Talking Stone Film

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At the end you don’t touch the core message.
And you can’t change it just to have a movie at the end. So that’s the whole point. They were trying to get the money there was not enough money so they still want
to have a film… So let’s change some things
without compromising the main message. That’s the whole point.
If they would say ‘NO!’ Because the script, the screenwriter for example.
I read the script. The script is in Spanish. And it starts with black screen. The script. And it says ‘We hear jungle noises’. ‘Noises of animals that doesn’t exist.
Like flying snakes.’ ‘Or baboons with no hair.’ It’s sounds.
You won’t see that. But that’s how he wrote it. And I asked the director why he wrote like that. I mean, do you really have to write so artistically, the script? And he said ‘Yes,
because you want to sell it.’ ‘You want somebody to be
interested in the script to do the story.’ So that also is a part of selling the story. You write at nicest. All you fall in love with the script even though you are not going to show those words. Unless it is a voice over itself. But all the rest in description is just technical description, actually. Nobody will see that the end. But it’s for the producers and the director
also to get interested in the script. So you see, to that level you have
all these elements that are… Helping you to make the idea to come true. And yes, sacrifices at a certain point. Of course. There is a commercial…
Actually, it’s very funny. There’s a commercial that came out a little bit after that short movie, [‘Voiceover’ by Martin Rosete] that touches the same topic. And for us, it’s
like another way of saying more or less the same. So I wanted to show it to you. That is short version. There’s a longer version where they are shown to be on the restaurant. And actually the director… I showed this to the director. He said: ‘Oh! Give me his number. Because this short movie was very popular in France.’ ‘So maybe they got inspiration for the ad.’
So he wrote to them but they didn’t answer. Because it’s very similar topic. It’s almost the same. It’s the first kiss. Not the first kiss in your life but first kiss with somebody, so… It’s a different story but the effect is the same. You want to say how dramatic is that little move. And actually you don’t… You dramatize the distance and this jump literally takes you to the extreme. It’s not like you’re telling another very
believable story like they did in “Voiceover”. Initially this land was message vs
conclusion when we discuss long…. Until like 3 a.m., until we still
remembered why we were discussing this. We came back to it. But, when we… When we talk or work on advertising, but since this is
“We are on the boarder now”, on defence, we are not talking to you,
who are not into advertising, so So I was like, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t say that’,
because you won’t get it, it’s too advertisingy. Maybe… Maybe this story in the film should be
explained differently. The point is, it’s not the same in advertising. We have to say that to the client all the time. ‘Cause they think ‘My message is this,
because I want people to know that.’ Or whatever. I don’t know. Let’s say… What… What could it be… ‘I have very high cleanness standards in my food facility where I prepare my…Whatever, salad.’ ‘I’ve very high standards, very clean.’ So, you want to say that. Okay. You want people to KNOW that. It doesn’t mean that you have
to say exactly that. You can say something,
that will allow people jump to a conclusion of that. You can maybe say, I don’t know, maybe… Say that… You could do a heart surgery in that facility. That would be fine with all the
requirements that heart surgery has. Because the standards are so high.
But you don’t even have to say that. The conclusion will be clear. There’s this joke. Imagine a client which would say
“I want to look funny” or “I want to look that”. Well, tell the joke.
Don’t say “Hey, I’m funny”. There was an older way of saying that. “Tell me about the moon, about something.
About the effect.” “I will discover it myself. It will be nicer.” Sometimes when I do this example for the students in big auditoriums, I say ‘Imagine, cause this message and conclusion when you mix it, you may communicate something not in the most effective way. And in advertising we’re obsessed with… Effective communication.
We want to be effective. Effective in a way that it touches you,
you feel it, you… I don’t know… You cry, you laugh, you hate… You stand up, you throw things…
You do something. It touches you, right? Or it stays in you memory
and you can tell somebody about it. Let’s say… I would like you to get out of this… Room. As fast as possible, right? I could say that directly. Okay guys, f* off. You’re looking at your computer,
not listening. Get out of here now! See? Nothing happens. It’s ineffective. I just said what I wanted. But if I cried as hell that there is a fire or something. Maybe you would get out. OK, I can’t lie. There is a rule.
But just to make an example, to make a point. Or maybe actually make the fire. That would be effective. I don’t smoke, I don’t have a lighter. Maybe fire and that’s it. The point is… Sometimes saying something else and
letting the person to jump to his own conclusions will make the communication
stronger and more effective. The person will be touched on a deeper level. And with advertising clients,
we have this discussion all the time. ‘So, come on, when you put, you know.. Cheese into the trap, leave some room for the mouse.’ I mean, let the person… You know… Wiggle around there, so it’s like
‘Ah! Oh! Yeah, I understood, that’s cool!’ So, the story. The story is different, it’s important
and we always think that we have something to say. The Message. But do we? We didn’t have a story when we were filming this… Unscrewing of the… I’m pretty sure a lot of people unscrewed corks before,
without a crock unscrewer. Sometimes the core message
may be very similar or very… Or actually even the same
as in some other story, for example. Then you’re working on how to say it,
in which new perspective. You find from the same core message so it looks different and it has a different angle. That’s what he was to say. Yes. The thing is… Advertisers, artists, I think sometimes they feel it. And of course, I have a message. What is your message? You’re doing a film. What is your film?
What’s the main idea of your film? And they start telling you a plot or something. They can’t tell you the idea. They don’t… They can’t… They can’t verbalize it clearly.
They don’t have the core message. They’re clear for themselves. Right? What they do have? A topic. They feel something for a specific topic. Maybe it’s patriotism. And how it’s viewed in different generations. Maybe it’s gay and lesbian rights
and marriages or whatever. It can be anything. I feel strongly about it. I have a stand. But do I have anything new to say about it? What do I say about it? Yes, I know.
As an example for this “new to say about it”, I remembered an ad that I couldn’t find. It’s was like half an hour yesterday googling it, different key… Word combination.
I couldn’t find it. There was an old social ad about dog poo. Done, I think, if I’m not mistaken, in Prague. By some Czech ad agency. What everybody agrees that it is not nice when you walk around in a park and there’s dog poo. And somebody just didn’t pick it up. Or you walk down the street,
on the sidewalk, and you step into something. It’s bad. You shouldn’t do that. Yes, you can just say that. I mean, it’s said many times. It wasn’t effective.
Why should it be now? How do you make it new,
interesting, relevant and touch the nerve? Somehow. That ad touches a nerve in a way. The ad that I couldn’t find. From the first sight, in the ad you had small handmade toys. Like if you take a chestnut. And connected with some matches to one another. And you make a nice little doggie or an animal. You put some leaves from the tree or something. It’s just… Some handcrafted little toys by kids. But when you look closer… There was a necklace in one, there was a series of posters. When you look closer, it’s made out of dog poo.
And other materials. And it said “Pick it up before your kids do.” And it’s, ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t like my kids to just play in… In the park, on the grass and than ‘Oh, what’s that?’. Something interesting, some building material. Build a nice toy and play. ‘Oh, what’s that?’ Well, that’s a piece of a poo. Conclusion in a message.
I think you risk less when you’re not in advertising. You probably won’t be that explicit as our
clients want us to be sometimes. But having or not having a story,
having or not having anything new to say. I think you might trip over that kind of banana peel or you
know, get into that kind of trap. Because in advertising, in most of agencies I know, we’re obsessed with originality. We can’t do the idea if it’s done. We have a very good idea.
it’s awesome. You want to present it to the client and somebody comes ‘Nuh, it’s ten years ago. In another part of the world
somebody did something like that.’ Yeah, something very similar. Like, ‘OK, I can’t do it anymore.’ The people who would see the ad wouldn’t know,
it would work. And you don’t do it. It sounds even like, egoistic. It’s just vanity but we’re obsessed with that. Because yeah, we won’t be able to… It’s a good idea and we won’t be able to send it to a festivals. It won’t be judged because the judges will remember. Point it out and say ‘Look, it’s a copy.’ And also there’s another point. They pay us to be creatives if you’re And if you’re going to grab other ads that
already exist from the past and use them here, then they don’t need me, they just need to go
straight to those ads, check what works and do it. This commercial is like a copy of this short film. I think. Which one? Ah, the commercial.
That’s the point, in advertising… They don’t care if they are… It’s not a copy, this is an interpretation. But they don’t care if they… For example, sometimes they
grab a piece of material, and they put a logo, and they put a
copy at the end that gives it a different perspective. But it’s the same. Sometimes it’s just that. Somehow in advertising the important thing is not to copy other ads. Oh, the ads! If it was a film and then you made another film,
that’s one thing. If you had a film but you made slightly
twisted book or a play or a sculpture, it’s fine, you changed it. A little bit like DJs. You can grab a song
and you put it in another context. That’s my mix It’s something like that. I remember this ad of… A fast edit of back seats of different cars of horror movies. From the back seat comes the guy who is
going to kill you. And ‘Aaaaah!’. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 And then it was advertising, I think, Smart.
A car which doesn’t have a backseat. It’s like… And they just told that backseats are bad. Go Smart. Yeah, than you can say yeah.
But all those movies, they they didn’t feel anything. They just put pieces of other movies and… But you find another angle, you see.
That becomes the originality of it. There are several examples. I’d say there’s a better one with the armchair. There was somebody who did the
project of putting a weather balloon… Putting an armchair or just a chair and a weather balloon and send it up to the sky with cameras. To see what happens. And it went up up up until you see the world,
the Earth already curved. The Earth. And then it explodes and falls down. Somebody grabbed that idea, some agency. And grabbed an armchair, you know,
where you sit to watch TV. And then and then put it exactly the same,
with balloon, with cameras and let it to the sky. Until it appeared showing the Earth.
And the armchair, you know, there. And says another perspective from the armchair. Or another armchair perspective for Panasonic TVs. Now when you sit, it’s like another
experience from the armchair. So, they played on it. So, they reinterprate the same material.
And that’s the point. So in this case, for a example,
“Lacoste: Life is a beautiful sport”. And that’s something that wasn’t in the short movie. That’s how they say
‘Look, I’m reinterpreting, so it’s not a copy’. – Next?
– Yup. We can go fast now.
Aaah! Washing dishes! Who was saying about washing dishes?
You were saying about washing dishes. – That washing dishes…
– It’s like meditation, yeah. This is a… Is that? You see. They had a whole campaign on that.
I don’t know if we have it here. I think we just put one. Yeah, we just put one. That’s the thing in advertising.
You sometimes have the same, the same message. Say, we were working with a telephone company client, on a tel. Pre-paid, contracts. Doesn’t matter. And they come out, like every second month and say
‘I have a tariff plan to communicate.’ This and that amount of cents per minute. Or something like that. 0, 1, 2, 3. Whatever. So it’s cheap, so you can talk more. So what’s the benefit,
what do you say if you can talk more. And at some point you stop to talk more and you say: ‘OK, but why talk more?” You need to find another angle and another angle. And then it becomes layered a little bit,
to further away from the actual author. And I remember that the best way the certain plan found an angle to it was, well. There’s two sides to every story. So they found a funny story. Just like this therapeutical for example. And it is specific therapy. There was another one in this series about
a guy who is touched too much by his boss at work. And he worries about that,
is it sexual harassment or not, or whatever. This is a funny topic. This is about a tattoo.
So there, with that kind of angle, you can make many funny stories,
where you have one side and a second side of it. To be able to tell them both, you need time. That’s why, a cheap tariff. You have these layers, ‘Ah, OK. Now I found a new angle on
how to make the same thing relevant.’ And interesting way to approach it. But the thing I’m communicating, is the same. Now we go to the production part. The main goal is just the core message. – And it is your boss.
– Yeah, but that’s very important, actually. When you get into the production part,
a lot of people get in. I mean, you have your project, you come with your baby and then, suddenly, a lot of people are in. Everybody put their hands in. So, if you
are supervising that, you are the one who takes care of the project. You need to know what you can let them do because it would be better. And what you shouldn’t let them do.
And that’s the whole point through the whole process. Of production. ‘Cause it’s tricky. If you don’t let people touch it, they won’t have the motivation,
they won’t enhance again. They won’t make your project better.
Your film, your whatever you’re doing. Because, well, you’re a… A screenwriter, for example, you’re not a director, you’re not a DOP. And if you don’t give them freedom, you say “No no no, I’m very protective.
Don’t change anything. I see it like that. I want it to be filmed like that. Nothing else. It won’t be… Put up to the next level, lifted up. If you give the total freedom, They will interpret it differently.
And they will divert from the core message. They will lose the track. ‘I want to do this because I think it’s…’; ‘I want to use these lenses when filming this because I see it…’ ‘It’s fresh. Nobody did that before.’ Yeah, but does that help? To communicate the core message?
Is that compatible at all with what my goal was? Sometimes you have directors that have their own hidden core messages and they want to sneak, put it into your movie just because they are…
– They always wanted. They wanted that always. It happens a lot. See it from above.
But you don’t need to see it from above… ‘No no no! There’s a helicopter flying. It’s OK, we’ll squeeze it into the budget, yeah, OK.’ But you don’t need it… There was an Argentinian creative who was saying that there was a director who always wanted to put the old lady with the umbrella of the “Rhapsody in August”. All the time, in everything he was doing. He wanted to sneak her in somehow. And they had to stop the old lady to come into the set because he was going to… The director wanted to put her there. Somehow for some weird reason. That was his signature. That’s on one side. You should not let
others to destroy your core message. But on the other side,
you should not let yourself to destroy the whole project. So that’s why how to find some balance there… You are not the boss.
The core message is your boss. It’s very common. These people who have their own story, they say,
“I wrote it, I will direct it and I want to act in it.” I say, ‘Maybe the… You know, your project is
asking for somebody else to act in it… Or some director that is…
Because OK, you are also a director, but maybe this asks for
a director that has another style… Will be better, no?’
So you have to start thinking about that also. And that’s very tricky. You have to be really cold
minded to let others handle the project. And also to be good enough to stop
other people when they have to stop. So that’s the middle point that you have to
always find in your project. During the whole long process of production.
Pre-production, production. You do all of this rant before this moment. About the details, the story,
the core message and so on. It’s just to tell it like… Look, when you will be supervising, taking
decisions yourself or letting other people change something. Or not.
You have to know is it because You just out of principle don’t want
anything to be changed because it’s your baby. Or because it changes the concept,
it changes the messages, changes the essence. So then you can explain:
‘Look, you can do this, but you cannot do that. BECAUSE of this and this and that.’ And people won’t be as mad at you,
they won’t think ‘Ah, f* artist…’ It won’t be such a pain in the ass to deal with them. There are a lot of decisions that you have to think their art to go even farther from there. For example, you have a set amount of money and you
know that if you can pay a bit more, you will get a better director,
that will be perfect for this So how to get a bit more if you don’t have more money? Well maybe, you change the story a little bit that makes it cheaper,
so you can get this director. But without sacrificing the core message,
without putting down the quality. Maybe just a different angle and it works So these are the little details that help you to get more better people, to sell the story better, etc, etc. You see that for example in “Voiceover”, in that film… Initially, even in the dossier, they wanted somehow to… In each situation to have a different actor. The main actor is a different person. In the final film it’s the same person. It doesn’t change the essence.
The message is the same. But they were thinking like really talented,
big name actors. And if they had to hire all of them,
they wouldn’t be able to do something else. Maybe they wouldn’t have enough money to film underwater or something like that. It made much more sense
to have the same actor somehow. Yeah, actually, I think the same. But there are some people, for example, some writers or some producers of that they fell in love with… Fall in love with the with the whole situation and say:
‘No no no! Don’t touch my script! I want three actors because I want them.’ Unless you have a name. And they are, ‘No, imagine this…’ ‘I want perfection, I want to work with that actor only.
I want to have his name.’ But maybe that actor is not the
best for the project. Either way, so it’s… I mean, that’s the point.
When to be stubborn, when not. That’s the whole point.

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