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Top Six: Film Myths

Posted on the 03 April 2012 by Kittyfairy @KittyFairy
Top Six: Film Myths The world of Film is quite an intriguing place, don't you think? We're always being encouraged to believe in these beautiful people, living beautiful lives, in beautiful settings, played by beautiful people, living beautiful lives and getting along with each other beautifully. But, in the real world, the beauty is copious amounts of make up, the settings are literally that; sets in huge purpose-built warehouses that really aren't that glamourous. And honestly, those characters who are the best of buds in your favorite film, well, here's a little secret for you: They hate each other in real life. I know, reality sucks doesn't it?
And with recent(ish) news that in real-life Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint aren't really that close at all, well, it's a little bit disheartening, isn't it? Okay, so they probably don't hate each other, but it bursts that Hollywood bubble that so many of us want to believe in.
Well, it got me thinking about some of the other secrets that Hollywood tries to keep from us for whatever reason. Okay, so they probably aren't as extreme as the above opener, but I still found them interesting!!
6. The Talkboy
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: Remember Kevin McCallister's Talkboy in the Home Alone films? It was pretty awesome wasn't it? And if you were a kid around the time Home Alone came out, the chances are that you probably wanted one out of the Argos Catalogue, didn't you?
I spent a large part of my childhood believing that Kevin was using a real tape recorder, that the makers of the Talkboy were having a field day with the publicity and sales they must have gotten out of that film.
The Reality: Prior to making Home Alone, the Talkboy did not exist. In fact, the one used in the film wasn't real either, it was a dummy that didn't work at all. However, fans bombarded the film company with letters relating to the device, and the company set about bringing the Talkboy to life, and close behind it the Talkgirl one too!
5. Animation
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: Making an animated film must be so much easier than making a live action one right? I mean, in live action films you have to build sets, create costumes, hire make up artists and set designers, you have to pay travel expenses to various filming locations, you have to keep your actors happy because they have to work together.
On the other hand, with animated films the actors don't need to see each other, you don't need costumes to be made, or sets to be built. There's no one other than the animators to keep happy, right?
The Reality: According to Pixar, on one of their most productive days, their animators are able to create a total of three and a half minutes of footage. And that's on a productive day. So, assuming that they worked flat out every single day (which to be fair, is a little unrealistic, not to mention sadistic!), it would talk twenty five days (including weekends) to create a full ninety-minute feature. Factoring in the probably more frequent bad day, and weekends, it would probably take three months to animate the whole thing, and that's not including character and location design, storyboarding and editing it all together amongst a million other things.
4. The Hands
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: In Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio's leading man is the cool Jack Dawson who knows how to speak to women (look at how he enticed Rose back over the rail when she tried to throw herself overboard). You certainly imagine that he doesn't stumble over what he has to say that much, and he is an amazingly talented artist, as seen during the scene in which Jack paints Rose.
The Reality: During the scene where Jack paints Rose, you might think that Leonardo DiCaprio is the one painting Kate Winslet, however, this is an illusion, because he in fact, is not. The hands that we see drawing Rose's figure are actually those of Director James Cameron. The problem with doing this was that Cameron is left-handed whilst actor DiCaprio is right-handed, however, this was solved in post-production when the scene was "mirrored" in order to make it look like he was right-handed.
Using someone else's hands in writing and drawing scenes is actually incredibly common, for a variety of reasons such as: the actor can't draw or their writing is too messy, or even something more aesthetic like they bite their nails, and the character that they're playing probably wouldn't.
3. Attention Seeking
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: Actors live their lives in the public eye, that's a fact of being an actor right? I mean, we all know that they love their day jobs, but c'mon if they were really only in it for the acting, they'd do stage productions or more indie films with smaller wages and audiences so that they could live a more quiet life. Nope, they become film actors because they crave the attention of everyone, because they're confident self-indulgent types who were probably attention-seeking little brats at School. Common personality traits in actors are: Confident, Sociable, Extrovert.
Their need for attention is surely the reason why the Paparazzi exist?
The Reality: Just because an actor chooses to work in film, does not necessarily make them a very good people persons, in fact research suggests that a large number of well-known Hollywood actors are in fact anti-social introverts. Take Jack Nicholson for example, perhaps one of the world's best-loved actors of the past three or four decades, well-known for his confident and loud characters that are full of personality and probably not afraid of speaking in public. However, in reality, Jack Nicholson hates doing interviews so much that he allegedly hasn't been on a Talk Show since 1971.
2. Love and Peace
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: In the build-up to the release of a film, we are often bombarded with images and interviews of all of the lead actors, sometimes interviews are solo, but quite often they are done together, especially when the main cast are supposed to be close friends. Quite often during this pre-release interviews interviewers are aiming to dish some real dirt on life on a film set, and often ask how everyone got along, and what it was like working with such-and-such or so-and-so. Every single time the question is asked, it's easy to guess what the answer is going to be: "Oh it was great working with them." "They're amazing to work with." "They're great"...you get the picture, as they attempt to build this sense of brotherly and sisterly solidarity.
The Reality: It's inevitable that different actors are going to have different styles in almost every aspect of the job, from the way that they work, to the way that they get into a specific role. Quite often, those differences can work well, and actors work nicely together. But at other times, personalities, styles and ways of working clash to such extreme levels that working together is just impossible, and it effects filming.
Whilst filming "Four Christmases", back in 2008, Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn discovered just how different their personality and styles really are. Vaughan is well-known for taking a "lighter" attitude to learning lines, and as normal, he preferred to improvise. Unfortunately, Witherspoon wasn't such a huge fan of the improvisation and so the pair ultimately clashed...constantly.
1. Sound
Top Six: Film Myths The Belief: When we watch a film, we quite often just believe that everything that we see and hear is real. Okay, so a lot of us are wising up to the idea that films aren't always filmed where you think they are. For example, some scenes in the Tomb Raider films were actually filmed in North Wales, whilst obviously Star Wars probably wasn't filmed on Tattooine (unless there's something George Lucas wants to tell us of course!!). However, when it comes to the sounds we hear, such as the sound of feet walking through snow, or a car passing by, or something being opened or closed, well, we just believe that it is exactly what we think it is, and that is causing the noise.
The Reality: Just because you are being made to believe that what you are hearing is someone walking in snow, because that is the image that is being conveyed to you, doesn't mean that what you are hearing really is someone walking through snow, at all. Quite often, the Sound Department have a whole variety of tools and equipment to create the sounds that you want to hear. For example, the sound of snow is probably something that has been frozen, being crunched up by hand. The sound of something ripping could actually be the sound of something slowly opening up the velcro on a wallet. Thunder could be sheets of metal.
The most commonly used props for sounds effects include gravel and sand. Not very exciting is it? And think: probably every sound that you hear in every film that you watch has been manufactured by the Sound Effects Team. You have to admit that that sounds like a truly awesome job!!

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