Breaking Bad Comes Full Circle

Breaking Bad was a huge phenomenon when it came out, and it’s been about four years since the winning series ended, but still has fans studying its form. Although, I was never a huge Breaking Bad fan myself, I can appreciate good work and realize the hype of the entire series. I also appreciate Breaking Bad’s understanding of when a story should end. Most series last for years and years, but Breaking Bad only lasted three seasons, giving it a more complete ending.

A video essay of about the show gives great theories of the entirety of the series. It brings ups the suspense and interest it had on its viewers but also mentions it’s pilots and how it leads into the rest of the series’ plot points. The essay and story really works because its gives meaning to the small moments on screen, leading up to the rest of the hidden secrets throughout. This is a very interesting concept and makes the Breaking Bad series worth the rewatch. You can see the article and video essay here!

Keep a Flow and Be Delicate

While listening Episode 183 of The Cutting Room, Stephen Mirrione talked about his process in editing The Revenant. I think it’s important for filmmakers that work in post to listen to others who are working on bigger projects in order to grow as editors. That’s why I continue to reviews and comment on working editors in the industry now. Mirrione started off talking about creating a rhythm throughout the film and this is something everyone in post should understand and take examples of. The beauty of editing, is you can start wherever feels right. If you have a strong idea where to start, you can continue with that. It’s not just about working around that one scene.

Stephen Mirrione also talks about realism in your editing. The Revenant took on a very natural approach, so when it came to post, the music and cutting had to be dealt with in a very sensitive way. Mirrione mentions all the research that went into the bear attack and how handling something like this was almost like walking on eggs – making sure all the elements weren’t too much, but weren’t too little. I found his process with this movie to be something really sensitive and delicate, like most editors should be when delving into serious.

Overrated Action Scenes?

Hollywood is pushing out their guns and are releasing action movie after action movie, but I feel like this is starting to lose the effect because of these movies are losing their realism. When we look back at the early 2000’s and even the 90’s action-packed fights, the suspense we saw on the screen depended on a director and a few fake punches. Today, these type of scene rely on visual effects, sounds, and fast cutting to pull off the idea of the big, heroic fight.

Now, this isn’t a terrible thing, but it’s a noticeably overused element. At first, when these movies used this style of action, it worked because it was so fresh and stimulating, but now, almost every action movie looks the same to me. Studios, like Marvel, have a great series and continue to grow as a franchise, but they are a perfect example of directors who aren’t necessarily action driven because they look to every other department to plan these scenes out. This destroys the actions story and becomes heavily driven on effect rather than ideals. You can read more about big-budget actions films here.

Time is our Superpower

This past week, I finally got up to watching Arrival (2016), which lived up to its critically acclaimed status. I enjoyed the movie and its use of time manipulation, which brought me to listening to The Cutting Room’s podcast with Joe Walker. Joe Walker is the editor of Arrival, who has worked with Denis Villeneuve a few times on projects like Sicario (2015).
In this podcast, he talks about the process of building suspense, but also brings out the films use of time. SPOILER: Amy Adams’s character in Arrival is seeing the future, but for what the audience knows, we believe she is seeing the past until the viewer’s discover it’s her new weapon. For editors, manipulating the truth through timing is one of the biggest influences we have.  Joes Walker repeatedly states “Time is our super power” in referring to the post-production process. It’s what editors have the most control over and it’s so powerful.

Big Day in the Box Office

I guess it’s no surprise that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) has already broke tons of records in its weekend release. It has already made around 170 millions dollars and continues to grow as the Disney Company knows exactly what they are doing in this business. I, as well as many others, saw it opening day and thought it was a beautiful musical that brought back all the nostalgia of being a kid or living in Disney World, but I wouldn’t call it a cinematic masterpiece. Get Out (2017) has much higher outlook in the film industry so far, but has earned less money than Beauty and the Beast …and that’s okay.

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Because of this past weekend, the box office is at its highest earnings since the release of another Disney smash, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). It is up 5% from last years releases, giving a great start to the box offices and the movie industry. The problem with the industry today is you do not need to go to the movies to see a movie – you can just stream it from your house. That’s why building a hype for these movies, attracting people the the theaters again, which has a chain effect of leading people to see other films. Love it or hate it, Disney and other Hollywood hits are attracting people to leave their houses and see a film again. You can look at the proof here to see the top ten leaders of the box office this year.

BlackMagic Design Updates

Around a year ago, The Cutting Room did a live podcast covering the NAB Show and some improvements and updates in the systems revolving around film and post-production. In Episode 191, Blackmagic Design sat down to talk to Gordon from The Cutting Room and talked about the new update of Davinci Resolve 12.5, which is still the latest version of this program. If you are unfamiliar with Resolve, it is a color grading/correction program, which in my opinion, is one of the most powerful tools in coloring today.

Davinci Resolve has been trying to move up into a complete non-linear editor for a while now – but still needs much improvement – and continues with this interface with over 1000 improvements and 250 features added in version 12.5. Their improvements follow all of their four steps being: media, editing, color, and delivery. Since they are building on their editing features, they added features such as speed ramping and improvements for HDR. They also went to add lens flares and single point tracking, now targeting other post softwares like Adobe After Effects. With all these new updates in Resolve, the system becomes more powerful and the best part is the free version option. I suggest for anyone who colors or is wanting to learn to color, to check it out.

Post Oscar’s Box Office Rise

A common tradition that happens within the box office, is its slight rise after the premier of the Oscars. Typically, for many of us are film enthusiasts, we would try to catch these films before the big night of awards, but instead this is a good medium for films like these to get a wider variety of viewers. In this article, IndieWire reviews the nominees that got the biggest rise.

One movie, in particular, did very well especially for not having won any awards: Hidden Figures (2017). Hidden Figures is one of the highest scoring box office Oscar films getting rave reviews and praise from the press. Not to mention that Octavia Spencer, one of the lead roles in Hidden Figures, appeared on Saturday Night Live last weekend, giving it some more love.

A very large percent of Oscar nominees went up this year, including Arrival, Fences, and Lion. Moonlight, which won best picture, even went up $2.5 million and had the best weekend run since its release. Like it or not, Oscar season is a great boost for the theaters and pictures that deserve a wide-scale audience.