Friday, August 12, 2011

It’s the Little Things

Not that I need another reason to take time away from my already full schedule, or rather, I don’t need to add another profession to my already jam packed life, but I keep thinking I should be editing film or television for a living.

It started over twenty five years ago when my long time favorite movie “The Goonies” was released. I never saw the movie in the theatre. That’s a story for another day, but the first time I saw it, if I’m not mistaken, was with my friend Karen and the second it was over we both wanted to watch it again. I think we ended up watching that movie something like 27 billion times that year.

Or something like that. I used to keep an actual count but after this many years I completely lost track, and I suppose that’s not really tragic considering the number would probably make me feel tragic…

At any rate, the first time I saw the movie I noticed the first editing mistake I’d ever seen in a movie. Or at least the first very noticeable one that hit my radar on the first viewing. For those who haven’t seen this gem of a flick, first of all, HOW is that possible (???) and, second of all, run out right now, locate it in some format and then come back.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Now, for the rest of us who have probably seen this epic motion picture at least once or twice, you’ll know the scene that I’m referring to.

The gang gathers together over at Mikey Walsh’s house, Mom Walsh leaves with the jumpy housekeeper Rosalita, and everyone starts talking about the crap in the attic. As they pull down the stairs there is a jump in the film. The jump is almost imperceptible but the stairs are being shown opening from inside the attic and all of a sudden…blip! Up and then down they go. Its minute, like I said, most people never notice this.

But I did. First time I watched the movie it was like “hey, did you see that?”

I was hooked on picking out mistakes, and it started with “The Goonies”. Or, as Mikey Walsh would say “It all starts here.”

I haven’t seen the movie in ages (and now will surely watch it tonight over a couple beers) but off the top of my head I can think of a few editing mistakes or oversights that I noticed pretty quickly. After Chunk does the Truffle Shuffle the balloon that pops is a different color than the one that originally blew up, when the gang unrolls the map for Andy to play the bones there are char marks visible over the notes that weren’t there before (read the book [yes, I have that too]), at the end Data talks about the octopus with reporters but there’s no octopus to be seen (read the book), when they dump out the marble bag into Mom Walsh’s hand to reveal the gems she is then isn’t wearing nail polish, Jake Fratelli is singing when they kidnap Chunk but simultaneously smoking a cigarette in the side view mirror, when they smash the glass over the map they toss it off the frame but then Mikey pulls the map out from under glass…I think you get the point. There are a LOT and believe me I’ve pretty much caught them all.

So that level of dedication has led me to noticing all kinds of things in all kinds of movies and television shows over the last quarter of a decade. Stuff like:

• Time on a clock bouncing around (especially on a non-digital)
• Amount of liquid in a glass (especially dark stuff like wine)
• The length of a cigarette/ash
• The wardrobe of the character
• Stuff moving as if by ghosts (an example of this happened the other night watching “Royal Pains”, a show I love on USA Network. Character holding 2 magazine props in front of her but the back mag was not the featured one for the scene and in every other shot it was sticking up further than the front mag. So distracting!)
• Seeing equipment like mics enter the shot, or cameras reflected in glass
• Geographical mistakes (when the setting is said to be Boston but a palm tree is clearly visible, or something to that effect)

And that’s just the short list, watch television with me sometime and you’ll be amazed. A movie is even worse. Matt is always quite blown away when, on the first viewing of something, I utter an ‘ugh’ and ask if he just saw the so-and-so mistake. It might be a conservative estimate but approximately 100% of the time he says no.

Where would one even get a start in a career like this? I’m sure a double major in communications and film production would land you a fetching position with a film or television studio…fetch a coffee, mail, dry cleaning, etc. Maybe even after thirty years you could move up to the place where you get to talk to the assistant to the editor of the show!

Um, nah.  I think I’ll just keep my current day job(s) and continue to annoy my husband, family and friends with my insanely accurate mistake catches instead. And if they ever make the long discussed (but hopefully, please, please, please I BEG OF YOU, NEVER!) sequel to “The Goonies” I’ll be the one in the theater, whispering, “Ugh, did you catch that?”


Karen said...

Wow, was it really with me that you saw Goonies for the very first time? I have no trouble believing it--we watched movies (especially that one) so often. I'm not sure if I should feel honored, or responsible for your life-long addiction!

What always bugged me was in Stand By Me after the boys all fell into the pond, they gave Corey Feldman three close-ups, and his hair was seriously different each time.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Lean on the side of honored, trust me its not that much of an addiction anymore. haha. We did sit down an watch it before the Sox game yesterday but I don't think I've watched it in at least 5 years, could be more. I can't remember Matt & I ever watching it together (and that's over 12 years now so...)

Yup, that's the wardrobe type stuff that drives me crazy!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

ugh - an = and

Rosebud Collection said...

I have been gone for so long, now to catch up with you..How are you doing?
How do you like it there? Jenn, it will be so nice in winter..I am already feeling doom..haha..
Glad the craft fairs are over..Lord, I thought the last one, near the ocean, would do me in..For some reason the air and I, didn't get along and I am still coughing.
Was fun seeing people and talking..
Did get an offer to illustrate a children's book, so we shall see where that goes..Well, enjoy the weekend..sending love to you..Carolyn

Linda Myers said...

With all the things you notice (I'd miss every one of them completely even if you pointed them out to me), you're probably safe from dementia down the road.

Suldog said...

I do the same thing, although usually not on the first viewing of anything. My "specialty" would be Three Stooges films, as I've seen each of them at least 25 or 30 times. They're just loaded to the brim with editing and continuity goofs (which is somewhat to be expected, considering how quickly and cheaply they were originally made.) My favorite is a scene that takes place in a hospital, wherein the Stooges are being chased through the corridors. After various gags showing them running in one door and out another door, etc., they are shown rounding a corner into a hospital corridor and coming to a skidding halt as they encounter their adversaries. In the just-previous scenes, that corridor's tiles were clean and white. Just before they round the corner, however, the shot clearly shows heavy skidmarks left by the heels of shoes, and then they round the corner and come to the skidding stop where the heel marks. Obviously, there was at least one previous take, but nobody bothered to clean the heel marks off of the floor! I love stuff like that!