Define the phrase “well-directed”

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  • Beau S.
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    #93662

    I started this conversation in another thread, but it feels like the topic would be best answered if numerous peoplegave their opinions.

    We often use the phrase “well-directed” here, whether we are referring to the film as a whole or an individual performance or scene. Give YOUR definition of the phrase “well-directed.” What does it mean for a performance to be well-directed? Post some clips of what you feel is a well-directed scene. How do you define and who would you say is an “actors’ director.” What, for you, is the definition of a good director as opposed to a bad director. Relate it to the Oscar race for Best Director, as well as to recently released films.

    This is a very broad topic, so I hope to get some great post-Oscar discussion going! 

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    Anonymous
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    #93664

    Hard to say since I’m not a director, but to me a director’s job is to get the vision of the story the best way through the camera, including getting all the actors on the same page, etc.

    The fight scenes in Raging Bull are a prime example. Not only does it look good, but Scorsese adds sound effects and places the camera exactly where it needs to be to get the right effect of the scene: when Jake Lamotta is on the ropes, the camera is outside, etc.

    In There Will Be Blood, the scene where Paul sunday meets Daniel Plainview to tell him about the oil, is also an amazing scene.

    As for actors directors, Terrence Malic is not an actor’s director. He doesn’t use charatcer to advance the story. David O. Russell is an actor’s director-he bases the scenes around the characters and motivations, etc, while managing to bring out the best in his actors.

    The Psycho shower scene is probably the best directed scene of all-time. The Master’s processing scene is probably the best of the year along with the plane crash in Flight and boarding the plane in Argo.

                    

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    Beau S.
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    #93665

    bump

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    Jake
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    #93666

    My meaning of the term is that all the elements of the film – acting, cinematography, screenplay, costumes, sets and all of that – are all mixed into one flawless motion picture. Director is responsible for making the movie and is the first one to achieve acclodes or criticism for it. He has to co-work with the whole crew on their responsibilities and work it out what would be the best for the movie. He can be fully into that or just let them do their work and just stand there but he’s the one to take credit for the final result, either good or bad (or anything in between).

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    Anonymous
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    #93667

    My meaning of the term is that all the elements of the film – acting, cinematography, screenplay, costumes, sets and all of that – are all mixed into one flawless motion picture. Director is responsible for making the movie and is the first one to achieve acclodes or criticism for it. He has to co-work with the whole crew on their responsibilities and work it out what would be the best for the movie. He can be fully into that or just let them do their work and just stand there but he’s the one to take credit for the final result, either good or bad (or anything in between).

    Pretty much the best answer.
     

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #93668

    In my opinion, “well directed” is just a broad phrase meaning that the director’s choices were particularly good ones. Same goes for equally broad, non-specific phrases like “well acted” and “well written.” It’s a fine place to start, but to really discuss the direction of a film one should expand on what about the direction he thinks is strong. Ditto the writing, acting, and anything else about a film one would describe as good or bad.

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    babypook
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    #93669

    It’s subjective, like everything else. And the definition of ‘good’ directing generally grows and expands with the experiences of the viewer, and all of the players.

    Examples?
    Affleck:  there’s a reason why he missed the nomination.
    Uwe Boll: gotta love the guy for staying true to his ‘vision’.
    Wachowski Bros: genius

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    Beau S.
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    #93670

    bump

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    Yesmar
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    #93671

    Good direction is almost like a Potterism to me. “I can’t describe it, but I know it when I see it.”

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    Macbeth
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    #93672

    Basically anything that has “A Film By __________________”, where the names Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson or Orson Welles are substituted in the blank space

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    KT
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    #93673

    If you want one film as an example of what well-directed means—actually more than well-directed, sublimely directed—look no further than Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  The director’s vision pervades all technical and artistic choices made in that film, making the product a very personal glimpse of the life and motivations of its author. Film is a director’s medium, and there is a reason why Vertigo is so highly regarded by people who study and make movies.  It is the perfect director’s film.

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