Thursday, April 10, 2008

Action. Action. We Want Action!

Action was a huge part in early film. It gave excitement, suspense, and every film go-er wanting more. The more action and movement there was on a screen, the harder it was for the audience to look away and it was easier to keep their interest.

"When we started we used to give just flashes -- an engine chasing to a fire, a base-running sliding home, a charge of cavalry. Now for instance, if we want to work in a horse race it has to be as a scene in the life of the jockey, who is the hero of the piece -- we've got to give them a story; they won't take anything else -- a story with plenty of action. You can't show large conversation, you know, on the screen. More story, larger story, better story with plenty of action -- that is our tendency." - Studio Manager. 1907.

It was much more exciting to watch all this action instead of conversations amongst actors in the film. People probably would become bored with that and this is why action changed the world of film. People would rather see violence, sports, or a superhero figure because it kept the suspense as to what was going to happen next. Was a building going to blow up and explode? Which baseball team was going to win the championship game? And of course, was that hero going to rise above the villian who wanted him dead? This is why today, when they show coming attractions in movie theaters, they mostly show the actions parts of the film, not the conversations. People want the action and therefore that's what shown to get people to see the action they wanted.


At 3:41 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. Action was something that film could convey far more powerfully than any previous mass medium.

Action also appealled to the masses. It requires no sophistication, culture or education to appreciate an action sequence. The demand for action is a market that continues to dominate film today.


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