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The "MTV Music Video" style of filmmaking: Thoughts?

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The "MTV Music Video" style of filmmaking: Thoughts?

Old 05-21-06, 12:00 AM
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The "MTV Music Video" style of filmmaking: Thoughts?

Is this the all time worst filmmaking style of all time or what? I've been thinking about this for years, but after watching See No Evil (yes, I went to watch it) it just got me thinking about that style. I have a few questions to throw out there about this topic, so here we go:

-What was the first film, major film really, to use this style?
-Has there ever been a film that was truly high quality that had this style?
-What would you say is the best film to ever put this style to use?
-Would you say that this is the biggest style used to hide the fact that a director is lacking actual talent?

Ugh, maybe this doesn't bother others as much as me but I really can't stand it. You even see it used in other major films, like certain fighting scenes in movies where the camera is all over the place, quick cuts, and weird perspectives. Does a director/editor really sit back and think that it really adds something to a horror movie? If you have a room full of cut up body parts, isn't the fact that there are CUT UP BODY PARTS enough to freak out the viewer instead of using all of these crazy camera tricks?
Old 05-21-06, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
-Has there ever been a film that was truly high quality that had this style?
-What would you say is the best film to ever put this style to use?
IMHO, Moulin Rouge! would be the answer to those two questions.
Old 05-21-06, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
IMHO, Moulin Rouge! would be the answer to those two questions.
Which instantly demonstrates just how much this style of filmmaking sucks!

Old 05-21-06, 01:16 AM
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This is why I hate the movie Gladiator. I was all pumped up and ready for some cool gladiator fights, and all I got was a lot of quick cuts where you couldn't tell what the hell was going on and then suddenly Maximus is standing over a fallen foe.
Old 05-21-06, 04:49 AM
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I think Romeo and Juliet (the Leo DiCaprio version) may have been one of the first to really exploit it. The movie definately seemed ahead of its time. I have no real problem with it- it can really add to a film sometimes like in Romeo & Juliet. That whole movie IS an mtv music video and it works quite effectively.

Last edited by Restorer; 05-21-06 at 04:51 AM.
Old 05-21-06, 06:49 AM
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City of God.
Old 05-21-06, 06:53 AM
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What is this MTV music video of which you speak? My MTV only shows teenybopper reality shows.
Old 05-21-06, 06:59 AM
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Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren... if you want to see a bevy of music video techniques (without any music to them).
Old 05-21-06, 08:24 AM
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If a MTV movie is what I think it is, I would have to say that Independence Day is my favorite MTV movie of all time. Terminator 2 and Forrest Gump are close seconds.
Old 05-21-06, 10:10 AM
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Rocky IV, but it was done right. A lot of movies nowadays have really ridiculous editing, and cartoon style, speed up action.

Last edited by Yeti4623; 05-21-06 at 10:13 AM.
Old 05-21-06, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
-What was the first film, major film really, to use this style?
Battleship Potemkin
Old 05-21-06, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Brain Stew
Battleship Potemkin
Quoted for truth.
Old 05-21-06, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Cube
If a MTV movie is what I think it is, I would have to say that Independence Day is my favorite MTV movie of all time. Terminator 2 and Forrest Gump are close seconds.
None of those movies would fit the "MTV" style of filmmaking. This refers to heavily stylized editing with consistent cutting from shot to shot. Of course, there is no hard rule about what is or isn't this style, but people like Tony Scott or Michael Bay I suppose would fall under this equation.

Oddly enough, some people...like David Fincher...who actually DID make MTV videos, doesn't reallly apply. Thing is, the shaky cam and quick editing can serve a purpose well, and it's not all really derivative of MTV. Certainly the idea of quick edits isn't something that's always bad if done well.
Old 05-21-06, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
scenes in movies where the camera is all over the place, quick cuts, and weird perspectives. Does a director/editor really sit back and think that it really adds something to a horror movie? If you have a room full of cut up body parts, isn't the fact that there are CUT UP BODY PARTS enough to freak out the viewer instead of using all of these crazy camera tricks?
I think the quick cuts actually did add something to the shower scene in Psycho.
Old 05-21-06, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jaeufraser
Thing is, the shaky cam and quick editing can serve a purpose well, and it's not all really derivative of MTV. Certainly the idea of quick edits isn't something that's always bad if done well.
Exactly. Really, "MTV editing" is just Eisensteinian Montage with popular music most of the time. The other big difference is rather than using the montage to highlight an emotion or convey an idea, it's usually used so that the audience doesn't have to stare at something for more than 8 seconds.

Just like any other tool, when used correctly montage is very beneficial. When abused, it can have a bad effect.
Old 05-22-06, 12:17 AM
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I watched Domino today for the first time. I think this movie would fall into your "MTV editing" category. It really bothered me, and I felt that it ruined a perfectly good movie.
Old 05-22-06, 02:31 AM
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The Rock. Top Gun had flashes of it, but the Rock even more so.

D
Old 05-22-06, 09:54 AM
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Well i think that this technique was stolen by MTV from Martin Scorsese. Just go back and watch Goodfellas (especially the last 30 minutes). Its cut, cut, cut, cut....with a pumping and superd soundtrack to go with it. This is a masterclass in how to film and edit a movie. I think that a lot of people have tried copying this format and no one has come close to getting it as good. There has also been the handheld technique that seemed to have become popular by Speilberg after Saving Private Ryan....but this i find annoying. It moves too fast and a lot of times you just cannot make out what is happening and it ruins what you are suppossed to be seeing (this is the one major problem i had with the Bourne Supremacy's fight scenes).

I don't actually think that the fast cut can be seen any longer as an MTV technique as all that MTV shows on its channels are crappy reality shows, lame arse comedy shows and anything that allows the general public to make a fool of themselves.
Old 05-22-06, 11:00 AM
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The Lost Boys had MTV video style, but more along the lines of its cinematography than its editing.

As for rapid pace editing, I think it works if it can convey a sense of urgency, a sense of chaos, or deliver a semi-subliminal image/message. But when its used to just speed up the pace or falsely make scenes seem more 'exciting' then it is a poor artistic choice.
Old 05-22-06, 11:06 AM
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I don't think that I explained myself in the best way. I don't have anything wrong with quick cuts - that's obviously fine, and at times certain scenes call for it.

I'm talking more about those extreme shots. If any of you saw See No Evil, there is a shot where a guy is running and the camera is placed below his chin, slightly to the side, and it's just very very jerky and hard to watch. Then scenes where the camera is panning and as it does so the camera sorta "leaps" from one position to the other, by means of a quick cut of that sort, you mainly see that in bad horror movies.

Even those things might be ok for a single scene, but there are movies out there that are shot 100% all the way through like it's a crappy MTV music video. That's the style that I'm talking about, where they just overuse all of these tricks to the point where it becomes the entire film just about.
Old 05-22-06, 11:08 AM
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Oh..

Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
...where they just overuse all of these tricks to the point where it becomes the entire film just about.
Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
-Has there ever been a film that was truly high quality that had this style?
..in that case, no.

-JP
Old 05-22-06, 12:47 PM
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I think the MTV style of filmmaking sort of began with Miami Vice and ultra slick Jerry Bruckheimer movies like Flashdance & Top Gun. Vapid stories made entertaining due to ultra sleek and glossy production with a heavy dose of Top 40 music.

To me the first allout fullblown MTV style movie complete with all the hyperkinetic editing, rock concert lighting and a blaring pop soundtrack, would be Beverly Hills Cop II which is pretty much a blueprint for all of the Michael Bay crap that would follow in the 90's.
Old 05-22-06, 02:12 PM
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I'm surprised no one mentioned Requiem For A Dream, which is consistently critiqued for it's MTV style editing. Some people feel it adds to the film, other think it should have been more subdued. I'm in the Adds to the film crew. As much as I prefer a more held back let the actors take the scene style, it adds a real manic uncomfortable feeling to the entire film.
Old 05-22-06, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
I'm surprised no one mentioned Requiem For A Dream, which is consistently critiqued for it's MTV style editing. Some people feel it adds to the film, other think it should have been more subdued. I'm in the Adds to the film crew. As much as I prefer a more held back let the actors take the scene style, it adds a real manic uncomfortable feeling to the entire film.
A film can have rapid fire editing with jumpcuts and still not be what I at least consider to be MTV style. It has to be a combination of quick cuts and a very glossy look and feel. Requiem For A Dream avoids the MTV look because it has a very gritty unpolished feel to it. I'd say that those who critiqued it for having an MTV style where wrong in their assessment.
Old 05-22-06, 04:34 PM
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"Varsity Blues" was an actual MTV movie and i didn't think that was too bad.
what were some others produced by MTV?

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