(Ch. 12) Response Post (due 11.26.16)

Due Monday, November 26, 2018 (before 11:59 pm) – Response Post (two-part response post). 

*Respond with an original post for each part. If you find that your thoughts are exactly like another student, you should add a different take or provide stronger defense.

Part I. After checking out Chapter 12 and the topics related to “Faith & Film” and “Family Films, Children’s Films and Animation,” address the following two questions.

  1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or  … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?
  2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

 

Part II:

Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

 

 

15 Comments Add yours

  1. 1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or  … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?

    I was not aware of the different types of faith films. I was intrigued by the section on “Faith and Film”. I often just right off Christian films for not being critically good. I consider them to be in their own category. I was interested in the details revealed as to why movies made by Christians generally are not well made but they do make a good money. I don’t like that Christian movies aren’t well made. I feel like of all people Christians should be making the best content. Even though 3 million dollars is not a lot, it is still a lot to make a well-made movie. I believe that simple changes to cinematography, script, and editing could change the film from okay to great. However, I do believe that a film like “Courageous” or “Facing the Giants” has a certain amount of sincerity with the low-quality execution, but high-quality storyline causes the film to succeed.

    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

    I was very intrigued to learn just how powerful and influential Disney is. They own so many different studios like Marvel, LucasFilm, and also Disney Animation. They created a variety of content for a huge variety of ages. I think that it’s incredibly impressive what Disney does.

    3. Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

    From creation to finish it took “The Edge of Seventeen” over 4 years to be made. I feel like a film that deals with a complex and layered topics should definitely take their time with creating the film. There is a lot of pressure in today’s world to get things done quickly. I think it’s better to take care in research and get things right, rather than rushing to get the product out there. I have a few projects that are taking me months to finish. It’s not that I’m not editing them, but it’s just that I have something to say with these videos and I want to make sure I say the right thing in order to make an impact.

    -Samuelle Grove

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Sam – Thanks for your comments about faith-based films in relation to the technical aspects.

      I thought hearing Kelly talk about how long it took to film her film (4 years) compared to S. Craig Zahler’s Western (21 days) interesting. NTM

      Like

  2. Celia García Martín says:

    1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?

    What I learned is that most faith films are created with a very specific target in mind and they do not intend necessarily to reach mainstream audiences. Since this type of films do not always follow trends in cinema, they usually get bad reviews for being criticized from the wrong perspective. That means that it is not fair to judge a faith film without bearing in mind its audience and its interests. In this sense, faith films are not only relegated to religious communities, but they often send universal messages such as the fight between good and evil that can seem interesting to any kind of spectator. That is why we should not be skeptical about a faith or Christian film merely for its religious character. In the end, we might feel identified with the story of the film even though we might not share the exact same beliefs.

    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

    Family films have never stopped being successful because they also aim for a very specific audience. Besides, filmmakers have managed perfectly to adapt family films to new technologies in order to create more real and more expressive characters, as is the case of Disney Pixar films. Families enjoy spending their free time together and going to the cinema is an entertaining activity that they can all share. Film companies, therefore, are well aware of the demand of this sector of the population and try to produce adequate films for the whole family. That does not only mean to create films that deal with topics known for children (friends, toys, family, animals, etc.), but also to teach values and send educational messages. Likewise, family films do not only intend to be entertaining for children, but also for parents, which is, if possible, even more difficult. The great success of these films over the years lies, therefore, in that they are covering an important necessity of families: to provide them with an excellent activity that both parents and kids can enjoy in their time together.

    3. Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

    In her case being in direct contact with the world of cinema (she mentions how she did an internship in a film production company) was eye opening for her regarding her career as director and scriptwriter. In that sense, being involved in the process of film making is an excellent way to find out if we are suitable for this job and if that is really what we want to do in our lives. Out of this scope, it is difficult to determine whether our interest for cinema can really have consequences in our job career or if we simply prefer to regard it as a hobby. She also explains the importance of choosing real stories for the films that she makes. Those stories do not necessarily need to be based on a true event, but they must seem real to the spectator. Although action, science fiction and superheroes are more popular then ever in movie theaters, it is also nice to watch a film that deals with real life issues every once in a while. In that regard, this type of cinema can be very healing when we are going through a hard time and we realize by observing the film that we are not the only ones going through that same situation.

    Celia García Martín

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Celia – The universal themes (or life lessons) within faith-films are probably the strongest because of the intended audience; I believe those are the important elements to extract from these films. Likewise, you caught the same point from “Family films” -nice job.

      I loved how Kelly approaches cinema … through “story” – “realistic story.” Those are the films that can offer the life-lessons that can reach a multitude of audience members, because those very real stories can be relatable.

      NTMII

      Like

  3. drewpeden says:

    1.
    What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?
    • I grew up in church, and my church always took trips to see these faith based films in theatres as groups. These films do not succeed as much as a marvel film for example, but these films are generally well written and have huge amounts of praise from the target audience. What I gained from reading this article was how unique these films actually are, and although they are directed towards the Christian target audience, they can sometimes draw attention from just the average movie goer. This allows for the genre to continue to rise in popularity and it only seems to be growing more popular as these films begin to dive into actual real world problems and address things other films may not.
    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?
    • I grew up on animated films, and I still love animated films to this day! What I gained most from this reading was how far animated films actually went back. I had no idea animated films were actually as old as they are, and also I didn’t know that Apple owned Pixar. I found that to be really interesting! Animated films continue to get more and more amazing, and with the popularity of these new “live action” films, animation is about to become way more popular and influential than it ever has been.

    Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?
    • After listening to the interview with Kelly Fremon Craig, what I found most interesting was how important every single aspect of a film is, on screen and off screen. It doesnt matter how good of a script you have, if the cast doesn’t blend well together for a common goal to make the film a success, it could compromise the whole thing. Also even something as little as a small prop, if not strategically places, can stick out like a sore thumb. I found it interesting how important it is to put in as much work and effort and love into a film as you can.

    -Drew Peden

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Kelly’s comments about the “team effort” ties in truly well as we wrap the semester. Tying it all together – script, acting, sound design, production design, score, cinematography, editing … when we review films – we should explore each component … and grade along that scale. Thanks Drew

      Like

  4. jalissa9 says:

    I realize that faith films don’t get enough credit. The reason why faith films are not looked upon as these wonderful films is because no one has the same faith. We all have our own opinion on what’s real and what not and not everyone is Christian. People who can’t relate or see a topic of a film that has nothing to do with them can give them the wrong idea and not even want to try out the film. Horror genre is different you can hate scary movies, but I bet you at least a good amount ends up watching horror movies simply because their friends or significant other wants to watch it as well. Horror is not a touchy subject it’s not a debate subject its pure entertainment. Whether faith films seem to be very categorized on who would actually see it. I feel that faith films need to find a better approach. Maybe have actors that are well known a different story plot something that will not just intrigue the Christian population.

    Disney has always done a good job at creating family-kid films. It has been something that has continued to grow. They are able to get the whole family involved to sit down and watch a film to where they are all being entertained. What I find most amazing is that in a family everyone is a different age you could have a 5 year, 12-year-old and 30-year-old parents. Within that family when it comes to most Disney films at some point in the films everyone is entertained. Even with films such as lion king or nemo that came out when 90s kids where watching Disney. We now appreciate films like those and honestly most get excited when a new one comes out even though we are turning 21 rather than still being 7.

    The edge of seventeen took forever to come out. Which caught my attention because most do not realize how much goes into a film. You have so many details and sections that go into making a film and making it a film that will get good views. If you are throwing a film out there with a mediocre setting, mediocre actors and theme just to get a film out there it will not work. That is why series and movies that take that long it is not because they want it to take that long it is because of the work they are putting into the film. I have a series I watched called orange is the new black and a new series comes out with 13 episodes every summer. People always complain of how long they have to wait, but now I can look at in a perspective that good content takes time.

    -Jalissa Herrera

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Interesting take on the Faith-film approach vs. Horror -thanks for sharing.
      Family films connecting kids and adults and bringing them together for an entertaining experience is something that Disney wanted to do from the beginning (films, music, theme parks).

      Film making takes time . yep it does. . Thanks Jalissa

      Like

  5. 1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?

    Faith films are a little tricky from my side of things. On the one hand, you have movies like Passion of the Christ, The Ten Commandments or Ben-Hur that I think target massive audiences and don’t generate to a smaller group of people. However, films such as God’s Not Dead or Heaven is for Real are the examples that target a smaller demographic of people, and that’s generally speaking why they don’t get the best reception from critics. The one thing I took away from the reading section on Faith and Film is that there’s a lot of Christian films that suffer from poor character development, poor directing and mediocre storytelling, that said, the notion of Christian filmmakers, such as the Kendrick Brothers, know the roots and virtually everything about it. Although, that’s my issue with that mentality. When you release any movie you can’t just please one group of people, you’ve got to find a way to satisfy everybody at the same time.

    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

    Disney will forever hold a special place in my heart. Disney’s first animated feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” drastically changed the animation industry. It was the most successful film of 1939, earning more than $8 million. Disney was given one full-size and seven miniature Academy Awards for the movie. “Snow White” began a period that was later referred to as “The Golden Age of Animation” for Disney’s studio. In another first, Disney’s film “Fantasia” was the first major film to have stereophonic sound. Disney’s many innovations included such features as synchronizing sound with animated images and using storyboards, multiplane cameras, and optical printers. The animation industry to hugely important to the entertainment industry as a whole – everything from the animated feature films that fill the box-office, from the motion graphics artists for local news stations. When it comes to Family movies, family/animated movies are able to please families, of all race and gender, and that’s something I thought about when reading this section.

    3. Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

    After listening to the interview with director Kelly Fremon Craig, the one thing I took away was when she talked about the various stages that the script went through when she was making The Edge of Seventeen. Coming from someone who loves this movie, it was very interesting to hear her talk about her hanging out with kids who were of 17, and how she was then able to get a grasp on the life of a 17-year-old. The way she approached this felt very natural and sort of inspiring.

    -Zane Gray

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Zane – Your comment about “When you release any movie you can’t just please one group of people, you’ve got to find a way to satisfy everybody at the same time” is difficult to do for most genres. True kid films typically will appeal to the “kid’s audiences”, Parody films don’t appeal to those who like “dry humor”, Sci-Fi films aren’t the typical fare for Award’s season voters. It is difficult to appeal to “everyone” -no matter the genre of filmmaking.

      Nice trivia and thoughts on Disney.

      Kelly’s approach to “getting to know her audience” was awesome. I loved that too. Thanks Zane – NTMII

      Like

  6. 1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?

    I had no idea of the incredible success of the recent Christian film, “I Can Only Imagine,” relative to not only other faith films, but movies in general. In its opening weekend in March 2018, it debuted at the third position at the box office, only beaten out by Tomb Raider and Black Panther (which remains the highest-grossing domestic film of 2018). With its production budget of $7 million, compared to its $83 million earnings, it was remarkably profitable for a small film of these standards. This really goes to show how appealing to a select audience can have a monumental impact on a film’s success or failure. While only a handful of people might appreciate and understand faith-based films, you can bet that if it pleases a few members of that community, its popularity will spread like a wildfire. This is usually the director’s intent in faith-based film, to strike a chord with a specific group of people, not necessarily critics or movie-fanatics. “I Can Only Imagine” is the perfect example of this concept.

    2. • What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

    It is fascinating for me to look at the relatively new technology that we have in animation like Pixar and Dreamworks. With the “Toy Story” being released in 1995 as the first entirely CGI theatrical film, it catalyzed the empire of Pixar we know today. I was born in 1999, only four years after the release of “Toy Story,” and throughout my life, I have seen CGI and animation become increasingly more realistic. Going back a few decades before I was born, the CGI that has been developed in my lifetime probably seemed like an impossible achievement. Yet, the technology boom of the past twenty years or so has made seemingly fantastical dreams a reality. This has permeated throughout all aspects of society, including film. In looking at an upcoming example, there is going to be a CGI, life-like recreation of 1994’s Disney animated classic “The Lion King.” This is coming on the heels of recent adaptations of cartoon classics like “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Personally, I did not grow up a huge Disney fan compared to some of my friends, but after reading through this lesson, I am inspired to go back and give some of these original films a look and compare them to the live-action adaptations.

    Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?
    I thought it was interesting that Craig took her passion of writing into a filmmaking career, rather than a career as an author. Perhaps, her writing abilities are more suited for screenplays and film, rather than novels. The process through which she put together the script for “The Edge of Seventeen” was incredibly fascinating. Craig only developed two drafts, and the second, final draft was completely different than the initial one. This evolution was largely due to her incorporation of background research, conducting journalistic interviews with teenagers going through the period of life that she wanted to display in her film. This allowed Craig to get direct insight into the lives of people from this age group so that she could make a film to connect with them emotionally. Her main objective in creating the film was to show teenagers, “You’re not as alone as you think you are.” By the time of the film’s final production, Craig described “The Edge of Seventeen” as her “true vision.” I think this is the goal of every filmmaker, but, unfortunately, very few directors have this much total control over their projects. Sometimes, this is a good thing, but other times, it takes away from a film’s potential. With Craig’s film, it appears that her authority over the project resulted in its eventual success.

    – Thomas Manning

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      I believe that Christian films will always have an audience, and in my opinion, they don’t have to reach beyond that (if their goal is to uplift Christians). But finding themes that can resonate beyond faith and reach the human heart -those can offer life-lessons for anyone.

      CGI has forever changed (and continues to change) animation. As I watched Christopher Robin this year, I forgot I was looking at a CGI digitally animated stuffed-animal. The merging of life-action + animation has been around going back to films like Mary Poppins, but I’m still amazed by the interactions.

      Great writers (any style and avenue) aren’t afraid to rewrite, change, and recreate from scratch (Like Kelly), in fact they sometimes welcome it. Thanks Thomas – NTMII

      Like

  7. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?

    I think it really surprised me just to see a consolidated list of all the faith based films that Hollywood is putting out there. I think the Church as a whole has a distaste for the movie scene, given Hollywood has made quite the unwholesome name for itself. But, what few people have found, like the Kendrick brothers is how to use the movie scene as a mission field. It is really impressive how they were able to reach the audiences they did, and it is a wonder as to why more Christians who have that talent in film making don’t. Or sadly, do, and don’t make it as far because studios would accept their projects. I also like the hope in your response for faith based films to not only remain but really increase the next few years!

    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?

    Well for one, I had no idea that Mickey Mouse’s name was originally Mortimer Mouse. Thank you Walt’s wife, for that change!

    Animated movies are generally associated with children’s movies and I like how this highlighted that that is not always the case. If the storyline, theme, and casting of an animated film doesn’t reflect the child audience, then it could very well be an adult targeted film. It very much intrigued me that Steve Jobs had such a large hand in the world of film and animation. I assumed his work would help push the advancement of technology putting out animated movies, but I had no idea he was such a large shareholder in Disney. What a man of many accomplishments!

    3. Share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

    I really enjoyed her remark on how whether technology is something that has changed immensely in the past few years, the emotions have not and never will. Secondly my heart and stomach just sank for her when she mentioned that she had to completely scrap the first draft. But I guess that happens and for her that worked out for the best! I have not seen this movie, and I don’t remember even seeing an ad for it, which by the way you both talk about it, so positive, I’m not really sure why! Casting and Editing is something I never think about the writer having much say in, but it was almost refreshing to hear the stories of her involvement in both of those. I think her hand, and any other screenwriters hand throughout the entire project, makes for a more tact, and overall better film!

    Like

  8. noeltmanning says:

    LUKE – 1. What did you learn that will help you explore films of “faith” in a different way? Why? or … What did you gain from the “Faith and Film” section that intrigued or surprised you?
    One thing that I learned from exploring films of faith in a different way was in realizing the impact of the religious demographic. I think the overall category of moviegoers seeking films of faith are underrated in their potential influence on the box office. However, it was surprising to learn that the accuracy and portrayal of the religious aspects in a film of faith, can make or break a movie. Movies like “The Robe” and “Ben Hur” strayed too far from biblical text and the level of scrutiny cost the film sales. This was surprising to me because personally with many films even if it veers away from a true story or specific events, I would still go watch it. With that being said, it shows the potential impact of faith in a film and more importantly, how it is portrayed. Learning of the importance of films of faith and the way faith is portrayed. It helps me to look at these films in a different way, one that puts films of faith in their own category.
    2. What did you gain from the “Children, Family and Animation” reading that intrigued you? Why?
    Family and children-oriented films have always been a genre of films that have a huge impact on the audience. Lots of children’s films that were watching in someone’s childhood resonate with them for a very long time. With that being said, it shows the importance of the films and their production. Disney, Pixar, and other film companies recognize the influence of these films and are so successful for a few reasons. The characters and topics portrayed in the films are able to cater to many people in an audience and they create a story that is memorable for everyone. Knowing that these types of movies have such a big connection to families and children. It showed me that in terms of reviewing this genre of movies it is important to look at how these movies impact families and create memorable stories for children.

    3. Listen to the following interview with writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig of the coming of age comedy The Edge of Seventeen and share something that you found interesting or intriguing about Fremon’s approach to filmmaking (or life). Why?

    One thing that I found interesting about Kelly Fremon Craig in her approach to life and film is how connected to her work she is. In the interview, she talks about when she is writing and trying to portray a certain emotion, she looks at how something might impact her and relates it to real life emotion. The emotion that she has had personally is something that she connects to her work and the way she looks at certain things. I think this adds such an organic and real addition to what she is doing and it makes things more enjoyable. It is always awesome to enjoy the work that someone enjoys making and puts so much personal connection in to.

    Like

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