I had a very interesting discussion about theater and film the other day. My parents and I were talking about Little Shop of Horrors and, specifically, about the ending of the musical versus the ending of the (1986) movie. In the musical, the story ends with the main characters getting eaten by the plant and everybody dying. The movie was originally going to end the same way, but audience reactions were so negative that they were forced to shoot a happy ending where the plant is destroyed and the main characters survive. Frank Oz, who directed the movie, later said something I think is very interesting:
I learned a lesson: in a stage play, you kill the leads and they come out for a bow — in a movie, they don’t come out for a bow, they’re dead. They’re gone and so the audience lost the people they loved, as opposed to the theater audience where they knew the two people who played Audrey and Seymour were still alive. They loved those people, and they hated us for it.
That’s a real gem of a thought in and of itself, a really interesting consequence of the fact that theater is alive in a way that film isn’t. A stage play always ends with a tangible reminder that it’s all just fiction, just a performance, and this serves to gently return the audience to the real world. Movies don’t have that, which really changes the way you’re affected by the story’s conclusion. Neat!
But here’s what’s really cool: I asked my dad (who is a dramaturge) what he had to say about it, and he pointed out that there is actually an equivalent technique in film: the blooper reel. When a movie plays bloopers while the credits are rolling, it’s accomplishing the exact same thing: it reminds you that the characters are actually just played by actors, who are alive and well and probably having a lot of fun, even if the fictional characters suffered. How cool is that!?
Now I’m really fascinated by the possibility of using bloopers to lessen the impact of a tragic ending in a tragicomedy…
A cache of pristine, vintage film reels is discovered. They have not seen the light of day in over a hundred years. Most are of fairly mundane things, but one depicts something disturbing and unexplainable.
One of my favorite assignments on #moana was animating this run of shots. This was a challenging scene! Fortunately, we had great consultation for the traditional dancers. The dancing boy was inspired by footage of a mischievous Polynesian dancer encountered during the filmmakers’ research trip. This is the closest we came to a romantic subplot in the film.
author’s note: most of the time when i write, i don’t plan for things to get that long but i always get carried away wtf. this happens with essays too i don’t understand. anyway, i think i kind of like this one, which is unusual for me to say of my stuff lol, but i do hope you enjoy
Piece of a reel the phenomenal @director2mill shot ! Im a product of @uflorida theatre and dance school and a master piece from @atlactingup !!! 🎥!! #reel #Atlanta #atl #film #movie #actor #actress #atlactors #newyork #la #booked