Wednesday, May 29, 2013


"Here's the evaluation forms," the film professor said. "Write down the strengths and weaknesses of each filmmakers work."

I have to admit that it was challenging for me to fill out the evaluation forms. I honestly felt I had to make stuff up sometimes for "weaknesses" because I think all the filmmakers in the class did a good job. Weaknesses may have been things that didn't fit the conventional "right" way but as a guitarist sometimes I'll play a chord or note wrong and discover something that enhances the music. Director Lars Von Trier said in an interview that he learned the 180 rule and decided it no longer applies because MTV and the overwhelming nature of so many videos on Youtube have created a culture that is no longer disoriented by weird cuts or breaking the line. Also, walking away from class I thought of the guy who lit the Godfather and other films breaking lighting rules to intentionally create darkness. I say all that to say, I did my best to fill out the forms, and it taught me a lot about how to evaluate film, but some of the weaknesses I wrote were artistic choices that I don't think were wrong, but made the films unique and I loved what the directors did when they did something different.

It's like the scripture about "glory in weakness for when I am weak I am strong and grace rests upon me..." Maybe it's the rebel in me but I love when artists do things "wrong" and break rules. Some of the "weaknesses" I wrote on the forms, I really wouldn't changed.

When the studio execs were screening the fine cut of "Wizard of Oz" and they wrote on the evaluation cards that the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was a weak moment that slowed down the pace of the film. "We need to get Dorothy to Oz quicker..." Thank God they left it in!!! I'm not saying not to learn and change and modify things because I am trying to improve my work based on feedback but I just want to say "take any criticism with a grain of salt because you do a great job when you create something your way!!" So take a big bow!!