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Order your film preferences

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Ralf
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Order your film preferences

#1

Post by Ralf »

We all look for different things in a film, so I thought it'd be interesting to rank your preferences regarding all basic aspects of a film based by on how important they are (from a personal point of view):
  • Story
  • Script
  • Music
  • Directing (incl. cinematography, editing, style, etc.)
  • Special effects
  • Acting
By story I mean the general plot, by script I mean dialogue. I wasn't sure about including special effects at first because they're not that, uh, prevailing... but I know there are many a folk who love the FX / CGI wizardry.

I'd rank them:
1. Script
2. Acting
3. Directing
4. Story
5. Special effects
6. Music

I personally like a well-written film with good acting that's badly directed rather than vice versa. I rarely watch movies for the story and focus more on how they're made... music I don't care about whatsoever, I rarely even notice it.
Any categories I may have forgotten?
Last edited by Ralf on August 1st, 2013, 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#2

Post by funkybusiness »

I'd probably rank Directorial choices as my main concern. A director can work with bad examples of any of the other categories and still make a good film by making smart choices but the best of any of the other categories can be ruined by making a poor directorial choice.
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#3

Post by mightysparks »

I need a mixture of all things. I can't say a film needs to have ONE thing to be good; it needs everything to be good. However, in a general sense:

1. Script
2. Acting
3. Story
--
4. Directing
5. Special effects
6. Music

I rarely notice music. Special effects are only important when they help carry the story - particularly for films like science fiction when the setting is a character itself, and sometimes for horror (I prefer 80s style effects to CGI stuff). I'm not entirely sure how to judge directing. I feel it really depends on the type of film and the top 3 aspects.

Script/acting/story go hand in hand for me I think. Story is important but with a crappy script, it ends up being pointless. With a good script/good acting, even dull stories can become interesting; eg, Douce. Which sounds totally uninteresting, even when I recount the plot to myself, but the acting is so great, it really comes alive.
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#4

Post by allisoncm »

Acting
Directing (incl. cinematography, editing, style, etc.)
Script
Story
Music
Special effects
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#5

Post by burneyfan »

I don't think I can consistently rank these, except to say that script often pulls toward the front; I'm a word girl.
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#6

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

Yea it really depends on the case. I find that I prefer films that are based on the director's choices and atmosphere though because they're usually plotless, so there's less to judge. Music will be near the bottom most of the time but when it comes to silent films they become incredibly important to me.
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#7

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi »

Yes, this is a bit like asking which leg of the chair I'm sitting on is the most important, but what the heck, I'll give it a shot, with one addition:

1. Ideas Explored, Expressed
2. Script
3. Story
4. Acting
5. Directing
6. Music
7. Special effects

Seems crazy having directing so low, but that's what making such an artificially discrete list does.

It's easy to discount music relative to the other elements, but it often operates on the viewer subconsciously. I guess you could often say of a soundtrack what they usually say about soccer/football refs: if it's doing its job well, you don't notice it's there.
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#8

Post by serri »

I'm not even sure story would be on my list.
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#9

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

I don't think I could make a ranked list because of the things I care about, (Story, dialogue, themes, direction) none of them are individually vital and anyone of them can overcome shoddy execution in the others if it's great enough. It's all about how those things are balanced.

Acting just has to meet a basic threshold of not pulling me out of the film, though excellent performances can help enhance the things I care about, acting alone will never save a film for me.

The rest don't matter at all.
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#10

Post by tommy_leazaq »

Screenplay/Script
Acting
Story
Directing
Music


Special Effects don't matter..
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#11

Post by Gershwin »

ArthurYanthar on Aug 1 2013, 10:53:12 PM wrote:(...) Music will be near the bottom most of the time but when it comes to silent films they become incredibly important to me.
To me, the great thing about watching silent films is that you can choose your very own music. There IS no official soundtrack, most of the times.
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#12

Post by metaller »

I can't rank it clearly and I can like films for a magnitude of reasons. Nearly any film can be easily sold to me, as long as it doesn't do things badly.

But I would express the things I'm looking for something like this:

1. Theme and directorial interpretation
2. Cinematography
3. Story and script
4. Atmosphere and music

All other things have to be done either extrmely well or extremely bad to influence my liking of a film (I recognise good acting, but it doesn't enhance my general enjoyment of the film. Acting needs only to be sufficient. But bad acting can hinder my enjoyment of the film). The same is true for example for special effects.
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#13

Post by metaller »

PeacefulAnarchy on Aug 2 2013, 12:26:47 AM wrote:I don't think I could make a ranked list because of the things I care about, (Story, dialogue, themes, direction) none of them are individually vital and anyone of them can overcome shoddy execution in the others if it's great enough. It's all about how those things are balanced.

Acting just has to meet a basic threshold of not pulling me out of the film, though excellent performances can help enhance the things I care about, acting alone will never save a film for me.

The rest don't matter at all.
I could have also just quoted this.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
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#14

Post by St. Gloede »

I'm gonna do the ultimate cop-out and say that it depends entirely on the film. For example, script, story, special effects and acting aren't even needed to make a great film - but the greatness of a film can depend heavily on either one of those. A strong script + story can be delivered perfectly without particularly grand direction/visuals as well.

Overall though visuals + direction is clearly the most important aspect as it's the part of cinema you cannot get away from no matter what. It needs to be there (unless you want to present a blue frama, and hell, even then the "director" chose to do that) and it needs to be done at the very least relatively well for the end product to be good.
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#15

Post by Armoreska »

I guess
1.FX
2.Music
3.Directing
4.Story
5.Acting
6.Script

although I can do with just the script, i.e. stand-up comedy
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#16

Post by bal3x »

Very hard to rate and indeed depends on specific film, I mean there are films (and a lot of them for that matter!) where not all of the items are present in the first place :)

I guess it would be like this:

Script
Acting
Directing
Story
Music
Special effects

Not sure what's meant by "special effects" in separate category as opposed to what we normally call "visuals", i.e. cinematography (which are under directing), it's a bit confusing classification.
Last edited by bal3x on August 2nd, 2013, 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#17

Post by Coopaloop »

metaller on Aug 2 2013, 05:13:30 AM wrote:I can't rank it clearly and I can like films for a magnitude of reasons. Nearly any film can be easily sold to me, as long as it doesn't do things badly.

But I would express the things I'm looking for something like this:

1. Theme and directorial interpretation
2. Cinematography
3. Story and script
4. Atmosphere and music

All other things have to be done either extrmely well or extremely bad to influence my liking of a film (I recognise good acting, but it doesn't enhance my general enjoyment of the film. Acting needs only to be sufficient. But bad acting can hinder my enjoyment of the film). The same is true for example for special effects.
Completely agree with this order. I would say, also, that there exists a big difference between the type of films films if you switch 3 and 4. If you put 4 above 3.
Last edited by Coopaloop on August 2nd, 2013, 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#18

Post by joachimt »

Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 06:03:58 AM wrote:I guess
1.FX
2.Music
3.Directing
4.Story
5.Acting
6.Script

although I can do with just the script, i.e. stand-up comedy
I thought the top of your list would have been 'short runtime'. :P
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#19

Post by Armoreska »

joachimt on Aug 2 2013, 11:50:00 AM wrote:
Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 06:03:58 AM wrote:I guess
1.FX
2.Music
3.Directing
4.Story
5.Acting
6.Script

although I can do with just the script, i.e. stand-up comedy
I thought the top of your list would have been 'short runtime'. :P
:( no fair, I rank 110th on the mini-series list
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#20

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi »

Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 01:40:45 PM wrote:
joachimt on Aug 2 2013, 11:50:00 AM wrote:
Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 06:03:58 AM wrote:I guess
1.FX
2.Music
3.Directing
4.Story
5.Acting
6.Script

although I can do with just the script, i.e. stand-up comedy
I thought the top of your list would have been 'short runtime'. :P
:( no fair, I rank 110th on the mini-series list
Special effects is your primary interest in a film?
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#21

Post by joachimt »

Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 01:40:45 PM wrote:
joachimt on Aug 2 2013, 11:50:00 AM wrote:
Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 06:03:58 AM wrote:I guess
1.FX
2.Music
3.Directing
4.Story
5.Acting
6.Script

although I can do with just the script, i.e. stand-up comedy
I thought the top of your list would have been 'short runtime'. :P
:( no fair, I rank 110th on the mini-series list
Alright, you win. You've got three times as much checks than me on that list. I'm ranked 1992.
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#22

Post by Armoreska »

Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Aug 2 2013, 01:46:17 PM wrote:
Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 01:40:45 PM wrote:
joachimt on Aug 2 2013, 11:50:00 AM wrote:I thought the top of your list would have been 'short runtime'. :P
:( no fair, I rank 110th on the mini-series list
Special effects is your primary interest in a film?
Nahh just flaming you all
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It's hard to say. Probably so.
Is that bad?
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#23

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi »

Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 02:35:47 PM wrote:
Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Aug 2 2013, 01:46:17 PM wrote:
Armoreska on Aug 2 2013, 01:40:45 PM wrote: :( no fair, I rank 110th on the mini-series list
Special effects is your primary interest in a film?
Nahh just flaming you all
Spoiler: click to toggle
It's hard to say. Probably so.
Is that bad?
Your prerogative, of course. Just a little surprising for an ICM-er.
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#24

Post by mightysparks »

Special effects are important depending on the film... And the lack of effects still counts as 'effects' right? Imagine something like American Werewolf in London or Jurassic Park without the awesome effects. I can't see either of them working as well. Same with the general kind of effects for horror movies in the 80s, and stuff like Brain Dead. Much cooler than crappy CGI. On the other hand, crappy CGI can totally ruin a film. Or for films like Demon Island, just make an already terrible film even more painful to watch.
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#25

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi »

mightysparks on Aug 2 2013, 02:47:07 PM wrote:Special effects are important depending on the film... And the lack of effects still counts as 'effects' right? Imagine something like American Werewolf in London or Jurassic Park without the awesome effects. I can't see either of them working as well. Same with the general kind of effects for horror movies in the 80s, and stuff like Brain Dead. Much cooler than crappy CGI. On the other hand, crappy CGI can totally ruin a film. Or for films like Demon Island, just make an already terrible film even more painful to watch.
Sure, there are often times when special effects simply floor me, and I just marvel at the spectacle.

On the other hand, I love the way that every once in a while they'll take a classic from world literature and "update it for modern audiences," by which they mean they'll downplay and simplify the ideas and boring stuff like that and cram it with gratuitous special effects. I've seen a few of these, but one recent production of A Christmas Carol really sticks out in my mind.
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#26

Post by Ralf »

mightysparks on Aug 2 2013, 02:47:07 PM wrote:Special effects are important depending on the film... And the lack of effects still counts as 'effects' right? Imagine something like American Werewolf in London or Jurassic Park without the awesome effects. I can't see either of them working as well. Same with the general kind of effects for horror movies in the 80s, and stuff like Brain Dead. Much cooler than crappy CGI. On the other hand, crappy CGI can totally ruin a film. Or for films like Demon Island, just make an already terrible film even more painful to watch.
I'm with you on practical effects, whenever I see a contemporary horror flick utilize puppets and the like I pop a ginormous boner. Kinda takes me back to my childhood in a way, and makes the film and its makers seem less 'lazy' ! But I guess here you can ask yourself if you'd prefer a horror movie with an excellent script and bad effects or a horror movie with a bad script and amazing effects - although of course you can find great examples of both! In the case of Jurassic Park, I wouldn't sacrifice those effects for anything that's for sure!! I saw the 3D re-release and I was head over heels! In fact that's one of the few movies where that music score and those special effects - and neither of which do I consider essential to a film - are absolutely pivotal!
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#27

Post by mightysparks »

Well, as I said in my original post - I believe it depends entirely on the film. I can't completely discount one aspect of film, because for certain films that one thing may be the most important thing (or you know, contribute heavily to its awesomeness). I wouldn't choose a horror movie with a good script + bad effects or a horror movie with a bad script + good effects - I'd just take a good horror movie :P Although for horror, I'd go more with atmosphere and tension - with at least a little sense of humour - over anything else.
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#28

Post by Dolwphin »

1. Directing
2. Music
3. Special effects
4. Script
5. Acting
6. Story
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#29

Post by Armoreska »

Dolwphin on Aug 3 2013, 05:15:18 PM wrote:1. Directing
2. Music
3. Special effects
4. Script
5. Acting
6. Story
now that's something I can relate to!
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#30

Post by Torgo »

1. Directing (cinematography & compositions, tempo, editing are an essential part)
2. Music
...
3. Story
4. Acting
5. Ideas, themes, overall meaning
6. Script / dialogue


Needless to say that for a slapstick comedy, the cinematography won't play as much of a role and in a 200-mio-dollar budgeted FX fest I won't have to decipher a deeper meaning, but for most of my film choices I primarily look at the how and not the what.
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#31

Post by mightysparks »

mightysparks wrote: August 2nd, 2013, 12:02 am I need a mixture of all things. I can't say a film needs to have ONE thing to be good; it needs everything to be good. However, in a general sense:

1. Script
2. Acting
3. Story
--
4. Directing
5. Special effects
6. Music
Still agree with my point, but have changed my preferences:

1. Story
2. Script
3. Acting
--
4. Music
5. Special effects
6. Directing

Also way too many other important things missing here (visuals, editing, production, etc). 'Directing' doesn't mean anything to me.
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#32

Post by prodigalgodson »

1. Directing
2. Directing
3. Directing
4. Directing
5. Directing
6. Script
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#33

Post by Torgo »

What is your opinion on this peculiarity "actors" in films? They seem to be everywhere.
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#34

Post by cinewest »

1. direction absolutely at the top. A good director can make a good film out of anything, whereas a mediocre director can turn the most interesting subject matter into mediocrity.

2. Probably cinematography. The CinemaScape of a film is pretty important to me whatever technique or style is employed.

3. The soundscape. While I enjoy some silent films, and silent passages in films, the soundscape which includes music as well as ambient sound is very important in most movies I like.

4. Probably editing, which determines so much about a film and how we experience it.

5. Not short selling script, especially as my own background is in writing, but it is nothing more than an initial blueprint of the “story” to me, and all of the other factors above determine more about how much I will like the film, and often function as a revisionary process, though some writer / directors Tend to follow their scripts to a T.

6. They are all important, just as performances can be (a good one can carry a film, and a bad one can ruin it, and the same is true for any of the elements listed above). A good film can be driven by any of them (though there is usually some kind of combination), even exclude some altogether, and how good a film is usually comes down to the participants involved, beginning with the director.
Last edited by cinewest on October 28th, 2020, 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#35

Post by OldAle1 »

If it doesn't have a top notch best boy, key grip and caterer, I don't even bother.
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#36

Post by Lakigigar »

1. Directing (or visuals)
2. Script
3. Music
4. Special effects
5. Story
6. Acting

Depending on the movie or genre, this can change. For biographies, i value story more. Cinematography is by far the most important, acting the least (i've never seen a movie with really bad acting I believe. I don't think I care all that much. Actors & actresses generally are skilled enough to deliver a good performance so i'm not worried. When the acting is bad, the script, directing & story often are too.

OR

1. Atmosphere and music
2. Cinematography
3. Story and script
4. Theme and directorial interpretation

I want to experience, not analyze!
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#37

Post by Teproc »

1. Whatever the film is interested in

Really though, I think this is a rather silly question.
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Torgo
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Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
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#38

Post by Torgo »

Teproc wrote: February 17th, 2021, 4:42 pm 1. Whatever the film is interested in

Really though, I think this is a rather silly question.
For which we still assembled a few interesting thoughts and answers, don't you think?

Leading to: There are no silly questions!
:sweat:
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