"It Would Have Slowed Down the Film" Overrated Statement or Legit?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by WillG, May 20, 2004.

  1. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I have listenend to many a commentary where they say they were going to use a certain scene at a certain point but it would have "Slowed down the film" from some of the descriptions, it didn't sound too bad to me. Anyone have any good examples where extra scenes would indeed have slowed the film or actually helped it?
     
  2. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    The obvious examples are the LOTR EEs. Now, I love the EEs, and I think they add a lot of depth to the films, and they are my preferred versions to watch. That said, there are points where the additional scenes may be great scenes, but they slow the pace of the film down.
     
  3. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    The first film that popped into my head was Erin Brochovic. I thought that almost all the deleted scenes should have been included in the original cut. It's been quite a while since I've seen it, but there was one scene in particular where Erin collapses in a parking lot because she is sick. Later in the film this is mentioned, but with the scene in its proper place it makes more sense.

    I also thought that the deleted opening sequence of My Little Eye REALLY helped set up the movie much better than what was used. I think my biggest gripe is with directors that say that they make cuts for time constraints and the movie is only 90 minutes long!
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There are many movies where 90 minutes is the proper running time, not 95. It is the pacing of a particular film that is important and also whether or not a scene contributes to the overall point of the film. At times these two things are mutually exclusive, perhaps the best current example being the LOTR films. For me at least the extended editions on DVD would not have played as well to the general audience as did the theatrical cuts, even though there were some scenes that added a bit to the audience’s understanding of Middle-Earth and the characters.

    You might take a look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as 90-minute movie (actually a bit less, IIRC) that still had contemplated scenes deleted (in this case not developed), due to Disney’s insistence that they did not add to the plot development and inhibited the narrative flow.

    Or consider The Wizard of Oz, where the brilliant dance by the Scarecrow was deleted, for similar reasons—as was the jitterbug number.

    Although a case may be made for the inclusion of a few scenes, I mostly think that a good many films today suffer from self-indulgent editing, where the filmmakers become so enamored with a particular scene that they don’t edit tightly enough for the good of the entire film.
     
  5. DougFND

    DougFND Second Unit

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    I'm reminded of T2. My first impression after leaving the theater was how the movie just never slowed down.

    The added scenes for the Special Edition are excellent, but I can see where they would have detracted from the non-stop feeling I had seeing it the first time.
     
  6. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    For me it's Apocalypse Now Redux. The whole french plantation scene just stops the movie. I remember Coppola saying as much in "Hearts Of Darkness, A filmakers Apocalypse"

    Granted, I've only watched this version once, as opposed to hte original cut which I've seen to many times to count, so maybe I'll appreciate it more on a second viewing.
     
  7. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I think every choice the director makes for the film is important, and finding a balance between maintaining the momentum of a film and including scenes that are fun, informative, or character building.

    The momentum of a film can really make or break a great film, much like any other factor like production design, scripting, and casting.
     
  8. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    Excellent example because this is the only James Cameron movie that I prefer the theatrical edition of. The additional scenes don't amount to a significant percentage of the running time but serve to make the film feel *much* more slowly paced.
     
  9. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Have you ever watched a movie that was 90 minutes long that felt like it would never end? Or a 3 hour film that seemed like it just started? That's pacing.

    To answer the original question, pacing is the primary concern in every editing room, everywhere, therefore it's far from an overrated statement or sentiment. Pacing is the very core of film editing. The simple assemblage of footage is not editing, it's the careful choices that dictate how exciting a film will be.
     

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