Saucers of Mud

August 15, 2007

Notes to Filmmakers

Filed under: Uncategorized — matt w @ 8:18 pm

1) You can stop doing the shot from on top of a spiral staircase now. It may even be possible to film someone going up stairs from a different angle.

2) If you want to make a movie about how a writer became a writer, you know what would be a good way to do it? Film The Blue Flower. It comes with ready-made good dialogue and plots that aren’t an uncomfortable imitation of the writer it’s about.

(These notes were not inspired by the same movie.)



  1. There are also many shots of someone going up a straight staircase, back to the camera. Generally the staircase is Colonial-type, in the middle of the room’s width, and with a landing halfway up at the room’s back wall, and a 90-degree turn to the right. This shot does not communicate vertigo; I’m not sure what exactly it does communicate. But I know I’ve seen it a lot of times.

    Comment by The Modesto Kid — August 15, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  2. Also: here is a spiral staircase shot from a different angle, and with not as tight of a spiral. (It was actually this staircase that I first thought of when I was writing the above comment — come to find out it’s not a straight staircase. Oh well.)

    Comment by The Modesto Kid — August 16, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  3. Moliere not so good?

    Comment by ben wolfson — August 17, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  4. Moliere did a spiral staircase shot?

    Comment by matt w — August 17, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  5. Once you think about it, all kinds of ways to subvert this interestingly occur.

    I’m also thinking of the way staircases function as staging in Gone With The Wind and Sunset Boulevard. In the former case, the dresses, with their huge hooped swish, are very important, even when not touching the stairs, as in the scene where Rhett seizes her and carries her kicking and screaming up the stairs.

    Comment by idontpay — August 18, 2007 @ 11:27 pm

  6. Is this a reference to the insane Jane Austen biopic?

    Comment by mcmc — August 23, 2007 @ 10:14 am

  7. It is. And you know what really bugs me about it? [SPOILERS, as if they matter.]

    About three-quarters of the way through I thought they were going to pull something interesting: James McAvoy was going to be Wickham, and the other guy was going to be Darcy, and Jane was going to regret having let down a good man because he couldn’t dance. But noooo, McAvoy had to turn out to be a paragon whom Jane had to renounce because they were both so good. How can you make a film about Austen whose moral is that you want a man who sweeps you off your feet? I did appreciate that the other guy was revealed to be pretty cool — I had thought he’d been getting a raw deal for most of the movie.


    Now, you think Jake Gyllenaal as Novalis? Does that make sense?

    Comment by matt w — August 27, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

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