIS case, we might have learned a little bit more than just that THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was the first A-picture Sci-Fi flick from any major studio back in the day AND how to play a Theremin...and something of which I already knew!

 

(...though unlike Tiki, I've never personally played one)

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I suspect, Mr. Dargo, that you may be on to something here.  I get the sense that for the past several years TCM has been attempting to give a nod to younger audiences, though judging by some of the message board threads, this nod has not always been an acknowledged success.  Hmm... A design problem? Or a launch problem?  Not sure where the scales tip. 

 

I agree that a few more minutes going into the movie and coming out could work wonders.  Perhaps even more emphasis from the hosts -- being professionals, for crying out loud -- on aspects of their own work which  raised similar problems that the given night's movie had to wrestle with and solve. 

 

Again, this is just a topic that I find extraordinarily fascinating.

 

Brian 

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I'm guessing this will become a yearly or twice a year thing with TCM--Part II will be more in-depth (I Hope), Part III, etc.--if TCM is really serious about this--hopefully TCM will follow advice found in this thread--everyone has had something of importance to say.  I just think TCM is taking things too slowly.

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 I haven't watched any of the Movie Camp commentaries.

I haven't been avoiding them per se, but I guess he movies being shown so far haven't interested me (or I had seem them recently).

 

I admit that I kind of miss the Essentials Jr.

I'm a fan of Bill Hader and I liked a lot of the movies that aired when he was the host. 

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Introduction to "Singin' in the Rain was short, concise, & accurate--this was filmed at the twos' studio--no blank background--now SITR has to do its' job--please comment. as there was no blank screen this week--TikiSoo, thank you & anyone else who mentioned that a blank set could be improved upon--TCM is doing its' part--the colors fairly pop off the screen--no faded print tonight--will post after they wrapup.

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I haven't watched any of the other Movie Camp entries so I cannot compare today's background to what was presented in previous entries.  I find the concept of it interesting however, I will have to see what other films they're planning on showing in this series.  I didn't even know that tonight's film was for Movie Camp.  I saw that Singin' in the Rain was scheduled as part of Debbie Reynolds day and decided that I would use that film to kick off my Gene Kelly birthday tribute evening of films!

 

I absolutely love this movie, it never gets old.  I've seen it a billion times, seen it in the theater twice, I have the blu ray.  Such a great movie. 

 

"I've got more money than Calvin Coolidge...Put together!"

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