The art of film making

Have filmmakers gotten lazy, or is it just cost effect to have continuity errors in scenes rather than to do the scene, right in the first place? As a pair of examples, first in the 1940’s a little film called The Maltese Falcon had the following exchange. Humphrey Bogart is setting across from actor Peter Lorre, Lorre holds a can which he has the tip on the floor, the camera is looking over Lorre’s shoulder at Bogart. Bogart is digging cigarette out of a pack, pulls a match out and strikes on a gizmo in an ashtray. All the while Lorre talks. As Bogie lifts cigarette and match up, the camera goes behind him, and we see his arm raise the cigarette blocked from our view by his head.

The view from behind Lorre again who is still talking and twist his cane and starts to lift it, Lorre lifts the cane upward. Bogart is just finishing lighting his smoke, he begins to talk as he removes the cancer stick from his mouth, Lorre turns the cane pointing its handle to his face. Smoke rolls from Bogie's mouth wafting upward, he moves his arm out and downward and camera moves back to behind Bogart just as his arm comes to the armrest. At the same time, Lorre touches his cheek with the cane the wafting smoke is visible above Bogart's head. This is a fluid seamless flow as if it was shot from two camera's only it wasn't. One camera two or more takes.

Flash forward 60 to 70 years, a man lights a cigarette while talking to another man who is reading a book and on the first few pages. The camera angle changes the book is closed, and the cigarette is half burnt. The camera changes again the smoke has just been lit, and book is opened but opened to the last few pages. Back and forth the shots go each time something different than from the last angle used. What are continuity directors paid to do, make sure it doesn't look right?

Movies used to be an art-form, now in large part, they are just crap thrown together to make a person part with his money. So I ask you, are they lazy now, careless, or just don’t care what the product they put out looks like? I know I’m nitpicking, but when one has a nit, it must be picked.


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