Once again, late to the party, i watched “cloverfield” last night. The movie itself was a distracting romp, but for some reason i felt compelled to watch the two “making of” shorts on the dvd. What i learned from the two little blurbs was not unexpected but what struck me was the demeanor of the various technicians as they lackadaisically described the ho-hum technology and “just another day at the office” methodology of creating death, destruction and mayhem.
Also what i found profoundly upsetting was the general ( i want to say “ambience” but that’s not entirely accurate) uh, “feel” of the set. I guess where i’m going with all this is what i saw in these snippets did not show a team effort in the traditional sense. What i saw (what i was looking for?) was a bunch of nervous individuals all doing very specific jobs, but no overall sense of cohesiveness.
I’m probably being naive, all movies are created by specialists more focused on getting paid and moving on to the next project, but i want to believe there’s more to a film than buying an army of geeks. That this particular film was produced in this manner makes me think of an encounter years ago in Saint Paul. I played a recording of a guitar piece a friend had created for a music teacher/composer. He responded “it’s technically excellent, but it sounds like somebody practicing.” That’s my take on Cloverfield… given the attitude on screen of the technicians, despite their claims of enormous challenge, it seemed almost passé, pure grunt work, making license plates on a grand scale.