Monday, 30 May 2011
For the Love of Film!
Good gravy, adverts really piss me off. I mean, apart from being fed the same ones every single break (Heinz tomato ketchup and its excrutiating ditty, EDF Energy's 'Powering the 2012 Olymipcs' advert and Virgin Media's 'laptop use on the toilet' show being some of the most recent and annoying examples), the fact they keep interrupting the flow of what you're trying to watch. Adverts and televisions go hand in hand, they have done since the technology was invented, and as such things written for TV (like soap operas) do not suffer so much. In the few minutes between the first and second half of 'Spaced', for example, you don't think 'Oh bugger I've forgotten what they were on about! Who's he and what's he doing with those paint balls?' Films, however, are a completely different kettle of fish.
Films are written for the 'big' or 'silver' screen, a magical place where adverts and trailers are played before the main event and then there are two hours of complete, unadulterated celluloid awesomeness, aside from people throwing popcorn at you or spit roasting a pig on the back row. I mean, writers of these things have slaved away for frig knows how long crafting this cinematic experience for you with the idea that it will be shown to you as it is in their mind. But then it comes on TV. I wonder if Heywood Gould ever thought, 'What this dramatic scene, showing the characters' conflicting desires, needs is an advert. Yeah, preferably one that the audience has seen a ton of times, so they get really angry and pissed off. Then they won't be thinking about my work, yeah that'll be an improvement!'
I was watching Roger Donaldson's Cocktail (screenplay by Heywood Gould if you wondered where that name came from) t'other night for a few minutes. I say a few minutes because I'd missed the start, but really wanted to give it a go. I love Elisabeth Shue's work so why not give the film a go? I'll tell you why: just as I got into the swing of it, knew the characters a bit and really got interested in where the film was going IT WAS INTERRUPTED BY A BLOODY AD BREAK. I switched over immediately... There's enough competition for ratings out there making it hard to keep a viewer's interest without being put off by repetitive crap about products I really don't give a shit about at this moment in time.
It was like I was making love - dead romantic like - with rose petals, silky sheets and candles. I was completely lost in the act - transcendental joy - when Gordon Brown popped into the room screaming and hit me about the head with a cold, wet whale. It put me off a bit. I'd rather have a trolley load of nitro-glycerin forced up my bum and go for a trampoline sesh than watch these soul-destroying ads again, hence why I changed channel.
Seriously, respect the bloody film! Here's a list of suggestions (bearing in mind having no ad breaks at all wouldn't be financially viable and then there'd be no film whatsoever); have less ad breaks (obvious); have them at well-thought out points (for example, at the two points between the status quo and the confrontation and between the confrontation and resolution) so that the audience can reflect on an act, rather than just when there's a quiet bit; vary the adverts so they aren't like a hammer blow to the back of the head every time (although that should happen all the time). That's about it I think...