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kenstauffer

Tease-itus film editing disease

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My favorite commerical is a Dodge Ram commercial where they tease the viewer with half second images of a cute country singer. I keep watching the commerical to get more and more glimpses of her. But my efforts are thwarted by shots of a some dumb pickup truck. Arghhh!! This teasing is epidemic in commercials and music videos (and elsewhere).

Offenders in this category are entertainment news shows that tease the viewer before and after each commercial break, then when they finally report on the story there is no new content. The true crime news show "48 hours mystery" does this too. They take an obviously open-shut muder case and magically transform it into a "mystery" by fancy teasing about the possible outcomes, but after the show is over the viewer left thinking that there was no mystery here, but a manufactured one.

This is my major pet peeve with the current media establishment, because I don't appreciate being manipulated. Has Television/Movies always been this way? My opinion is that this is a tecnique to transform little or no content so that it fills an hour long time slot?

It's reminds me of how school children will double or triple space, or use large fonts in order to make their school reports look longer and more impressive.

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You think that's bad? What about when the attempt to "tease" you falls short? :angry: I've seen many a movie preview where I thought, "is that the best you got?"

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If we're talking about personal pet peeves related to advertising, number one on my list is the generally very poor quality of movie previews.

In my view, the purpose of a movie preview is to generate interest among potential viewers. The most important part is to get across the main set-up, the central conflict that drives the plot.

Yet look at how far from this actual previews are. Action movie previews are almost universally loud, jarring, fast-moving jumpcuts -- as if seeing a rapid sequence of disconnected images gets across enough of the storyline. At the other end of the spectrum are the previews that seem to summarize the entire story. When these type of previews come along, I've often thought that I now had no reason to see the movie, as I'd just seen the "Cliff's Notes" version. Of course, the really bad offenders are the ones that give away key information that ruins an otherwise suspenseful film.

Then there are the ones like that for "Million Dollar Baby"* that mislead the audience. One subordinate purpose of movie previews and advertising is the prep the audience. A viewer has a certain frame of mind as a movie begins, based on what he expects to see -- a romance, an adventure, a social drama, a comedy, a heroic struggle or a slice-of-life anti-heroic naturalist piece.

What all of these errors have in common is a failure to essentialize. A good ad will provide a succinct, compelling answer to the question: "What's it about?" A poor ad will fail to answer this, either by omission or by lack of essentialization (in which case the answer to that question is buried under a random assortment of scenes from the film).

* Although I think "Million Dollar Baby" is an excellently plotted, directed, and acted film, I was expecting far lighter, happier, triumphant fare, and was very unhappy with it at first. Upon reflection, my opinion has changed.

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