Sometimes there are movies that get under your skin for all the right reasons. Either the storyline is so gripping that it stays with you for days after. Or there are lines in the script that you find you go over and over again in your mind.
And then there are the other movies. The ones that definitely leave an impression …but in all the wrong ways. Learning how to analyse films good and bad, is one of the best ways to develop your own craft.
Was it bad because the acting was wooden. Did plot have more holes than Swiss cheese. You felt mislead by the genre and the actors don’t seem to suit their roles. You lost interest quickly?
To be fair, not too many movies make me feel this way. As a filmmaker, I always try to see the positives. I know how much effort and energy goes into making a motion picture and if the one I choose to zone out to on a Friday night doesn’t do it for me, it doesn’t mean that the film is bad. It’s just not the film for me.
But as a filmmaker it’s also really important to analyse the films you watch. What worked, what didn’t and why? You can learn so much from watching films that you can then apply to your own work.
Even Quentin Tarantino says “I steal from every movie ever made.”
Sometimes it’s very easy to pick apart a film and I think picking apart the bad ones is often much easier than figuring out what worked with the great ones. But if you want to make movies, then it’s worth getting analytical with the films you watch. Learn learn learn.
This will also help you understand who the audience is for your own projects as well. If you’re looking to get a project off the ground, one of the first things any potential funder will ask you, whether you’re making a documentary or a major motion picture, is “who’s going to watch this film, who is the audience?”
Paramount, Netflix, Amazon. They will know who a film is for well before they green light production. They have to know who the intended audience is. It then feeds into their choice of suitable actors, locations, wardrobe choices, everything! Everything relates to who the audience is that’s going to pay for a ticket (or subscription). If huge studios just made a film and hoped people liked it, they would not be in business.
Don’t be fooled by the bright lights and the idea that film making is all Art. It’s a business like any other and films are the product. I’m not trying to diminish the incredible creativity and talent that goes into making a film. I’m just pointing out that the big players always start with ‘Who is the audience for this story?’.
And this leads me to the experience I had recently when I watched House of Gucci.
I have a lot of feelings about this film. Considering the biographical crime drama film was directed by the legendary Ridley Scott, I’ve decided there’s no shame in letting rip either.
So here goes.
This is my honest review of the film inspired by the family behind the Italian fashion empire and why I think it unfolds like a lesson on how not to make a movie in 2022.
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