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Do You Feel Technical Knowledge Irreperably Changes Your Viewing Pleasure?


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#1 Francisco Martins

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

I'm starting to feel that the more I know, the less I like what's out there or I start noticing things that take me out of the experience, whether its the lighting and possible sources, general coverage, or editing. I'm starting to feel I can't enjoy films like I once used to, using just my gut to feel them out and through that know what worked and what didn't.

Anyone else experience this or agree?
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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:38 PM

I agree, but a well crafted story will pull you in regardless.
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#3 Justin Moore

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:56 PM

I personally feel like it's harder for films to impress me after learning all that I've learned about the filmmaking process, but the ones that DO actually hit all of those marks allow me to enjoy them even more. It's like I have higher expectations now, but I can appreciate good films even more because of it.
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#4 Nicolas Courdouan

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:25 AM

I both agree and disagree.

It sounds like you're saying technical knowledge spoils the experience of watching films. I think it just gives you a new perspective, a new way to enjoy them. But you still enjoy them, at the end of the day.

Five years ago I would watch a film, see a beautiful shot and think "Woaaaa". Now I think "Woaaaaa... How'd they do that? What can I learn from it?" Is this in any way less enjoyable than merely taking it in without thinking about the technical side of it? I don't think so.


However, I do agree that the more I know, the more I watch films with the intention of studying them rather than simply enjoying them, the farther away I get from the story. I find myself enjoying films I would have hated years ago, films with dreadful stories, but with such perfect cinematography, editing, sound, etc. that I actually find myself loving them.

And I kinda dread this, because I fear it could turn me into an all-style, no-substance filmmaker. On the latest projects I've worked on, I sometimes had to give myself a good kick up the backside, realizing that I was all about finding the perfect composition for a shot, rather than wondering what kind of shot would serve the story best.


So it can be a double-edged sword. If you can find the right balance between technique and an entertaining story, it's a win-win situation.

You just have to remember that it's never all about the technique.
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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:10 AM

Interesting thread..

i think it's a problem that faces any artist who knows their craft. I'm sure novelists have trouble enjoying books without critically analysing them, or painters find themselves studying brushstrokes and technique instead of just taking a picture in. As others have said, it both enhances and detracts from the experience. I sometimes have to force myself not to analyse art and just enjoy it, but I prefer that (slight) burden to the alternative of being ignorant of the skill behind its creation.
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#6 Chance Shirley

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:20 PM

"I personally feel like it's harder for films to impress me after learning all that I've learned about the filmmaking process, but the ones that DO actually hit all of those marks allow me to enjoy them even more. It's like I have higher expectations now, but I can appreciate good films even more because of it."

I will only add... when I see a bad movie now, I might dislike the movie, but I have sympathy for the filmmakers. Because I have some understanding of the many things that can go wrong while making a movie.

I'm impressed that anybody ever finishes a feature, especially a low-budget feature. So a genuinely great movie is like some kind of miracle.
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#7 Tom Jensen

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:23 PM

Having technical knowledge certainly give you an appreciation for what you see on the screen. I am able to detach myself and watch a movie. But if it has no story, I start to pay attention the technical aspect and I start looking for the flaws. Either way, I always look for reflections. Especially in old movies.Just keep in mind that a movie is a story and let it take you.
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#8 Blake Z Larson

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:48 PM

I have to agree and disagree. I'm not really looking for technical faults but I'm always subconsciously talking note where the lighting is coming from, what the possible sources are and how the camera movement is being used. Most importantly though, I'm seeing how these elements serve the story or how they make me feel emotionally. If I see lighting or camerawork that doesn't serve the story, that's when I find I'm most bothered by. Otherwise I'm able to sit back and enjoy the film. On a second watching, I do like to break down and examine the film more. I must admit, I'm now watching Inception shot by shot just to examine Wally Pfister's lighting...
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:35 PM

I remember at times painstaking reverse engineering of shots looking at bokeh, catch lights and camera movement, trying to place the camera in the scene and often coming to the conclusion that I was indeed looking through where a wall should be or whatever, not just taking myself out of the scene but actually placing myself in the scene of the set itself. If it happens I just let it happen as it's not as if its unenjoyable - but yeh, some important dialog might be completely missed Posted Image

I find music videos are a much better place to practice that kind of carry on.
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#10 Justin Hayward

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:20 PM

I'm impressed that anybody ever finishes a feature, especially a low-budget feature. So a genuinely great movie is like some kind of miracle.


The more I learn the craft, the more I enjoy films, and the more "miracles" are such an exceptional pleasure.
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#11 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

I'm starting to feel that the more I know, the less I like what's out there or I start noticing things that take me out of the experience, whether its the lighting and possible sources, general coverage, or editing. I'm starting to feel I can't enjoy films like I once used to, using just my gut to feel them out and through that know what worked and what didn't.

Anyone else experience this or agree?

Not in the least. I can spot technical aspects in all of my favorite films, but that doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the film itself. Some people do get turned off by their technical knowledge. Not me though.
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