Tears used to show emotion in a unique way

Tears used to show emotion in a unique way

In the top rated film of 2018 called Den of Thieves there is a scene where the bad guy Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) gets shot and killed. He’s laying on the ground, the bad cop Big Nick O’Brian (Gerard Butler) had just shot him dead and is checking for a pulse in his neck. We see the Ray actually shed a tear.

This was a fantastic subtle yet easily seen technique that draws is into the feeling Ray may have had or probably had knowing he was going to die and that his plans got all focked up. It also helps us feel some pain for the death of another human being who as a character in the film had served in the military and held to the golden rule of never harming innocent civilians, he was almost a Robin Hood, stealing from the rich. It’s these kinds of small but powerful things added to films that can really take a movie to the top.

Then there’s those things that throw things off a bit, likely an oversight.

For example, later in the film, after the big shootout scene on the freeway, and at the start of the chase on foot, in this scene O’Brien is seen with his machine gun up pointing ready to shoot and in the back ground we see the elevated public transit train going by. As the scene progresses, a mere 5 seconds later we see that train going by on that very same point we saw it prior. This would be impossible. This occurred after O’Brien gets shot in his hand.

Scene 1 train goes by at 2:09:02 traveling from right of screen to left, we see 2 or three cars, notice all the passenger windows.

Scene 2 train goes by at 2:09:07 traveling from right of screen to left just entering the scene. O’brien is being shot at as he is hiding behind grating and bricks to the far right side, we cannot see him.

I noticed this flaw right away and it took away from the almost flawless execution and direction this film so magnificently presented. How could this have been overlooked???

Image snapshots from the film are copyright STX Entertainment “Den of Thieves” movie


May 7, 2018

emotion, flow, oversights

Making a good movie ending

written by Ken Wegorowski on September 16, 2017

Basically there are some standard techniques that film makers use to signify and end to their movie. I want to touch on just one of those that I had never seen done before. In the film “Margin Call” they didn’t end the verbal sound track.

Most films will conclude the voice and atmospheric sound and then start roll of credits with music. This film went to black, started the credit roll, but never turned off the sound for what had been going on in the scene prior. This was a great technique for this particular film that instead of ending the entire movie made it so that we were still there but just not visualizing it. This happens in life and it is why this technique can be effective movie making. We sometimes play these events in our minds visually and with sound, but sometimes we cut the sound and keep the visuals, or keep the visuals and cut the sound. Did you catch that? I said the same thing twice. Just be careful to not “Blair Witch” this movie ending technique!


Posted on September 16, 2017
attention, endings, techniques Add some excitement

What could have been a boring presentation as to how to remove algae from a swimming pool was turned into something fun. Few film makers will go to these lengths to make sure their viewers get a real kick out of what they are watching but when they do, it makes the movie what  it should be, entertaining.


As you saw instead of just narrating how it should be done, he let the props lead him into what really happens and then what should be done about it.

This technique should be employed in all films. I call it “getting dirty”. It provides more excitement, intrigue, inducing smiles and laughter with simple effective presentation as to how to solve a common problem.



Avoid bobble heading in film

Avoid bobble heading in film

A very popular technique today in filming is what I like to call “bobbleheading”. It’s where someone narrates in front of the camera, talking fast, moving their head around, making lots of facial expressions that are very animated.

Basically they look like a blending of bobbleheads and cartoon characters. I think this technique is overused. Most videos I watch that are presented like this lose my interest after a short time.

I was trying to watch a video of 10 things banned in the United States and it was a lot of work to get through the whole thing.

Another problem in many video presentations today is in their excessive use of music.

The first banned item that is presented by this bobbleheader is regarding a candy item that has a toy inside. He comments that it’s rediculous to ban such a thing as no child would choke on it. I find this part of the script to be too opinionated even though I’m being very opinionated about his opinions here.

Government bodies that handle such bans have likely ran into some serious complaints of choking, with accompanied reports from doctors or hospital emergency rooms that present the hazard.

Reporting in a video “documentary” about such things should really at it’s best include research on that side of the matter. This is completely ignored by this bobblehead.

The next item he critiques that is banned is a food that has animal parts including lungs ground up and served inside an animal’s intestine. It is called Haggis.

So by about 4 minutes in when he got to sassafrass oil, listening to the exact same tone of speech which was fast and animated, I really had difficulty continuing as a part of this filing techinique critique process.

The other element of this film technique I would call FTS. That’s an acronym for Fast Talking Salesman. Fast talking salesmen are more interested in keeping your attention than actually presenting the facts.

This is not a channel I would subscribe to!

I never really want to ever see a moving image presented of his again.

Image of animal character bobbleheads By Intothewoods29 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Guy visits “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” house

I noticed a couple of nice filming techniques that a guy did in a film he made that started by visiting a “ghost town” Bartlett, Texas. I think the term isn’t really being used correctly as there were people still living there, most ghost towns are abandoned completely.

See if you notice them for yourself. One is where he’s walking away from the camera. The angle of the camera is low, he looks big then walks off into the cornset. It’s at the end.

The feature image where he’s blocking the house is a great technique but he really missed the opportunity in this film to use it. I snapped him in this position and it was just for a split second. Had he stood there longer (and if it was the first thing we saw) in the way of what he wants to present as the feature, it would have been awesome. This is that special house that everyone has seen from the movie, and he could have used that BLOCK as a way to unveil it. He could have stood there for a short enough time to make it intriguing, mysterious, and then movie to the right and there it is! Unveiled.

Another technique done very quickly in this short segment is a very quick pan in/out in a bit of a blur. This adds an element of intrigue, and possibly even fear knowing the history of this house.

As far as narration goes, he states something about the house being on private property (people live there?) and goes on to say that “the owners are not so nice”. I don’t think that’s really appropriate to say that. Maybe he went to the door to ask if he could film? If so, and they “weren’t nice” why not just say that he wasn’t allowed, something less judgemental.


Spotlighting tells a bedtime story

Spotlighting tells a bedtime story


Madonna – Bedtime Story (4:59)

This snapshot of the video shows a great moment where Madonna walked down off the stage and touched the audience up close, the spotlight was following her. Notice this look of the round circle of light. It’s an effect that presents a unique scene amidst the other frames of video capture, which for a moment highlights a different part of “the story” and presents it as if a father is walking his child by the hand closer to a pool of water to see the pollywogs up close. In this short segment the use of video editing, and another camera angle helps with the story. If we were only using just one camera, without video editing, and just panned back, turned the one camera to the left, and zoomed in, there wouldn’t be this kind of story being told to the finished video viewing audience. See for yourself how this technique plays out below.

Another technique for effect is the use of wind. Notice how in this performance we see her flowing long blond hair being blown so unnaturally in the wind. Stage performances never really are windy areas and wind outdoors doesn’t naturally flow UP like it is in this scene. It creates another element of mystery, trance, and mood.