or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › Why don't people in movies and TV close things?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why don't people in movies and TV close things?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Open a door to enter a house, why bother to close it behind yourself? Doesn't everybody walk into their house and leave the door wide open until... well, until someone shoots a scene of you leaving the house, by which time it's magically closed again?

Getting some milk out of the fridge? I guess it's just prop food inside anyway, so no need to close the door to keep it cold.

Open a desk drawer, supposedly trying to be sneaky about searching a place... wouldn't closing the drawer when you're done be a good idea?

Being chased by someone who's trying to kill you? Sure, why not leave the door open to the stairs you fled through, to make it blindingly obvious which way you went?

Is it just oversight, because people aren't relating to sets and props like the real thing? Is there some rule of cinematography that says it "slows down the action" too much, or some such thing, to close stuff people normally close? In some cases, like not closing and shutting things that make it stupidly obvious that someone has been searching a place, is it a deliberate trick to raise tension by making to audience worry about the obvious signs being left behind?
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #2 of 22
LOL!
post #3 of 22
Mystery of the ages.
post #4 of 22
Actors never eat or finish their meals either.
post #5 of 22
Nor use the toilet.
post #6 of 22
And they almost never watch TV. And when they do it's some bullshit black and white film that no one really watches.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Actors never eat or finish their meals either.

They eat in Quentin Tarantino movies.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

They eat in Quentin Tarantino movies.

Very interesting observation. Especially Pulp Fiction, lots of food references and scenes of eating. You have the "Le Big Mac" intro scene, Big Kahuna Burger scene, the (in)famous dinner date, stoner Eric Stolz eating cereal, Willis' girlfriend's craving for blueberry pancakes and the Diner finale.

That movie makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Now in Jackie Brown there's the Food Court scenes and in Kill Bill II, the brilliant "Bill's making a sandwich" scene (but do we see them eat?)...but that's all I can recall.

In most movies, no one touches their meals or finishes them though, unless they were lost in the jungle/desert and wolf an gulp everything voraciously. "Don't eat too fast, you'll get sick!"
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Nor use the toilet.

Sometimes...

Trumptman was right too. Everything happens in Pulp Fiction.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Nor use the toilet.

At least in the case of using the toilet, such action is reasonably off-scene in most cases, and typically doesn't relate to the story being told.

The door closing/drawer closing type of thing... that stuff would reasonably (more than reasonably when a character is supposed to be behaving in a stealthy manner) happen in plain view, right within the very scenes where you see something opened.

My pet peeve is an open-and-shut case.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

At least in the case of using the toilet, such action is reasonably off-scene in most cases, and typically doesn't relate to the story being told.

And again, Tarantino has used this. Travolta's character in "Pulp Fiction" and though this wasn't directed by him (he wrote the screenplay) Christian Slater in "True Romance" has his talks with the ghost of Elvis in the bathroom.
post #12 of 22
Cool observation.

In a previous life, I was a documentary editor, and I know that a lot of shot selection is based on the sense of flow-- camera movement and movement within the shot (or lack thereof), sound, or conceptual content.

Although I don't recall specifically looking for "things being left open", it makes sense to me that that would be the default choice in feature films (where they can choose how to shoot the scene).

Consider that things like passing through a doorway, getting out of a car, opening a drawer, etc. are all natural cut points, as the scene follows the action through the motion and into whatever is revealed by the "opening". The most typical style of cut is "invisible", that is, you don't want the audience to really notice that a cut even happened (which is why you link it to the "natural" movement of the scene). Thinking about it with my editor's hat on, closing things introduces an unwanted "beat" that would tend to "close off" the shot from whatever followed.

Given that passing through doors et al happens a lot in feature films, my guess is that including all the the closings would tend to make the scene feel staccato and choppy-- great if that's the feel your going for (or at the end of a sequence, ala the traditional door slam to indicate the last word), but not at all desirable for the typical plot driven multiplex fodder.

Actually, thinking about it more, it's my impression that closing things is actually used as a deliberate beat, for the most part: the aforementioned "door slammed in anger", but also things like the car door slam that signals "the feds are here and they're ready to take measured, disciplined charge" (as opposed to the feckless local cops, who tend to show up with tires squealing and and jump out of their cruisers at a dead run), the book or drawer or cabinet firmly shut that means "I've reached a decision and I'm about to tell you about it" or the quick "slam slam slam" montage to indicate purposeful action (such as the suitcase zipped, trunk shut, ignition turned sequence of "going somewhere fast" fame).

Again, cool topic.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #13 of 22
addabox...

Charlie Chaplin reshot the blind flower-girl scene in City Lights in which the Little Tramp buys a flower from the blind flower-girl 342 times, as he could not find a satisfactory way of showing that the blind flower-girl thought that the mute tramp was wealthy.

Chaplin was at odds with practically everyone about continuing shooting silent movies (City Lights was released in 1931). He didn't think sound was ready or even viable for his work. But when it came to the scene he was shooting, sound was important and the solution wouldn't come technically with sound but with visuals.

The final take consisted of the Little Tramp sneaking away from a cop through the back door of an automobile. He exits the car and shuts the door. The blind flower-girl then believes that the Little Tramp is wealthy because she heard the car pull up and the door shutting. Take into consideration that most people who owned cars were considered well off back then. He didn't have to introduce sound to do this.

Here's more about this scene including a few of the outakes. This is from a PBS documentary on Chaplin.

Final blind flower-girl scene. [Wrong one! Corrected.]

Genius. Perfectionist...but genius.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

And again, Tarantino has used this. Travolta's character in "Pulp Fiction" and though this wasn't directed by him (he wrote the screenplay) Christian Slater in "True Romance" has his talks with the ghost of Elvis in the bathroom.

Don't forget in From Dusk till Dawn, Juliette Lewis gets rid of the border patrol by sitting on the RV crapper.

Hey I found a mistake at Wikipedia involving Death Proof.

Quote:
The trio pick up their friend, stuntwoman Zoë Bell (played by herself), at the airport, who informs them she wants to test-drive a 1969 Dodge Challenger, the car from the film Vanishing Point. Later, she reveals her true motives: she wants to play a game called "Ship's Mast," in which she will hang onto the car's hood with two belts while someone else drives at high speeds. When the Girls reach the barn where the Dodge is being sold Kim reluctantly agrees help with the stunt and Abernathy tags along, while Lee finds herself left behind to placate the car's owner.

During this game, Mike arrives suddenly, and targets them with his 1970 Chevy Nova, repeatedly crashing into them, and eventually Zoë is thrown from the hood. Kim, who carries a gun for protection, shoots Mike in the arm, causing him to flee. Zoë, due to her training and agility, is unharmed except for a "bruise on her bum." The three girls decide to take revenge against their attacker, with Abernathy calmly saying they should "kill that bastard."

Zoe Bell wants to drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger and Mike is going after them in a 1969 Challenger. The 1970 Nova was wrecked at the end of the first half of the movie.

I fixed it!

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Don't forget in From Dusk till Dawn, Juliette Lewis gets rid of the border patrol by sitting on the RV crapper.

Tarantino has a thing about feet too. Too many scenes/actresses to mention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Hey I found a mistake at Wikipedia involving Death Proof.

Zoe Bell wants to drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger and Mike is going after them in a 1969 Challenger. The 1970 Nova was wrecked at the end of the first half of the movie.

I fixed it!

And now the world is just a little bit better for that.
post #16 of 22
I'm always fascinated that no one ever says "bye" at the end of a phone call on TV or in films. Especially soap operas (uh...so I've heard).

"I need to see you. Meet me at the coffee shop in five minutes."
"What's this about?"
"I'll tell you there."
"Uh, okay."

*click*
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

I'm always fascinated that no one ever says "bye" at the end of a phone call on TV or in films. Especially soap operas (uh...so I've heard).

"I need to see you. Meet me at the coffee shop in five minutes."
"What's this about?"
"I'll tell you there."
"Uh, okay."

*click*

Agreed. I tried not saying "bye" on the phone for a while (I thought maybe I was being odd by saying it). People then informed me they thought I was being rude LOL
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post

Agreed. I tried not saying "bye" on the phone for a while (I thought maybe I was being odd by saying it). People then informed me they thought I was being rude LOL

The brilliantly funny John Shuttleworth addresses this very point, and explains how to make a phone call for the small screen, on his 2001 Shuttleworth Live CD:



Ooff!
post #19 of 22
Lest we forget...



Pioneered the phone conversation bit.
post #20 of 22
Things are closed only for dramatic effect.

- Someone sneaks a peak at a diary and then closes it, after which there is the inevitable close-up on their concerned face.

- A door is closed when someone is on the other side of it - usually slammed - to make a point. Eg. Rabbi Krustovski saying "I have no son!"

- Or a closet door is quietly closed while someone hides in there to watch someone entering the room do something integral to the plot. Note that all closets that people hide in have shutters to make it easy to look through.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Things are closed only for dramatic effect.

- Or a closet door is quietly closed while someone hides in there to watch someone entering the room do something integral to the plot. Note that all closets that people hide in have shutters to make it easy to look through.



Indeed...

maybe nsfw
post #22 of 22
R. Kelly wrote a song...or more...about it.
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: AppleOutsider
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › Why don't people in movies and TV close things?