The Economic Downturn Hits Hollywood – Lighting budgets drastically cut…….

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

This weekend I watched some movies.  I haven’t done that in a while.  While watching the movies I noticed something…….  Hollywood is no longer lighting scenes!

Now, being a reformed economist and wireless engineer, I still pay attention to economic trends in the tech arena.  I know there are a ton of wireless engineers job hunting today.  Further, I know there are many engineers of all walks of life currently pounding the pavement.  Thousands of tech specialists searching through a small pool of jobs.  It’s a tough environment, and my old engineering friends can attest to that.

What I didn’t know was how far reaching the downturn has gotten.  I mean, it’s reached Hollywood!  You know things are bad, even if the Fed’s mouth pieces are talking stuff up.  Just watch a movie or two and you’ll find that lighting specialists must be on the streets too…….

How do I know this?  Two out of three movies watched this weekend were apparently shot with someone’s pocket flashlight and nothing more!

First off, the latest installment of the Harry Potter series.  Great story, major drama……so dramatic in fact that over 60% of the scenes apparently required little to no light.  There were moments when I thought, “What’s going on here.  Who’s doing what?  Are these characters important?  Maybe I should have just gotten the audio book.”

But “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” didn’t take the cake this weekend.  Oh no.  The poorly lit prize goes to another movie.

“Public Enemies”

The film started out strong.  Well lit, I started getting familiar with the characters, and then boom.  No light.  Well, the light from gunfire here and there.  Multiple times I thought Baby Face Nelson was killed, but to be totally honest, I never really got a good look at whoever was playing him.  So when somebody died I thought maybe it was him, but then it wasn’t.

Fortunately he finally did die.

The film was one of those “edge of the seat” numbers.  Not due to the actual suspense of the movie, but rather due to the lack of light in scenes.  You just didn’t know what the #$@%! was going on. Who got shot?  What’s happening…..?  Actually, do I even care?  End the bleeping movie already………

So, I have this request…….  Hollywood, call your lighting guys back.  To my knowledge electric prices haven’t gone through the roof yet.  And bulbs aren’t super expensive.  Rechargeable batteries are also available if you’re worried about the environment.  And I know, those long life fluorescent lights totally suck, and they’re a toxic nightmare……but please guys, I’d actually like to see the movie I’m watching.

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