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"Unedited documentary" movie

Various genres available.
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Movies like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity" have made use of the concept of "user recorded" content, creating the impression that what is shown is something that has been recorded from "real life" rather than scripted.

This is similar, but with a twist. It's very ... Tristram Shandy in some ways.

The establishing sequences are a documentary crew setting up at a venue. There's the presenter, director, makeup ... the opening shots are simply from a fixed tripod position as the cameraman sets up his equipment; the sound man's in shot, the cameraman and director are taking turns in front of and behind the camera to decide on angles and lighting. All the technical discussion and banter and general conversation are heard.

Then the presenter rehearses his/her lines, finds marks, the makeup's checked against the lighting, someone hands round tea and coffee. People wander about like the crew do on a real set, in and out of shot.

There are occasional "cuts" but it's obvious that these are just the recording being switched on and off, perhaps to play back and review the images.

Then the presenter does a number of takes; maybe there's someone being interviewed. The clapperboard appears and disappears, lines are fluffed or forgotten, the director calls a halt and gives notes - all the things that happen in a real recording - but the camera doesn't stop.

After quite a while, the first few shots are "in the can". As in Paranormal Activity, the audience can see the time and frame counter, and are starting to wonder what's going on.

This is the point where IT happens. It might be someone out of shot shouting "WHAT THE ... ?" and the camera clumsily pans round to show IT, whatever IT is.

It might be a plane crashing, a UFO, a bear attacking, the sudden appearance of Jack Nicholson with a fire axe. Whatever, from then on the cameraman wrenches the camera off the tripod and keeps filming, in a "professionally bad" way. The audio is noisy and confused, people are shouting, sometimes all the audience sees are the cameraman's running feet. It's all in real time, no apparent cuts.

And just like real life, the ending is clumsy, and not all the strands of the "plot" are clearly resolved.

After all, you want the audience to pay to see the sequel, don't you ?

8th of 7, Dec 18 2020

Austin McConnell describes production of a low-budget film. "i made a movie. it stunk."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivfspJOAtBI [Loris, Dec 20 2020]

Night of the Lepus https://en.wikipedi.../Night_of_the_Lepus
"... has gained cult status for its laughably poor quality." [8th of 7, Dec 20 2020]

Arecibo WOW! 8th's movie in real life: Normal stuff, astonishment! then branches and loose ends http://www.bigear.org/ohsmarkr/s1wowl.jpg
[beanangel, Dec 20 2020]


       Essentially, yes. You see the whole film crew setup process, as if this is just the unedited recording, taken straight from the camera and played on the editing desk for the first time. But it carries on for a while (at least 60 minutes) after the "event" starts.   

       On the soundtrack you hear someone actually shout, "Whatever happens, keep recording !" and this is the result.
8th of 7, Dec 18 2020

       I loathe "found footage" movies with a passion. [-] They're impossibly simplistic and obvious, the immersion is destroyed by the technique intended to create it, they somehow always have terrible acting, and the plots always suck. I believe it's just a way for terrible directors and writers to pretend they made something good.   

       edit: Oh, and every one of them dodges plot resolution. It's lazy writing without even a fig leaf.
Voice, Dec 19 2020

       Well, at a fundamental level, one thing this isn't is "found footage". There's no implicit or explicit statement that it was ever lost or missing. It'ssimply "raw", very much "literally as it happened moment by moment" without edits or any apparent attempt to "tell a story".
8th of 7, Dec 19 2020

       It falls into the “found footage” genre though. And the fact that the footage is unedited suggests that the original crew who are responsible for the footage all perished in whatever disaster happened which makes it even more like found footage.
hippo, Dec 19 2020

       You could have a more enigmatic version of this where, after //you hear someone actually shout, "Whatever happens, keep recording !"//,the camera falls to the floor, showing an upside down view of the corner of the wall, as the sounds of running footsteps and slamming doors recede into the distance. There is half an hour of silence before the camera makes a low battery warning beep and then the film cuts.
pocmloc, Dec 19 2020

       I agree with [Voice]’s grumble about this genre, although I also think it’s an original idea and people would watch this.
hippo, Dec 19 2020

       Found footage should show people finding their feet.
pertinax, Dec 19 2020

DrBob, Dec 19 2020

       Not seen it, will look it up.   

       // I also think it’s an original idea //   

       It seems so, we couldn't find any prior art when we searched.   

       Even if it's not an attractive format to some (and we can understand their misgivings), if it is a new idea then maybe it should be tried. It would probably be quite cheap, possibly a student project perhaps.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2020

//Not seen it, will look it up.//
I'm surprised.
But it is basically "found footage", similar to how you describe this, albeit with "user-recorded content", rather than a professional crew.

       //It would probably be quite cheap, possibly a student project perhaps.//
To be honest, by the time you've got a presenter, a director, a makeup artist, a sound man, a clapper wielder, other crew, plus whoever they're meant to be interviewing, plus an additional event, it's probably not /that/ cheap.
Loris, Dec 19 2020

       If all those performers are unpaid students, it will be cheap (and, unfortunately, nasty).   

       As to the "event", a car crash could be staged just off camera with little expense. An actual student's car could be used; such vehicles are rarely of any great value. The victims could also be actual students; they also are rarely of any great value.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2020

       I think these things escalate steeply the more moving parts you have.
You're effectively trying to save money by putting all your moving parts into (what is apparently) one long take. I think that means you've just got the maximal number of moving parts throughout the entire running-time of the film.

       Also, you're equivocating between an apparently professional crew and students as it suits your purpose.   

       By chance I recently saw a postmortem by a small film-maker on a film he made. See link. It was a smaller production than you're describing, I reckon by about an order of magnitude.
Loris, Dec 20 2020

       Maybe; but this could be anything from a student project, to a moderate-budget made-for-TV special, to a full Hollywood production. It's the concept that matters.   

       After all, there are plenty of real lemons out there; Night of the Lepus, The Giant Spider Invasion, U-571, The Aviator...   

       Actually, that's a bit unfair; viewed as an ironic pastiche, "Night of the Lepus " is pretty good. <link>
8th of 7, Dec 20 2020

       So it's still edited, it's just made to appear un-edited? I like it. Very "simulation and simulacra", appearing more authentic than actual archive footage.   

       Reminds me, I have been hoping for a movie adaptation of "Machinery's Handbook" for some time. 600 pages of tables and notes about things like screw profiles and grease selection would be a deeply cinematic experience, or so I would like to think.
sninctown, Dec 20 2020

       I think I may have seen a movie of a picture of [8th]'s idea.   

       And... It's Spacey!!!! [link]   

       At the Arecebo telescope they were just continuously recording as usual, and then it happened. They got the "wow!" signal.   

       They all said Wow, and it had an effect on the culture around it.   

       I don't think any of the actual scientists made careers out of going on the lecture circuit, but books were written and branchpoints produced. I did see an actual movie like a public TV documentery on the Wow! signal so it made its way all the way onto the big screen.
beanangel, Dec 20 2020

       That's the sort of thing. It could be security camera footage, but that couldn't "follow the action" without cuts.
8th of 7, Dec 20 2020


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