Ever notice how characters in movies, on TV shows, even in commercials, tend to just appear in another room, from one scene to the next, without a transition? Well, it wasn’t always that way.
Take your basic early Hollywood film as an example. Many of the old black and whites are filled with shots of characters entering doors and exiting doors. In some films, as many as 150 ‘door’ shots! That’s a lot of doors.
In film today, however, characters walk through far fewer doors as their Hollywood ancestry.
Ever wonder why?
Back then, directors and producers apparently didn’t think too highly of their audiences ability to understand the difficult concept of entering and exiting rooms. In turn, the filmmakers felt the need to guide audiences in and out of scenes, as it was frowned upon to have a character just “magically appear” in his mother’s kitchen, for example. Directors felt the audience needed to see how he got there.
Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street
I assume directors feared that springs might pop out of people’s heads as they struggled to figure out how a character made it from ‘here to there’ without seeing it with their own eyes.
As has become the norm over the past few decades, audiences are capable of following sequences where a character is in one room in the first shot and in a different room (or different building, country, or even in another world) in the next.
So now you know. This concludes our break from the commercial door hardware posts. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.