Question by Sean: Is it bad if I want to pursue filmmaking but don’t enjoy B&W films?
I like making films, and I get a lot of inspiration from color films alone…but obviously, there is a lot of history and art in older black and white films. I just can’t seem to pay attention for those films though, sometimes because I can’t hear clearly because the audio is bad or I can’t see something since I expect color, so it throws me off.
Is it bad if I want to pursue filmmaking but don’t enjoy the B&W films? Also, any tips on how to concentrate on them better? Thanks
Answer by duckofdarkness
Just by being Black and White doesn’t make a film classic or good. A lot of those old movies are terrible! Not because they don’t have colour, but because the visual story telling isn’t well developed. A lot of old movies they just shot it like they were filming a live performance, with a static camera and not much going on visually. There are awesome ones too though, and when you discover them they will grab your attention. So that’s the first thing if you want to appreciate old films – get recommendations for good ones.
The other thing is, don’t feel you need to develop an appreciation of classic cinema before you get involved in film-making. It’s more likely to work in reverse – ie, the more you get involved in film the more you will appreciate classic cinema. With old film noirs, for instance, the use of lighting and shadows is one of the great joys in watching them and the more interested you become in lighting, because you’re doing it yourself, the more you will appreciate it when you watch them. After a few years of making films, you will find your perspective on the films you watch changes as you look for different things.
If you want to learn more from old film-making techniques, but can’t sit through the films, maybe try reading critical analysis of old films to see what the key scenes and points of interest are, then get them on DVD and skip straight to those scenes, paying attention to what’s been done technically.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!