Story or entertainment?

Does anyone care if a story is told in a film?
Is entertainment enough?
Should film makers respect their audience?


  • Lee Murray

    Hi Wayne,

    Does anyone care if a story is told in a film?
    I like a lot of the older films because they rely on story rather than special effect, I like special effect when there is no other way to show something in the story but I hate films when they rely on special effect rather than strong story. An example is UP, up is good up until the house lifts off the ground, after that the rest of the film is a load of rubbish story wise, I lost interest.

    I thought that monsters university had very little story and was pretty dead story wise. I’d much rather watch an old live action film like Kelly’s heroes with a story.

    The first monsters inc. on the other hand was amazing and I could watch over and over. Story doesn’t seem to matter to producers any more.

    I hate the way adverts show all the best bits of a film now and all the funniest parts so when it comes to seeing them in the film that moment is lost. You can only watch the same gag or joke so many times before its not funny any more. Most of the adverts give everything away.
    Studios should credit the public with a little more intelligence and believe in their work a little more. The adverts are almost saying please come and watch my film and believe its worth watching, I’ll show you the best bits so you want to see it.

    Films were way more exciting and special when I was a kid, you would walk past the Odeon Cinema and see a single bill board with a picture of Indiana Jones and wonder what the story was about, and be very excited when you went to watch the film because you were being told a story which you had no idea what it was about.

    The adverts have taken all the special part of being told a new story away.
    You have already been told whats going to happen and there is no surprise anymore.. very disappointing.

    Is entertainment enough?
    I have no wish to watch a film which has no story line, it leaves you feeling disappointed at the end of the film. If it doesn’t add to the story of help it, don’t add it. Example in: horton hears a who, why add monkeys firing bananas at the elephant and firing a ball of bananas. This doesn’t add to the story. There are loads of examples of adding things that don’t add story.

    Should film makers respect their audience?
    The audience are more intelligent than film makers assume, film makers seem to add gags and stupid or boring characters just to bulk out the film and have something to fill the time with rather than thinking of new stories. Rather than write a new interesting story they rather have toy story 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 then cars, planes, trains, trucks, tractors, race bikes. Fresh new ideas for stories seem to be dead with some studio’s, all that matters is the money, not the quality.

  • Lee Dickholtz

    Story = compelling, memorable, relatable, capable of triggering emotions, possibility of viewer learning something, things that are remembered more than just visually, story goes beyond the mere visuals.

    Entertainment for entertainment’s sake is okay (especially if a guilty pleasure) but story brings it home and makes it memorable and re-watchable.

    Film makers can do whatever they want but the best ones are speaking to (not at or down to) the audience and elicit rather than merely show. The best ones leave room for the viewer to imagine and feel, rather than ‘shooting them in the eyeballs’.

    BTW – really like the body mechanics article I saw on Animation Mentor… reminds me how much I’m capable of observing and how much work will be involved in training my eye.

    Thanks. Bought your ebook – Simplified Drawing based on the article on AM website. It is good and ever so necessary.

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