Audience participation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dennis Nicholls, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I know that we all rant and rave about boorish behavior in public theaters. But in what circumstances is audience participation reasonable?

    I'm thinking about what my mother told me about showings of Casablanca during WWII. The audiences would often spontaneously rise and join in singing The Marsellaise.

    Are there any other such situations of which you are aware?
     
  2. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    ROCKY HORROR!!!!

    The audience participation isn't just acceptable, it's EXPECTED!
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I think that there are two different kinds of audience participation: spontaneous and planned. The latter is the Rocky Horror type of planned craziness. Spontaneous reactions may in fact have been planned by the filmmaker, (e.g. the jump most audience members gave when Jaws first crashed out of the water) or they may be as your mother described.

    For me spontaneous reactions, such as fright or laughter are a part of watching a movie in a theater and enhance my viewing pleasure. The planned stuff I can do without (I’d prefer to see Rocky Horror sans umbrellas).

    Anything else, including an inadvertent cough, is grounds for immediate execution—a very unobtrusive one, of course.
     
  4. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Spontaneous is good; cheering, clapping, laughing, jumping, screaming, things like that.

    Talking is not, cell phones and pagers going off is not, standing in your seat is not unless you just jumped up then sat back down (like if you cheered then sat back down after a few seconds).

    Audience reactions are half the reason I like going to the theaters, vs waiting for DVD ... a good audience makes a movie experience better, memorable, and worth the time and effort to go out. A bad audience makes me want to find people's mothers and ask if they ever taught their kids manners.
     
  5. Ben Tallen

    Ben Tallen Agent

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    What if you're going to an Ed Wood marathon? Is it okay to lambast it MST3K style? I'd say that if the film is being shown because it's so bad then audience comments add to the atmosphere, never at a new release however. That's just one man's opinion.
     
  6. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    True, but usually what ends up happening is some jerk who thinks he is soooo funny makes sarcastic comments through the movie's entirety loud enough so everyone can hear. I think it works better if it's just you a couple of buddies talking and making wisecracks among your own little group.
     
  7. Johnny wilson

    Johnny wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    I went to see Basic Instint with my girlfiend back in high school and she was mimicking every move from Sharon Stone.[​IMG] [​IMG] I do hate it though when people[​IMG] during the film. Thank you.
     
  8. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Opening day for a Star Wars flick cannot be beat for hootin' and hollerin', cheering and carrying on. And I wouldn't miss it for the world. [​IMG]
     
  9. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    In my experience, sneak previews of anticipated movies and opening night to a slightly lesser extent are the best times to go if you want to see an audience really get into the experience.
    Most memorable experience regarding an audience reaction was when I saw Star Trek II in theaters. At the point when the Enterprise made its first counterattack against Kahn, the entire audience stood up and applauded. I've seen applause many times following a movie, but that's the first and only time I've ever seen a standing ovation during a film [​IMG]
     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    *Sniff*, too bad only one more magical Star Wars show to go [​IMG]
    Laughing at a comedy is fine
    I personally think clapping for a movie is pointless. In 99.9% of the cases, no one involved with the film is present at the screening, therefore no one deserving of your applause is there to recieve it.
    The best stuff is the one-shot callbacks
    Batman Forever: "What does the R Stand for?" some guy in theback screams "RETARD!"
    Empire Strikes Back: My friend and I wait for the moment on Hoth when Leia kisses Luke to scream "INCEST!"
    If a movie is really bad, like say Power Rangers ( don't ask) and there aren't too many people there, I'd say a little MSTieing can be a lot of fun [​IMG]
     
  11. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Oh, and I love watching really scary movies with a crowd. Inevitably, somebody (possibly me) waits until the tension is unbearable and gooses the girl sitting in front of them. AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! [​IMG]
     
  12. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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  13. Brian Teal

    Brian Teal Extra

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    I love going to the theater. The atmosphere is great on opening nights. If someone's cell phone goes off, just stand up and yell at them. Works for me.
    When I saw Episode II opening night, the Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions trailer got a lot of cheers. The next trailer was for Like Mike. I cheered for that one, and then everyone booed me. Can you believe the nerve of some people?? [​IMG]
    Also, one time in a packed theater with stadium seating (8MM's opening night, I believe) me and 3 friends were sitting in the back row. It was a pretty bad movie other than laughing at ol' Nick Cage's acting. My buddy bet me to get a couple of tubs of popcorn and fall a few times in the front row and on the stairway up to our seats. I did so, falling twice, scraping the popcorn back into the tubs each time. I was cracking up by the time I got to my seat, and needless to say, so were my buddies.
     
  14. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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    I sometimes like to go crowd-surfing during action scenes. This works best in the stadium seating theatres. The guys at Episode II weren't really wanting to pass me around, but the opening night of Spider-Man was awesome!

    Mark
     

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