a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Visual Commerciality

This could even dovetail with the Michael Bay conversation, I'm not sure.

I just read an interesting quote about the new Harry Potter movie. Apparently director David Yates and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel's first cut of the film used a funky, bold unusual color scheme that Daniel Radcliffe calls "surreal".

But Warner Brothers didn't like it, and Yates and Delbonnel recolored the film to make it much more straightforward.

Yates states "We'd done a few wacky things originally, and in fairness to the studio, they are very sophisticated in their artistic sensibilities, but they do have to be very aware of what works in the marketplace".

Apparently Joe Sixpack doesn't like his Harry Potter movies surreal.

Good thing, bad thing? At what point should commercial concerns override the director's vision?

And who wishes they could see the original cut?


At 10:33 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Everybody working with a big budget has to make some concessions. Fincher is one of the most powerful, and stubborn, directors in Hollywood and he's walked away from several projects because the studio refused to accept some of his ideas.

I don't know the details of how long this "surreal" coloring went on, but in this case I doubt it would hurt the box office. Harry Potter has a built in audience.

Clearly it wasn't that important if the film still works without it.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Christian H. said...

I'd have to see it. There's color schemes for furnishings, etc. and then there's filters.

I think Speed Racer proved that weird color schemes turn people of.

But the tint filter in latter-day horror doesn't really work either.

The other Potter films used a clean look with muted tones and it worked. Why screw with it?

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

The first movies were straightforward and they are by and large good films that people enjoy. I think it was the correct decision not to screw with something that works.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

And the director's instincts aren't always right. I remember when I was a theater manager, and we opened Spike Lee's Crooklyn, and there is a chunk of the movie in which Lee purposely made the aspect ratio weird, just for some (pointless) visual effect.

Only he did it for minutes, and the crowd didn't get it; they thought the projector was screwed up, and started yelling. Every single show.

Finally we put a sign up at the box office to warn people going in that it was part of the movie.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Grant said...

I for one would want Harry Potter 6 to look like Harry Potter 1-5.

When it's all done, and they're running marathons of all seven (or eight) movies, do you really want the sixth chapter to look totally different? And then go back to normal for seven?

At 1:53 PM, Blogger sharon said...

Who wishes they could see the original cut?

Not me. Don't want to see the final cut, either.


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