Friday, September 7, 2007

Help wanted: Editors.

With the release of the remake of "3:10 to Yuma," I got to wondering about its length compared to the 1957 original. Then I checked into a few other remakes vs. the originals. Here are my unscientific findings:

3:10 to Yuma orig: 92 mins remake: 117 mins +25
Manchurian Candidate orig: 126 mins remake: 129 mins +3
Cleopatra orig: 100 mins remake: 192 mins +92
Cape Fear orig: 105 mins remake: 128 mins +23

OK. My list is highly arbitrary and maybe you can find movies that belie what seems to me to be a trend of flaccid editing (or lack of editing.) But I betcha somewhere in my thesis there's a shred of evidence that today we take less care in paring our story or message down to its elemental core. Thus we wind up squandering people's time and betraying their trust and our craft.

7 comments:

john said...

I think there's probably even more fluff allowed to be shot today so the DVD (or Blu-Ray or HDDVD) version of the film has a better selling proposition: extra crap that you won't watch but will make you feel the disc might be worthy of purchase.

geo said...

good point.
now 20% more crap you don't need. free!

db said...

here's a wrinkle...
what is the average length of a single shot
in the remake versus the original?
My guess is that, although the overall
film is longer, we pack shorter shots
in....so there!

geo said...

good point db.
I still wonder if all those extra shots add to the story telling. Or just the cuttiness.

geo said...

maybe i should have called the post, Help wanted: Story-tellers. The editor's blade might be as sharp as ever. db, who is a great editor is right.

rene said...

Could it be that today's movie makers are like some of our clients who believe more is more and that if they leave nothing unsaid then their audience would hear everything.

geo said...

I'm with you Rene. It think it's the infestation of internet thinking, where space has no limits, and information, often, has no hierarchy.

BTW, Lincoln's Gettysburg address was only 269 words long. He said a lot with those words.