In Re: Quantum of Solace

Watching an extended scene in which a fighter plane riddled an old cargo jobber with bullets I noticed something - at no point during the entire sequence did I have the slightest idea where the three aircraft involved in the dogfight were in relation to each other, or the landscape. Why? Because the entire action scene was shot and edited with utter disregard for the eventual viewer of the film. It's not alone, either - there are five other sequences, really every action scene in the film, that prove just as impenetrable to the audience.

I've come to believe that the most powerless union in all of Hollywood must be the one that represents fight and stunt coordinators. Imagine, if you will, if there was suddenly a trend in all films to have the sound of glass being ground in a blender played on top of every single musical cue. How would all the musicians in Hollywood respond to that? I'd imagine they would get fairly upset.

Which makes me wonder how all the fight and stunt choreographers feel about the ubiquity of quick edits and shakycam making the action sequences that they worked so hard to set up look so completely incoherent? If I were a writer, and had an editor adding random letters into the middle of each word rendering my manuscript unreadable, I'd stand up to them. Yet we hear nothing but silence from the unions.

It's time to take that stand. Stand up to them, people! Refuse to choreograph any more action scenes or fights until you receive written assurances that said action sequences will appear in the film in something approaching a watchable state. That's right - no more action in movies unless the audience gets to watch it. The writers strike didn't knuckle them under, but let's see how fast the studios cave when all they're allowed to put out are talky period pieces! Sure, I'm looking forward to Frost/Nixon, but ten of them would get old pretty fast.

If you, our heroic fight and stunt coordinators, whose proper job titles I'm apparently not familiar with, could win this victory, then perhaps then our long global nightmare will be over - and we will have you to thank.

No comments: