The Called Part 2

February 25th, 2011 by Wordsman

Some people think cinema is an exclusive domain.  If it’s not filmed on a Hollywood sound stage, if it’s not based on a bestselling novel, if it doesn’t have a special effects budget with at least seven zeroes and star actors you can read about in magazines, then it’s not a real movie.  For the purpose of determining punishments, however, the Universal Court of Good Taste has decided to adopt the broad definition: any clip recorded on a camera is a movie.  Any movie that someone else has to watch is cinema.

Much of it is awful.

The fancy trappings of a “real” movie, while not required, certainly do help.  Your chances of producing something watchable are much better on a soundstage than they are in, say, your basement.  It’s considered good practice to hire some actual screenwriters instead of having your mom write the whole thing.  You’re much more likely to impress with CGI than by throwing a faded old bedsheet over an even older bookcase.  And, while you don’t have to go to the A-list, you’re always better off not using an actor just because he has some spare time on his hands.

“And . . . action!”

Unfortunately, most directors disregard this helpful advice.  Fortunately for them, the Cinema Bureau of the UCGT can’t keep up with the pace of new productions any more than an aged tortoise with a broken leg has a shot at catching a bullet train.  In fact, they’re so busy recording crimes that they never get around to enforcement.  They work 90-hour weeks, spend their brief breaks staring at the wall because at least it doesn’t move, and liken the coming of YouTube to the Ten Plagues of Egypt.

“You don’t have to say ‘action.’  I can see the red light go on.”

“Apparently I do, because you’re still not in character.”

“Character?  I have a character?”

“A character that’s in danger of being killed off if he doesn’t show up soon.”

“Sorry.  He’s distracted, wondering why he keeps talking to some mysterious off-camera voice.”

“Oh, I’ll edit this out later.”

“Are you sure you can do that?”

“Just . . . read.”

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