Some time ago I was sitting with a group of colleagues, three of us in film, and the fourth what we would consider the general audience. Our discussion, which was getting heated, was about what makes a good movie, and ended with us discussing in what order we would categorize the important aspects of film; story, sound, cinematography, talent, or design. Unable to reach a mutual conclusion, we decided to shelve the question for a later time.
There was a flaw in our argument, and I hope you noticed. The fact is that film can’t be divided into five specific tiers.
You can make a film without any one of the five elements I listed, of course losing visuals might just be an audio book, the fact of the matter is that there are no limitations on what makes a good movie as long as you can extend your vision in the best way possible.
Silent films, art house films, non-narrative, home movies, these are all forms of film and don’t commandeer to one category or the other. The beauty of cinema is that it is an entity created by human kind, molded to fancies of the creator to be presented to the audience.
A movie does not need to hit every check mark to be good. On the contrary, it can also be terrible even if all the stars align. Once it gets to the audience, isn’t it entirely subjective?
Thus meaning, a film is equal in it’s need for story, for sound, for cinematography, for talent, for design, for special effects, for format, for location, for props, and the list goes on and on. We can’t lock it down into five categories; we need to embrace the diversity of it.
So that makes the Science of Film a term of endearment. It’s a statement to the expanding omniverse of the film world that we treasure its diversity. That we wish to explore this interminable world. That we love film.
The Science of Film is a church of belief in film. The Science of Film is achieving the sublimity of film by your own means. The Science of Film is dreaming out loud.
During that night, I had an epiphany, which I shared with my friends, and I confess to you now; sometimes I, as a filmmaker, have my head stuck up my ass. The only person making sense that night, was our fourth member, who said ‘You like a certain way of doing things, and you like doing them differently. Who cares as long as you both get the point across?’
‘It’s purely subjective.’