Editorials,  Movies/Entertainment

Random Film Thought of the Day…6.24.09

Hello World, Marc Here:

Well, it’s Wednesday and there’s nothing I’m absolutely compelled to write about so I throw this one out there for your consideration.

I watch movies a lot…let me reiterate, a lot.  Now, when I’m zoning out of a movie I’m not really into or one I’ve seen a thousand times, there’s one thing that I’ve begun to notice on an increasing level.  That is that actors don’t wear their seat belts in a scene where they are driving a car.  Now its not a big detraction for me, but it still makes me go “hmm”.  The fact that they’re not wearing it just seems to jump out – like a guy wearing a suit jacket with shorts, or someone with a toupee that’s askew.  To most people I bet this is barely perceivable and largely goes unnoticed.  To me, it’s just something I tend to notice, now that I’ve see it a few times, and so my brain is conditioned to look for it/point it out.

It seems understandable and acceptable in older films from the 40’s and 50’s.  Reasons might have been that safety standards weren’t as high as they are for drivers today and of course the obvious one, “Marc, don’t you know that they’re sitting in a “prop” car being rocked by stage-hands on a set.”  Well, that was fine and I accept that, but today’s movies and cars are different.  Sure you can park a car on top of a trailer, tow it behind some big rig and when the camera is positioned right, it looks like the actor is really driving the car.  But that doesn’t seem to happen anymore either.  Film makers are tying to get more realism in their movies so actors are doing more stunts and scenes themselves.  That’s understandable too… but why don’t actors wear their seat belts if they are now really driving the cars?  And another thing while I’m at it – Why don’t car windshields have the rear view mirror when there’s a “head-on” shot of the actors in the car?  It’s not like at that angle you’d be obscuring an actor’s face (unless they had a back seat companion), but this is still compels me to ask, why??

I’ve never been in a film or on a set so I don’t know the answers.  Sure I have some ideas but they’d be wild guesses and I don’t believe they’re worth writing, so I’ll stop here.  So all that said, has anyone noticed these two instances more than a handful of times?  Or does anyone know why?