Want some weird advice?

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  1. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    Why can't it be both? Nitpicking is their thing. They dig for problems and inconsistencies that normal viewers won't even notice or care about. That makes them funny because they're making mountains out of molehills. But if you're a writer who wants to tell the best story possible, knowing those nitpicks and now to work around them might be somewhat interesting.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  2. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    Comedy can be a way of providing criticism, sure. The thing with CS is that they don't do that. Humor requires at least some tether to reality for it to work, not always, but in the case of CS, since they're pulling directly from a work as a foundation for their jokes, there has to be some kind of baseline level of accuracy. But as that director I linked showed, and plenty of other videos and archives can attest to, they reach or outright have to get things wrong in order to develop a joke. They make up problems and inconsistencies in order to have a video out for that week. So, if there's no basis for their humor, where are the jokes coming from? If they can't get that right, it's going to be a lot harder to convince someone CS has any value as far as film criticism goes. The level of credibility is simply not there.

    However, the heart of the thread isn't CinemaSins, at least I don't think so. My best guess is the main point is to be wary of what audiences might or might not nitpick? Correct me if I'm wrong on that. And sure, keeping in mind the small but still crucial details of a story is important, especially when you're writing one, but trying to get ahead of your audience is tricky, and you are never going to be able to fully or accurately guess what the reception is going to be. Focusing on the small stuff too much, and it's easy to forget the bigger picture.

    As far as the topic of nitpicks goes, especially the minuscule, made up ones by the likes of CS, they're hardly worth thinking over. Like you said yourself, normal viewers won't even notice or care.

  3. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    They don't dig just for problems and inconsistencies that normal viewers won't notice or care about, and honestly, I'd be curious to see a video where they actually did -- they make them up.

    Here, I'll do a CinemaSins take on Greedo meeting Han Solo in Mos Eisley. "Ding! This guy doesn't just immediately shoot Han Solo despite super obviously threatening to? Jabba must hire some pretty terrible bounty hunters... Ding! One-liner before shooting someone cliche." Or we can hop a few minutes earlier to Luke and the bad guys at the bar. "Ding! Naive young person bumps into two bad guys cliche." Let's go to the start of the film. "Ding! Empire doesn't just shoot down the escape pod because 'no lifeforms' despite the fact droids exist."

    If you followed this 'advice', you'd end up halfway down this path where every character is this absurd hyper-rational decision engine and not a character. Now, to be fair, a lot of serials do fall into this trap but it's probably because texts are approached with this easier, surface-level approach from the louder members of the audience.

    You say things like: "Like overuse of cliches, characters knowing things they shouldn't know, or hearing things they were too far away to hear. Things that sacrifice feeling like real character actions or interactions for the sake of pointless, unnecessary drama" but don't actually talk about what any of this means, or what a story looks like without them.

  4. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    This guy breaks it down pretty well: https://youtu.be/ELEAsGoP-5I

    I mean, its fine to give your work another look through and fix things you find troublesome, but people are always going to find the most miniscule thing to nitpick or misinterpret no matter how tight the work.

  5. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    Like I said, people who bash CS crack me up. They're a comedy channel that sometimes makes good points about the movies they're "reviewing" but people still get sticks up their butts because the silly, shallow comedy show that never pretends to be anything but a silly, shallow comedy show poked fun at their favorite movie. If you don't like it, that's fine. But please get off your high horse and quit pretending you hate it because it's morally bad or crap like that.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  6. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago


  7. Spivak (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    I think making the 'un-nitpickable story' is an impossible, and ultimately flawed, goal. Not only is it impossible to make your story criticism-proof and absolutely logical from start to finish, it won't even guarantee its quality. Citizen Kane, hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time, has a MASSIVE plot hole (nobody is apparently in the room when Kane whispers 'Rosebud') and many famous, popular and critically acclaimed movies have their share of plotholes, inconsistencies, and straight-up dumb mistakes.

    Because, if you do it right? If you capture people's interest and immerse them in your story? They will not notice your plotholes or they might even create their own excuses for your mistakes or rationalize your inconsistencies. Ultimately we are not very rational creatures, and emotion is a very big part how we see things. If you can move people with your stories then it's amazing the stuff they will forgive you for in the heat of the moment.

    Although that is not to say that you can just ignore that stuff and write whatever. It's important to maintain a consistent tone and make sure the audience is not jarred out of the experience by silly mistakes. This is complicated by people having different tastes and different limits for that stuff. Some like their works to be as scientifically accurate as possible, others don't care, but hate it when a story contradicts itself, others don't mind that too much, but will notice it right away when someone behaves inconsistently with their character. It's a lot of grey areas and, as usual with art, a lot of it is subjective to the audience.

    Still, and I admit this is a personal opinion, I feel the story being engaging and interesting is the most important part. The rest is gravy.

  8. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    I don't know. Look at Sharkerbob's video, the creator of CinemaSins himself calls their stuff a review and they call themselves reviewers.

    It's somewhat interesting that you're upset by people 'bashing' CinemaSins (no one here has /bashed/ CinemaSins) and yet if I took a CinemaSins-esque approach to any serial here (Ding! Paragraph ends on a dramatic sounding sentence cliche), I'd be rightly derided as bashing people's work, which is basically what the Twitter posts pointed out.

    Spivak, there is someone in the room when Kane whispers Rosebud: the audience. But ultimately, you're right.

  9. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 12 months ago

    As a business, CinemaSins makes perfect sense. They offer a channel that gives a feeling of intellectual superiority with little-to-no insight, analysis, or actual education in the art of film. "Make people feel smart" is a classic grift, and still works to this day.

    From an artistic perspective, I think the higher lesson they offer is that technical perfection isn't connected to great art. For all the nit-picking, plenty of the movies they tackled succeeded both fiscally and critically, some being downright beloved. Because it is possible to craft a movie that would be technically flawless and still boring as hell. Intentional choices about themes, character, story, etc, that will alienate some viewers or be seen as "sins" also add texture and personality to a work. Better to focus on making a project that hits the right notes to you, and succeeds in saying everything you wanted to convey, than try and make something nitpick proof.

    Super Powereds & Corpies
  10. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 12 months ago

    "They dig for problems and inconsistencies that normal viewers won't even notice or care about."

    So you're advising people to improve their writing by focusing all their time and effort on things people don't notice or care about... Great advice.

  11. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 12 months ago

    I've sometimes found CinemaSins funny, but never really became a fan because of the "flaws" they deliberately misinterpret. From my point of view, it seems there are a lot of "flaws" that are only flaws if you ignore a detail or explanation that exists in the work. I have a hard time staying immersed in a video about a film's flaws when I'm thinking, "But that's not really a flaw," part of the time--which means I can't fully enjoy them (oddly enough) because my brain is too busy picking CinemaSins apart.

    Also, making fun of other people's mistakes isn't something I take much joy in. So, that doesn't help me get into them either.

  12. Psycho Gecko (Member)

    Posted 11 months ago

    I'd say a better channel would be CinemaWins. It's very easy to pick things apart, whether it's legit or inventing flaws. It's not so easy to find things that work and examine why they work, and this channel is a lot more serious and positive about its criticism (and still has humor). It's easy to hate a thing and frame yourself as superior to people who like it, but it's nice to have something you actually enjoy and think about why you enjoy it.

    And that's not to say you can't find good things to take into consideration with film criticism, but the thing that taught me the most about film criticism on a technical level was a podcast called God Awful Movies. Turns out an audio medium does a lot better job at discussing lighting, sound, editing, and pacing than the most famous folks on the video site.

    But really, you can find good things to take away from so many sources. Pro wrestling has some good stuff about how to build up villains effectively, for instance.


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