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Author Topic: 7500 film  (Read 697 times)

Will

  • Join date: May 2009
  • Location: Chicago
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7500 film
« on: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 02:50 »
Newly available for streaming is the film "7500," in which Joseph Gordon-Leavitt plays an American pilot who lives in Berlin / Kreuzberg and flies an Airbus as F/O for a fictional German airline. The whole exercise of the film is to play with the idea of what it would be like to be trapped in the cockpit during a hijacking.

English-language critical reviews are mixed; many American reviewers pan the lack of character development, but I'm not sure I agree. I think it succeeded in doing what it intended to do, which is to be very realistic in developing a specific situation. Not every drama needs character development; sometimes the plot itself is the drama. Other parts that appeal to me: presented in real time (no flashbacks or flash-forwards), no musical score, and only one set. Simplicity in storytelling.

Airbus fans will love the technical aspects, while some viewers will not like the violence of the hijacking.
« Last edit: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 03:04 by Will »
Will /Chicago /USA

Hardy Heinlin

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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 04:57 »
Ah, transponder code. I thought 7500 pixels :-)

If you say "one set", are there any cuts? How's the camera work? Is it permanently handheld and excessively shaky, even in quieter moments?


Regards,

|-|ardy

brian747

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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 08:09 »
Hi Will!

I'll watch out for that movie — thank you.   

Quote
...many American reviewers pan the lack of character development...

Within the fiction writing  / screenwriting world there exists a general presumption that characters need to be seen to change (and as a result grow — even if the growth is in a negative direction) as a result of the events they experience. Evidently, the reviewers you refer to have this mindset.

However, not all fiction writing methodologies accept this as a given. For example, Dramatica ("A new theory of story" that has actually been around for decades), states firmly that "Main characters don’t have to change to grow.  They can grow in their resolve." See this article for a summary of that assertion: http://dramaticapedia.com/2019/02/26/character-change-vs-character-growth/

No doubt the debate will continue. But I always feel that ultimately, the audience (or reader) knows when a story works and when it doesn't — it's always tempting for story theory professionals to over-analyze.

Cheers,

Brian
(Author of "The Big Tutorial" for PS1, and "Getting started with PSX" Parts 1, 2, and 3).

Will

  • Join date: May 2009
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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:29 »
Hardy - yes, the camera is handheld (or at least appears to be), but I didn't find it excessively shaky. And it's not one take; I'm sure it was filmed over several days/weeks. But it's edited together such that it's a 90-minute movie showing a continuous, linear, 90-minute period of time without jumps or gaps.

Brian - interesting perspective. I'm reminded of the differences between the American and the British versions of The Office. The American version shows the characters developing, and there's even a redemption arc for the idiot boss, who learns from his mistakes and becomes slightly more worthy. The British version cares very little for that, and yet is still very entertaining. When concentrating on the Ricky Gervais character, it's as if the British version gets fun out of exposing a bad man and showing him get some comeuppance, while the American version entertains with the myth that people can change for the better.

For some reason, my mind keeps coming back to the movie Jaws as a comparison to 7500. Both Jaws and 7500 feature a small group of men trapped in a small space fighting off a scary and largely unseen enemy. In Jaws, they are on a boat being attacked by a shark; in 7500 they're in a cockpit being attacked by terrorists.

But in Jaws, the shark seems to act as a plot device, while the "real" story is the men in the boat: Brodie grows from milquetoast family man into a brave hero, Hooper changes from a privileged egghead into a kind-hearted man of action, and Quint, the anti-hero, is felled by his ambition and drive. The fun for the viewer is the myth that the viewer, also, could be tested in a similar crucible and would, like Brodie and Hooper, come out changed for the better. ("I may be leading a fairly bland life right now, but if I were in a boat being attacked by a shark, I would rise to the occasion and demonstrate bravery and heroism, just like those guys.")

7500 does not care about character development. The plot is the story; it's not about the pilot learning and growing, or discovering attributes of his character that he didn't know existed. The viewer sort of thinks "well, that was harrowing, I hope that doesn't ever happen to me."

Will /Chicago /USA

brian747

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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 08:05 »
Quote
...it's as if the British version gets fun out of exposing a bad man and showing him get some comeuppance, while the American version entertains with the myth that people can change for the better.

So the American version definitely sounds better from the point of view of dramatic structure.   

But of course, the British version ran from 2001 to 2003, whereas the American version was 2005 - 2013 (you guys got more mileage out of it, too). However, you had the luxury of writing an improved version of the original: there's another saying in the fiction writing game - "Second thoughts are always best".     

Of course, to have those second thoughts you need to build on a strong original concept. The strength of this one seems to be confirmed by the spin-offs: Germany (2004 - 2012), America (2005 - 2013), France (2006), Canadian French version (2006 - 2007), Chile (2008), Israel (2010 - 2013), Sweden (2012), Czech Republic (2014), Finland (2017), and India (2019 - ?)

Which confirms that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant had a sound premise on which to build, and strong characters in their fictional world, that's for sure.   

Quote
...it's as if the British version gets fun out of exposing a bad man and showing him get some comeuppance...

I fear that British audiences would instantly recognise the manager character, so that little explanation or "character establishment" was needed - having worked in your country for a short time I can confirm from experience that our workplace practices are often less civilised than yours.

Cheers,

Brian
(Author of "The Big Tutorial" for PS1, and "Getting started with PSX" Parts 1, 2, and 3).

RogerH

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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 11:05 »
I watched 7500 last night - I thought it was very good. The technical aspect was pretty good for a movie (except the dreaded mistake of prounounceing the "R" in "26R" as an actual letter rather than "Right" - two-six-arrr!).

Funnily enough I thought there was some character development - the young terrorist fighting with his conscience, the FO developing strenght of character and ingenuity to keep ahead of the situation. Sure, the other characters were more liek good sketches, but the film for me was about the two main characters.

Good film. I'll probably watch it again.

B747-400

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Re: 7500 film
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 6 Jul 2020 09:52 »
Hi,

here is a making of story, and a short video with good background information as well.

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/06/7500-how-they-shot-the-tense-claustrophobic-dance-with-joseph-gordon-levitts-airplane-co-pilot-1202238521/

The report is EN, video mostly German but with EN subtitles.

BR
Hans
Hans G. Schuetz
http://B747-400.net