No expert at cutting trailers myself, but it seems too story-heavy and should concentrate on the expressionistic elements more. Voice over is good. I would simplify it and make introduce the guns much later. Build a mysterious character first.
But, it looks like you have good film there judging by the footage and congrats on pulling that together!
I have a low-budget feature of my own being cut and a trailer is a complete mystery. Good outside eyes are always important.
Full Frontal is a great film.
Q) If you were nineteen and starting out again, would you go to film school?
"The best education in film is to make one. I would advise any neophyte director to try to make a film by himself. A three-minute short will teach him a lot. I know that all the things I did at the beginning were, in microcosm, the things I'm doing now as a director and producer. There are a lot of noncreative aspects to filmmaking which have to be overcome, and you will experience them all when you make even the simplest film: business, organization, taxes, etc., etc. It is rare to be able to have an uncluttered, artistic environment when you make a film, and being able to accept this is essential.
The point to stress is that anyone seriously interested in making a film should find as much money as he can as quickly as he can and go out and do it. And this is no longer as difficult as it once was. When I began making movies as an independent in the early 1950s I received a fair amount of publicity because I was something of a freak in an industry dominated by a handful of huge studios. Everyone was amazed that it could be done at all. But anyone can make a movie who has a little knowledge of cameras and tape recorders, a lot of ambition and -- hopefully -- talent. It's gotten down to the pencil and paper level. We're really on the threshold of a revolutionary new era in film.."
Robert Bresson: Notes on Cinematography
I just shot a film and gave the actors a copy of this very short book, which is downloadable and printable from here and elsewhere http://artsites.ucsc.edu/faculty/gustafson/FILM170B.W12/bresson1.pdf A landmark and often sighted by the greatest modern filmmakers as important. Concerns mostly acting and the direction of actors, but includes various ideas on film.
Cassavetes On Cassavetes
The actors director tells you how it is with some reading between the lines from Ray Carney. Free PDF here: http://www.thestickingplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Cass-on-Cass.pdf
I have literally printed and bound both of these helpful books..
Film technique ; and Film acting : the cinema writings of V.I. Pudovkin (1954)
Kubrick says this of Pudovkin's book: The most instructive book on film aesthetics I came across was Pudovkin's Film Technique, which simply explained that editing was the aspect of film art form which was completely unique, and which separated it from all other art forms. The ability to show a simple action like a man cutting wheat from a number of angles in a brief moment, to be able to see it in a special way not possible except through film -- that this is what it was all about. This is obvious, of course, but it's so important it cannot be too strongly stressed. Pudovkin gives many clear examples of how good film editing enhances a scene, and I would recommend his book to anyone seriously interested in film technique. Download PDF here: http://cinearchive.org/post/39846980254/stanley-kubrick-actually-made-th...
I hope this has been helpful
Ocean's 2001 and The Hip Side of History
Steven Soderbergh is committed to being on the hip side of history. He isn’t interested in pleasing everyone, in fact he famously has a one-for-them, one-for-him ethic. His efforts have wavered between Academy Award and commercial success, with mainstream pictures such as "Erin Brockovich" and the crowd-pleasing "Ocean’s" films, to unannounced Cannes screenings of the allegedly unwatchable "Schizopolis". He claims that the studio system is toxic and that his last film, "Behind The Candelabra," had to be made for TV because the studios wouldn’t touch such a gay movie. In the late 90’s he borrowed the Danish fad of Dogme 95 and trans-Atlanticly rewrote it as “the rules” for his underappreciated mini-DV feature "Full Frontal".
Now in supposed retirement, the once Sundance Kid and now quasi-activist with shades of Prince changing his name, has turned to television and re-cutting classic films. “Psychos” is a blend of Hitchcock’s original with Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake (its great that the Van Sant remake is finally useful). His twist on the Raiders Of The Lost Ark is that it’s becoming a black and white silent film.
Staying on the hip side of history meant that for his next fan-edit he would have to make an extraordinary disclaimer, text-speak and all:
“maybe this is what happens when you spend too much time with a movie: you start thinking about it when it’s not around, and then you start wanting to touch it. i’ve been watching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY regularly for four decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago i started thinking about touching it, and then over the holidays i decided to make my move. why now? I don’t know. maybe i wasn’t old enough to touch it until now. maybe i was too scared to touch it until now, because not only does the film not need my—or anyone else’s—help, but if it’s not THE most impressively imagined and sustained piece of visual art created in the 20th century, then it’s tied for first. meaning IF i was finally going to touch it, i’d better have a bigger idea than just trimming or re-scoring..”
Rather than attempting greatness and falling short (like directing 2010 or something lofty and derivative) a re-cut is a safe place to fall. It can easily slide into the vague realm of video art or video essay and drift into obscurity as an academic exercise. Purist’s anger towards such hubris comes off as obvious, automatic and clichéd even if critics are right in expressing it. There is something ironically safe in re-cutting one of the most acclaimed motion pictures of all time.
Soderbergh cuts out much of the first act in his 40-minute butchering of Kubrick’s classic science fiction film. The opening is snappier and more pschyadelic, utilizing eye-ball material from the "stargate sequence", neatly cut with HAL’s sociopathic monocle. Entire scenes are cut to make way for our zoom-zoom to the moon and ear-piercing-plank. Unfortunately, this new fast paced opening and first act doesn’t quite gel with the less-hacked second act, which after the intro’s soderbergh-treatment, feels remarkably slow. Kubrick’s original is a finely tuned experience, who’s pace and mood is balanced between the three acts. The grinding halt we feel aboard the Jupiter mission is because of the initial wham-bam, which sets us up for something entirely different. It reminds me of the remarkable opening of Tony Scott’s "The Hunger", which leaves us confused and unsatisfied for the rest of the film’s grinding pace, though we do eventually acclimatize with the Ocean director’s jump to hibernation and long-haul voyage.
Using a masterpiece as a celluloid plaything isn’t new. This actually comes full circle to what highly influenced Stanley Kubrick, that being Soviet Montage. Early Russian cinema and theories of editing began not with their own films but American pictures (such as D.W. Griffith’s "Intolerance") cut up and reassembled to mean totally different things. It wasn’t until a trade agreement with Germany that Russia was able to have access to virgin film stock and shoot their own pictures, but in the interim they developed an intense study of film editing that would allow them to hit the ground running with a highly developed theory of montage and radically change the language of cinema forever. Rapid inter-cutting between Kier Dulia’s face and the slitscan footage during the “stargate sequence” in 2001 is a direct lift from Dziga Vertov’s "Man With a Movie Camera" (1929). Soderbergh is kind of pressing the reset button in the digital age and coming back to a classical idea.
For me, the biggest change in this edition of 2001 is the use of HAL’s camera eye as a reoccurring motif. This is a great example of the Kuleshov effect as these shots are given a completely new meaning once interspersed through the plot points. Well before he is introduced as a character, HAL is present right from the start to the end. There is one almost sacrilegious use of his quasi-sentient-self, which implies some kind of future cyber-consciousness. This is simply an insert of the same familiar shot, but during a pivotal moment, which potentially alters the whole message of the film.
Apart from the distilled first act, much of the film lay untouched and most of the chronology is kept, apart from the opening sequence and interweaving of HAL. I was expecting much more play with chronology, typical of a Soderbergh film with more shots out of context, but he hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel here from available footage. At the very least, viewing this presents a new way of seeing the film. It can’t help but put you on the edge of your seat simply in anticipation for what Soderbergh has done to a classic. That, in combination with such an absorbing, masterly original product, kept me up to 2AM after just curiously clicking on the No Film School web-link. But Soderbergh's re-imagining of the significance of HAL as a much more ambiguous force is the biggest new idea put forward in the truncated bootleg of Kubrick and Clarke’s space odyssey. I can honestly say that I am left pondering this significance in a way that is reminiscent to my having viewed the original film for the first time. Attempting an impossible task of re-editing an arguably perfect film, without the fear of failure, will keep you on the hip side of history, but offering a new idea amongst an already lofty work is something of significance. My conclusion: I am now open to the idea of watching Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of Andrei Tarkovsky’s SOLARIS.
- Mike Retter
Full review of new edit: http://m.facebook.com/FilmBuffCentral/photos/a.144504555725104.107374182...