Your Name Prof’s Name Date Issues in Film Making, to Say it Politely Some movies are bound to go down as the greatest in history. They might have created new genres, in the way that Star Wars did, or else revolutionize the techniques involved with film making in the way that Citizen Cane was famous for…
Yet sometimes, rarely, like an Aquarius where all the planets form a line, every aspect of a film that could possibly go wrong does, and goes terribly wrong. Such was the case in Plan 9 from Outer Space, a film widely regarded as the worst film ever produced. Nearly every aspect of this film has some kind of problem with it, something that is almost miraculous in film making. I would argue that one of the worst offenders in this film was set design. The fact is, the sets look cheap. This is probably because they were cheap, as the film had a budget of only $60,000, which even in its era was not enough to make a high quality movie. But when dealing with black and white, texture is one of the only things that matter, and nearly every set that was supposed to be something spectacular (like a spaceship or a cockpit) had an incredibly flat look. It made it look like the set was made out of clay, or painted wood, but certainly not metal or any of the materials that would have actually been present. In contrast to the sets, I would argue that the costumes were actually a relative high point in the film. They were far from good, but they were not as obtrusively bad as other elements of the film. Part of this was because many of the costumes were just street clothes or army uniforms and that kind of thing, and are easy to make not distracting. Some of the costumes were terrible, but on the whole, the costumes were better than most other aspects of the film. Lighting was poorly done in an obtrusive way, sometimes being overly dark, other times overly light, and sometimes making it look like a staged play, with several spot lights on each subject. This is simply lazy and unacceptable regardless of budget or era. Acting was not terrible, but it was far from good. It was generally not believable, but in such a campy film believability is not necessary. The acting was over the top, but this was not a massive problem. The dialogue, however, was. From the opening scene through the rest of the movie, it was simply obtrusive and awful, and did not sound in any way natural. Furthermore, there were frequent continuity errors. The narration was one of the worst offenders, oscillating between mind numbing exposition and supposedly shocking reveals, such as “at the funeral of the old man, unknown to his mourners, his DEAD WIFE was watching!” (Plan 9). In other instances, the speakers fell into a question answer pattern that, while common in high-school screen plays, has no place on the silver screen. This was especially apparent in one exchange between grave diggers in the cemetery. Many of the aspects of the film described so far are simply bad execution. These are poor choices, made again and again. No one of them is absolutely ridiculous, but taken as a whole they certainly make a ridiculous package. Some of the editing done in post, however, was simply foolish. This film contains clips of another film, a vampire film that Wood had been working on before it was canceled and the star died. While Wood clearly struggled to make them fit this film, even twisting the plot of an outer-space action film to be based heavily in a cemetery, these individual scenes still stand out horribly from the rest of the action. No film maker in their right mind would ever choose to insert unrelated clips into the narrative and try to pass it off as having a ...
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