Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Confined Spaces (thanks Scott Feinberg!)

Since I began pursuing this project, I've been warned many times that a film like this runs the risk of coming across as 'staged' or 'theatrical' -- I've been encouraged to expand it to new locations, to write in new scenes, to take it much more outside the boardroom. My friend, Scott Feinberg, an industry analyst and guru behind just noted that this year in particular, there are quite a few highly-regarded films that take place in confined or claustrophobic spaces. I feel like I'm in good company!

Of course, looking at the careers of successful filmmakers, their first films are rarely large-scale, multi-location spectacles. Their films tend to be confined in some way. Lumet's "12 Angry Men" is an obvious one to look at, but also Spielberg's "Duel" (which put him on the map) takes place on a desert highway (sure, they move a lot, but the car and the truck really don't change setting at all). The economics of this are interesting in their own right, but I think the real secret is that these are films that really test their filmmakers. You can't just shoot your way through a dull scene and hope to cut to the next location quickly, before the audience gets bored. You have to make every shot, every angle, every moment count. That's really one of the things I've found so thrilling about "A Modest Suggestion".

Anyway, we'll see if Scott adds "AMS" to his list next year...

-Arnon Shorr

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