Why was actress Jodi Foster filmed at a different angle than Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs? Where is the camera usually placed when two people are talking in a Joel and Ethan Coen film? And how do you make it interesting to watch when a character in a film travels to another city?
Film editor Tony Zhou attempts to answer those questions in a series of short videos on YouTube, entitled Every Frame a Painting. Lasting roughly eight minutes, each video focuses on a different subject of moviemaking. In one, he dissects the mysterious process of editing. In another, he takes on the subject of how do you film a conversation. In another, he shows how demonstrates how great directors show that something is important in a film, without resorting to hackneyed treatments.
In lesser hands, these subjects could be dull or of interest only to other budding directors and film editors. But Mr. Zhou pulls back the curtain on the magic of movie-making to give you a deeper, more profound appreciation of what makes some movies just so-so, and others great.
Even better, he takes on some big box-office directors and singles a few out, showing how their way of handling portions of a film—be it editing, camera shots, filming dialog, or adding sound—is just plain lazy. To me, this is one of the greatest parts of the series, because he gives you a sense of why you leave so many films nowadays (especially comedies) feeling that a film had a decent plot, dialog and acting, but was just blah. Mr. Zhou clearly has a soft spot for the Coen Brothers and David Fincher and is not-so-hot on directors like Michael Bay. But it’s not just his opinion … he shows you why and you understand.
These short videos were crowd-funded by Patreon, who seems like they’re on a winning streak lately by helping create some of the most interesting forms of educational videos out there. Patreon helped make the In A Nutshell (Kurgesadt) video series possible. Click on the link here to see some of the In A Nutshell videos that I wrote about in an earlier blog.
This blog has nothing to do with comedy per se, or science really. But I had to put it in here because it’s really fascinating.