The FAR cannot wait to avoid interaction at the movie theater again! While it waits, it will have to content itself with hands-on pursuits, witnessing the process of actors and editors, of videos meant to disappear and books that ask for input.
Thanks to Miller for contributing this week, his generosity is too large to process properly. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday!
For The Ringer, Aric Jenkins wonders if record ticket sales as theaters reopen in China might be a barometer for cinemas worldwide:
“It would be like saying takeout will be the way of the future instead of restaurants, that people will shift from outside the home to inside the home,” says [media analyst Paul] Dergarabedian. “The success of China points to the fact that audiences are embracing the communal experience of theaters. Drive-ins last year told us a lot about that, too. I don’t see these as adversarial offerings—the small screen and the big screen are not natural enemies, they can complement each other.”
At Screen Slate, the creators of the purposefully unarchived project Temp.Files describe how the site’s restrictions affect their methods:
Sunita Prasad: For me, an element of temporality adds a charge and feeling of happening or event which transfers to the viewer a sense of “being there” without being physically together.
Rachel Stevens: Totally agree with Sunita. What makes Temp. Files unique is this public presentation of newly made work. I appreciate the way this structure pushes my process to make something presentable, while the short turnaround time circumvents a tendency to agonize and overthink.
Filmmaker Magazine‘s Scott Macaulay talks to filmmaker Pete Ohs about the unique idea to live-stream his editing sessions over Twitch:
Asked a viewer in the chat, “How do you slide the footage over like that?” Ohs took a moment to verbalize what’s clearly muscle memory to him. “… Oh, it’s a shortcut I really love — option and then the less-than and greater-than signs. I imagine it like a Pac-Man — as you go left, it’s like you’re eating the clip. It’s a good shortcut when you’re making a fine cut and doing a one- or tw0-frame adjustment.”
Katie Rife interviews Delroy Lindo about his (should-be award-winning) work in Da 5 Bloods and how to use preparation in the moment:
AVC: What were the particular challenges of portraying a character with PTSD? In the sense of translating that data into the physicality of the character and the actual performance?
DL: Well, I don’t think of it in terms of challenges. And when I say that, I don’t mean that at any point in the process I felt, “Oh, I got this.” I absolutely didn’t feel that. What I did was trust that step by step by step by step, I was bringing to the work that which needed to be brought. It’s difficult sometimes to talk to journalists about this, because one does not necessarily deconstruct one’s process in the way that may be required when one is speaking to a journalist and is “objectively” or even subjectively unpacking it. That’s not the way the process works. One is only compelled to deconstruct when one is asked the question. Does that make sense?
And finally, Aaron A. Reed’s Substack 50 Years of Text Games does a weekly deep dive on a text game for each year from 1971 (The Oregon Trail) to 2021. This week they cover the first Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, The Cave of Time:
The branches in the book come often, with rarely more than two pages passing without a choice, and a structure that “resists being drawn as a vertical flowchart: it wants to be a radial sea-creature.” This means each pathway is quite short, taking a reader only ten to fifteen minutes to complete: a chunk of time nicely aligned with the length of a bus ride or a recess. While later books would slow down the pace of choices to enable longer pathways with more plot and character development, and would merge branches more aggressively to increase the length of any given read-through, Cave of Time treats each choice as a true divergence, leading to forty different endings: eaten by the Loch Ness Monster, becoming a ship captain, or riding a mammoth off the edge of a cliff.