How to appreciate a quality film

Most people enjoy watching a quality film at home or in the theater. The movie industry reaps billions of dollars each year from this popular hobby.

But instead of merely following the story line, check out the contributing elements that make a good film superior to others. Before you know, you will be thinking like a film critic!

  • Plot. A solid film offers a story arc. That means that conflict is introduced and increases tensions to a building point at which a cataclysmic event occurs, followed by a return to normal. If the plot does not contain a noticeable arc, the story may not hold viewers’ attention. A dilemma should make the audience care about the outcome.
  • Actors. A good performer will bring his or her role to life. That may mean studying the role ahead of time rather than just learning the lines. It may include visiting sites or people-types associated with the theme of the film, such as a psychiatric hospital or a political campaign office. An actor may need to practice an accent or dialect several weeks before getting it right or sculpting his or her body to get it in shape for an important part. If the actor appears to fir a role, the audience will appreciate the film even more.
  • Tensions. A conflict-laced story can keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Even love stories need squabbles, threats, or deceit to keep us interested in the plot. The next time you watch a film, see if you can find several types of conflict that help to move the plot forward. Films thrive on it; audiences love it.
  • Cinematography. Photography, scene set-ups, backdrops, and locations add artistic and aesthetic value to a film. A professional photographer and expert camera hands can turn even a mediocre plot into an award-eligible nomination. Study the backdrop of an historic or romantic film especially to get the effect of settings, props, and scenery.
  • Theme music. Classic films get their own musical score, often written and produced by award winning composers. The theme song may introduce and conclude the film, as well as appear sporadically throughout. In other types of movies, a string of songs from a particular time period or music style may grace the acting to add a powerful element of beat and rhythm. Many theme songs have made the top ten music lists over the years.
  • Director and producer. These people, sometimes the same person, are responsible for choosing actors, approving the script, and coordinating all the production elements like camera shots, scene speeches, and action sequences as well as special effects if any. The producer may be the person who bankrolls the film or lines up investors. Without these persons, there would be no film.

Watching a movie can be fun and relaxing. Paying attention to the contributing elements can enrich the viewing experience. Look for some of them in the next film you see; your viewing experience will never be the same!


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