April 6, 2016 at 1:46AM

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Did using film sink The Force Awakens?

All though alot of press about Director JJ Abrims using mostly film for the making of The Force Awakens, but most of the audience response is negative about the film. One common complaint is that the film didn't have a great look to it. I certainly agree the film had many problems, so so look to it, so so music, rushed pacing, basically a repeat of the original movie and it played it safe and boring not taking any chances. Anyway, am interested in hearing your opinion pro and con as to why the movie disappoints and if film is to blame or partially to blame for its look?

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I can forgive alot of things, however if the story cannot hold my attention, I am gone. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy, eagerly went to the Hobbit, was really disappointed and never saw the other two movies, where as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy have watched over and over. The Force Awakens is like that, if that is the best Disney can do, if they can't advance the story, if that is the best it can look, it could be this is the last time to see Starwars, I certainly will not waste my time watching it on Netflix or dvd. I am not planning to see anymore in the theater, hopefully they will fix the look of the film.

April 6, 2016 at 1:50AM

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The answer to your question is "no".

According to the website Rotten Tomatoes, TFA earned a 92% fresh score and 89% positive audience score with over 200,000 ratings: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_wars_episode_vii_the_force_awakens/

Such high scores from so many people fundamentally invalidates your premise; most people, including myself, really enjoyed the movie!

As for the look of the film...a posting titled "Dear JJ Abrams" about the *possible* look of Star Wars went viral in 2013: http://www.dearjjabrams.com/timeline . Read the timeline. JJ Abrams actually acknowledged the idea that Star Wars should be gritty, not glitzy. Disney actually pushed out the release date. These passionate fans were indeed very happy with the results. So again, not only is your premise false about people not liking it, but also false about not liking it because of its look.

Finally, the idea that film is to blame for making a movies whose most-loved episodes (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back) were shot on film is...nonsensical. Can poor technical decisions wreck a movie? Of course. But JJ Abrams and the Disney crew are not bumbling amateurs. They had a vision, they executed, and the results were 90% successful. Much more successful than, say, The Phantom Menace (which was scored 56% fresh and 60% positive audience response, with 1.2M users weighing in).

I'm sorry you didn't like it, and I fear that haters will be far more likely to vote this answer down rather than non-haters voting it up, but I believe that in order to have a good discussion, one should occasionally consider the facts.

April 6, 2016 at 5:12AM

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I really don't think any audience can tell if something was shot on film or cine digital, so I would question your premise that film had anything to do with the critics of "The Force Awakens".

While I liked this new film, I was disappointed that it seemed to be following the same plot-line as the original 1977 film, "A New Hope". I had expected a lot more from JJ Abrams in terms of story and plot, and definitely felt a sense of déjà vu while watching "The Force Awakens".

I hope that future Star Wars films will have their own original stories, as this one really felt like another JJ Abrams "re-boot" film.

April 6, 2016 at 10:36AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31814

Guy wrote: "I really don't think any audience can tell if something was shot on film or cine digital, so I would question your premise that film had anything to do with the critics of "The Force Awakens"."

I second that. Whether a movie is digital or not has about zero influence on its popularity. What sells is a movie that entertains, which mostly means a good and above all convincing story.

April 6, 2016 at 10:59AM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2402

Good points

April 6, 2016 at 12:09PM

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What sells is a movie that entertains, which mostly means a good and above all convincing story. said Cary Knoop. I was disappointed in the Force Awakens. I do think the story sucked, I thought that Hans Solo looks great and there was little mystery or magic for me, it was one big deja Vu. All the magic of using film was lost on me, this film held no magic to me and so am trying to figure out if it was story or technical. Makes me wonder if lack of film stock and places to develop film account for some of the problems? Altho I think the film was financially successful in the short term, there is a huge rejection among Star Wars fans and for me Starwars may have become like waiting for the next Canon Dslr for video.

April 6, 2016 at 8:38PM

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Your claim that it was negatively reviewed is completely false. It was negatively reviewed by you and your friends most likely which is fine. It's your opinion. You can't just randomly say that the movie was unsuccessful because you didn't like it. It did well in the box office and reviews. But I do understand, that you 'personally' just didn't like it, we all have our opinions.

I'm not sure what you mean that people didn't like that look. Just judging from the reviews from rottentomatoes and metacritic again, the visuals were "stunning" was what a lot of them mentioned.

But on rotten-tomatoes and metacritics it received very favorable reviews. And many reviews have a positive thing about it. And some negative, you can't please everyone.

^^Guy wrote: "I really don't think any audience can tell if something was shot on film or cine digital, so I would question your premise that film had anything to do with the critics of "The Force Awakens"."
I second that. Whether a movie is digital or not has about zero influence on its popularity. What sells is a movie that entertains, which mostly means a good and above all convincing story.^^

Ditto!! Though, I do believe the audience can subconsciously feel if the image is very organic like or very clinical like.

But, in the end, that's what makes movies great, every single person has a completely different understanding, opinion, and take on what they watched depending on what they have experienced in life and that's why I love films!

April 7, 2016 at 3:55PM

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Thinking you can blame the used medium for you not liking it is pretty strange, because it would also mean you would hate 4, 5 and 6, since they were shot on film.

I enjoyed the movie together with my dad: it was fun and a spectacle.
Yes, the story was a clear echo of ep. 4, but I always try to promise myself not to analyse a movie during the first watch: it is more fun that way. Otherwise I'll analyse every movie to death AND spoil it at first sight.

You were disappointed. So much is clear.
I can't tell you why.
But I don't think the used medium is the main cause..

April 7, 2016 at 4:09PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9078

"Your claim that it was negatively reviewed is completely false. It was negatively reviewed by you and your friends most likely which is fine"

Of course that is complete and utter bullshit, not even worth responding to. Nor do you understand the discussion where people of varying opinion get to state their opinion. I am well aware that the studio spent alot of money buying reviews for this movie and that there are many independent movie reviewers on both sides of the issue and it is fine with me if anyone likes this movie and embrace it to do so. I am old school in that I saw the original 3 movies Star wars, Return of the jedi etc and not familiar with the Jar jar binks movies. I do think the JJ Adams Star Trek movies are a surprisingly good reboot. I think this latest starwars movie is ok, but not great and is a bit disappointing and the discussion of its disappoint is rampant on the Internet and opinion in that direction is every bit as valid as any other opinion. I would hope people who love this picture in a civil discussion will be able to do so. I for one am not a fan, there are things I liked, but if story is king, the Force Awakens is a court Jester, but I am happy to entertain intelligent and civil discussion of the positives of this movie where we all benefit from well rounded discussion on all sides. Of course we all know that George Lucas thinks the Force Awakens sucks, but I have heard his opinion, I would like to hear yours as well.

April 9, 2016 at 3:01AM, Edited April 9, 3:04AM

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How is it bullshit? Rotten Tomatoes and metacritics have about a 85% to 90% approval rating. About 10% to 15% don't like the movie. It seems as though you are in the 10% to 15%. Like I said before, it's your opinion that you didn't enjoy the movie but saying it wasn't successful is completely false. The movie had mostly positive reviews and was successful in the box office.

And you obviously didn't read my post other than the first two sentences, I mentioned at the end I know that it's a movie and people will have different opinions. As with every art form in the world, people will have their opinion about it. I never said you opinion of the movie was wrong. I said you were false in saying that The Force Awakens wasn't successful because it obviously was. A billion dollars sold in tickets isn't something to scoff at.

I personally enjoyed the movie myself.

April 11, 2016 at 10:51AM

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"How is it bullshit? Rotten Tomatoes and metacritics have about a 85% to 90% approval rating."

Like he said... Disney bought allot of the reviews and gives "privileges" to those who play nice. If you've been paying any attention to the internet over the last year or two, there has been TONS of leaks and "gates" about the corrupt review/media industry. Make no mistake, there is most definitely a small cabal of people pushing agendas and being paid-off by companies and interest groups. I don't trust anything besides small to mid-sized youtube channels anymore.

April 11, 2016 at 6:17PM, Edited April 11, 6:18PM

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I actually really enjoyed the movie and I don't think that any negativity had much to do with it being shot on film.

The difficulty with the story is that I think J.J. Abrams was restricted by having to tie the movie in to the original trilogy. It felt very much like a transition movie. There was plenty of nostalgia too, to please the fans.

I reckon the next one will be able to go off on it's own story and will benefit from that.

April 9, 2016 at 10:52AM

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Not often i read something so dumb that i am reduced to this but- O.P is retarded.
Force Awakens has done over $2 billion and counting, is the second highest grossing film of all time and was a massive critical success. The consensus among everyone from audiences to film critics was that it was excellent. It's incredibly delusional of you to think other wise. It's literally objective fact that it was a huge commercial and critical success regardless of what any individual thinks about it and you are here asking us why it failed?
You really are quite special.

April 9, 2016 at 7:02PM

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chris
428

It seems to me the OP is trolling.

April 9, 2016 at 8:00PM, Edited April 9, 8:01PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2402

Yup 200% troll of the year. Too bad you never got to shoot film to see how much better it is than digital.

Digital has ruined our industry, good luck making a decent living now. Digital is too easy and the quality is too low for anyone to pay decent money.

I don't get why students pay so much for "film" school now when they aren't using film. That's why it was so expensive, total ripoff in the digital era.

Overall to call TFA a failure is very ignorant. It may be the most successful film of all time for a run, film did not hurt it. The story was a bit weak, but it looked great.

If I were to think of the best looking/most beautiful movie last year, it was the hateful 8. Shot on film...good luck on your porn shoots Lofar. Please stop trolling these boards and confusing inexperienced filmmakers.

April 10, 2016 at 10:29AM

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"Digital has ruined our industry, good luck making a decent living now. Digital is too easy and the quality is too low for anyone to pay decent money."

Film is only better for protectionist union members who are greedy and/or not intelligent enough to adapt... and were grandfathered into the industry and directly benefit from nepotism.

"Digital has ruined our industry, good luck making a decent living now"

Like I said... if you're intelligent/creative enough, you can make a great living. Only the knuckle-dragger neanderthal jobs (that should be gone already) are in danger.

April 12, 2016 at 2:48PM, Edited April 12, 2:54PM

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I wish that was still true. If my work is Neanderthal level I would love to know - www.ninjamonkeymedia.com

I'm lucky to get $150 a day bringing three cameras, lighting, and sound. In the film days this was never possible you would get over $5K for the same job.

I love filmmaking but digital has made it impossible to make a living, especially considering the high costs. (Camera upgrades, hard drives, lenses, lights, computers, software, cloud drive, Vimeo.)

It's a scary time, not much opportunity in the digital world. I have almost ten years of experience and still work mostly free jobs.

April 12, 2016 at 3:10PM

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I hope to someday make a film that "sinks" as much as the Force Awakens has, as the highest grossing film in filmmaking history.

(You can't make this stuff up).

April 10, 2016 at 1:13PM

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I do think the trolls have come out and seek to hijack the discussion.

You can tell who they are because they attack the creditability of people who contribute to the discussion,
instead of contributing an alternative point of view.
To attack someone personally instead of sharing an opinion shows not only a weakness of argument, but a weakness of character as well.
Because they feel threatened.
Most often it is the same people as with other conversations with the same purpose.
My suggestion as I am the OP and made this a discussion that we continue the discussion
and ignore the rants who lack brains to present their position with reason
We don't have to let them hijack this discussion.
If you are a decent person? and if you have nothing positive to contribute even an opposing view is positive contribution,
your choice is to continue to Troll and make accusations of trolling while trying to stifle discussion or you can be civil.

I hope you will not paint yourself with the same brush you seek to paint others and contribute your opinion, but not hijacking.

April 13, 2016 at 3:15PM, Edited April 13, 3:23PM

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For me the force awakens is very financial successful, no question about it. As product it is a crowning achievement.
Is it a creative/artistic success? Is it in the same league as the first true 3 films made back in 70's? In the theater I went to much of the crowd talked about their modest disappointment in the story especially, of course George Lucas views the force awakens negatively and for many of the same reasons. Virtually all of us have viewed it as a Digital Film for in the USA very few film projectors left, altho outside the USA film projection is popular. We all have been following the decline of film, film stocks, film processing with much skill being lost in the process to make and develop film. This movie didn't give me "shock and awe" like most of the other Star Wars movies and for the record, I do believe that a movie can be a financial success and be a creative failure. I have never called the force awakens a failure, but I don't think it is a great movie, obviously they copied the first true film story line, but everything technically and artistically is in the safe zone and to me that is what speaks most about this movie, but it made a ton of money. I do not consider that the amount of money a film made will make it a classic and many films like "Its a wonderful life" and "Fantasia" were big failures financially, but over time are considered classics.

April 13, 2016 at 3:33PM

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No, using film didn't "sink" TFA. It made over a billion at the box office, as stated by other users it has a 85-90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and as of writing has a 8.3 rating on IMDb. Despite your claims, the evidence has shown the exact opposite. I personally enjoyed the film (although the story bothered me such as taking elements from A New Hope). I think it looked really good. I like the look of films shot both digitally and on film depending on how it was shot. The issue with not liking a film is subjective but the claim you have made is clearly proved wrong by applying objective facts with evidence. And to show how ridiculous your claim is, it would be like saying shooting Avatar digitally caused it to "sink".

April 15, 2016 at 6:09PM

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Not ridiculous at all Paul, obviously you measure quality by its earnings. I judge by its artistic merit. The snide comments show a weakness of argument and lack of conviction. Instead of the juvenile behavior, you could voice any opinion and why you hold that opinion?
There has been a big outcry by many starwars fans on the lack of imagination including chiefly its originator and architect George Lucus who has made billions of dollars from starwars. Of course you know this already

April 17, 2016 at 9:23PM

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And the relevance to using film v.s. digital is?

April 18, 2016 at 12:21PM, Edited April 18, 12:21PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2402

I don't measure quality by earnings. I was simply stating the fact that the movie is well-liked and successful. To claim that using film caused to film to "sink" is untrue. Very successful films, both critically and financially, have been shot on film such as The Godfather and Gone With The Wind. As long as the story is good then what medium the film was shot in doesn't even matter. When the general audience criticizes a film, the shooting medium is the last thing on their mind.
I was not being juvenile, I clearly used evidence to refute your point. Whether you like it or not, the film was successful both with the general audience and the box office. Clearly it didn't "sink".
Of course Star Wars fans complained, it was practically a remake. Star Wars fans have unrealistic expectations, it was the first Star Wars film in 10 years and was following the original trilogy. Nostalgia and hype raised their expectations far too high.

July 2, 2016 at 12:05PM

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As a side note Woody Allen Dp has abandoned film and embraced digital. I love a good movie no matter what it is shot on, but since currently 80% of Hollywood movies and if we include all movies even those outside hollywood clearly that would 99%. Variety says 90% films world wide in theaters are digital, of course with cable and streaming that is 100% http://variety.com/v/digital/

April 17, 2016 at 9:25PM, Edited April 17, 9:27PM

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What has cable and streaming got to do with it?

April 19, 2016 at 2:26PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2402

the latest star wars looked fantastic !!
that was definitely one of the reasons I enjoyed it!!
anything shot on kodak film is way more beautiful !!

check out that film they made about Apple the difference between film and an alexa..(the alexa footage flat and boring)

every time i see a film or commercial shot on film I'm amazed how beautiful it is and how you want to look at it...new digital stuff looks bad...

I'm in school and working in the film and advertising industry...film makes your project very unique and beautiful

April 18, 2016 at 11:56AM, Edited April 18, 12:16PM

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Stephanie Mahalis
graduate film student
244

Give the audience a great story and they'll forgive all else. Don't give them one and viewers will start seeing every small little problem with how it was shot or edited.

April 19, 2016 at 3:10AM

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Maury Shessel
Editor
87

No.

shooting on film didn't do that.

April 19, 2016 at 1:03PM

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for the people who have truly contributed their opinion and experience I appreciate your comments.

April 19, 2016 at 10:22PM

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