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Old July 11th, 2012, 05:09 AM   #1
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How good are present film directors?

Hi all,

I accept that film directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick were artists who did unique things. Steven Spielberg is really good at telling a story. David Fincher is inventive. But what about the rest? Is Michael Bay a genius who's at the top of his game, or is he more of a businessman who knows how to get the job done? Michael Bay doesn't do the CGI or the explosions that sell tickets to his movies. He doesn't personally do the lighting or the makeup or tailor the costumes.

I watch a lot of films, and I'm pretty sure that I could have directed Jaws 2, Super Mario Bros, Speed or Happy Gilmore myself. Given a bit of help I could probably direct Collateral or the remake of Ocean's Eleven, or even Die Hard. George Lucas touched a lot of people with Star Wars, and he had success with Indiana Jones, although that may have been Spielberg's talent that made it a success. Has he done anything else that's worth noting?

So how much is talent and how much is it luck?

Richard
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Re: How good are present film directors?

Michael Bay from what I read is a dictator on set, does that make him a good director? This is an interesting topic, should we equate box office success in the formula.

I like Clint Eastwood in my opinion he is up there. Ron Howard, Scorsece.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: How good are present film directors?

Artistry is somewhat of an opinion - and good art doesn't always correlate with success.

Saying you could direct a sequel or a remake is a leap - Saying you can craft something like Collateral by Michael Mann is far fetched, but again this is just opinion. Now I don't know your talent level or skill set so who am I to say you couldn't but I personally revere what some directors are able to pull off when most can't.

When I see a scene done by Bay that feels contrived and flat I'm left analyzing other things. When I'm enveloped in a film by a director the traditional elements of film making fall into place and I'm left engrossed with the story. I firmly believe some do this better than others. I also firmly believe that it hits different people differently. We are all susceptible to these storytelling tactics sometimes it just hits each one of us in a different way.

Further more I believe art (film specifically) is something that when done right transcends your intent. When someone connects to it or picks something out that you weren't aware of. Your characters so well inform the world they exist in that it creates all its own meaning inside what you have created. Often this is done by true auteurs/craftsmen who take immense care to what they are creating, which only heightens a connection an audience member draws from each frame and every detail placed within the frame.

What the director chooses to show you onscreen is as important as what they choose not to show you.

To get to your point - I do think there is a current crop of directors making great films but I do also think that sometimes they get lucky with commercial success. Sometimes the vision isn't always for praise by the masses but to have the ability to share an idea as you see it - whether people find that engaging or not.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 01:53 AM   #4
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Re: How good are present film directors?

I just want to clarify that I don't think Jaws 2 was particularly good, and I'm not saying that I could have done a better job of making a sequel to Jaws 1. What I'm saying is that looking at each shot of the Jaws 2 that exists, and the total movie, there's nothing there that I couldn't do with a similar budget. It's very formulaic. It did very well at the box office, though, so I guess that's what people wanted. *shrug*

Collateral was a great movie, and underrated I think.

Richard
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