Two screen-specific scenes from Bad Day at Black Rock

Here are two screen specific scenes (actual video). One of which is in the selections I have posted, and one I couldn’t fit into – besides it works better as a screen specific option.

I encourage everyone who has something to say in general or even specific to post in the comments.

#1: Photographic decisions




#2: Staging of a scene

staging1 staging2


6 thoughts on “Two screen-specific scenes from Bad Day at Black Rock

  1. first, thank you for creating and running this blog, this is a gem of information for any filmmaker and we are all lucky that you are doing it. First, I was wondering if you happen to have any place for donation, because the work you are doing here is very worthy of it. Secondly, I was wondering if you can talk to what Sturges is getting at when he says “do not put it right on your principle actors, go past your principle actors at what’s happening”. I’m assuming he is speaking to the idea of not filming as if it is theater but instead give each cut a purpose to drive the story…but I dont want to assume and it seems like a vital piece of information. Thanks

    • The best donation anyone can do is just say thanks, or be active discussing films and ideas in the comments šŸ™‚ – that was really my goal, but there’s only so few people who are active anyway so it’s a bummer. I kinda got burned out after doing the latest Tony Scott video myself – nobody even said thanks, so I stopped uploading lol. In due time.

      To be honest with you I was perplexed myself when I heard that bit – I sort of assumed he was “technically” speaking, as in not centering the camera just on characters but framing them and blocking them in such a way that shows their surroundings. I’ll listen to it again. However, what you said also makes a lot of sense… because “going past” something means it’s going deeper. So it would indeed make a lot of sense that you don’t just use the camera as the eyes to look at characters – but the way you USE it…whether it’s cutting to a close up of something, or an angle. There’s a lot of things you can do with it.

      • well let me simply say thank you then! Like I said before, there is a wealth of information on here and I cant believe you have only been at it for a few months. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to these yet, Seven and American Beauty have commentary tracks that are well worth listening to. Really on Seven it is the commentary with Fincher, editor Bruce Richard-Francis, DP Darius Khondji and production designer Arthur Max that is just absolutely amazing…some fantastic anecdotes from Fincher and Khondji in there. Also, in American Beauty there is commentary about storyboarding to picture between Mendes and Conrad Hall that is also incredibly informative. Both well worth a listen.

  2. I’ve heard all 4 commentaries on Se7en – American Beauty has been on my list for a while now just got to get my hands on it first.

    I’ve listened to 100s of commentaries, I’m just trying to sort out the best and condense them into valuable info.

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