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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Psycho Week Day #7: The Psycho Legacy


Dear Potential Filmmakers,

I just wanted to take this time to tell you about some of things that you should and should not do when making a documentary.
                   1.)    When covering a series of films, make sure that you cover all of the films, no matter how bad they are. This will ensure that you have covered all of your bases. You don’t want to leave anything out or people will cry foul. This applies to The Psycho Legacy, a documentary that is supposedly about the Legacy that the Psycho series has left. This documentary was released in 2010 and only covers Psycho 1-4, leaving out the Bates Motel TV movie from 1987 and the remake from 1998. Now I know that no one really wants to talk about those two movies, but there are a lot of people, including myself, who wouldn’t mind hearing a little bit about both. It might give the films some perspective. Unfortunately, the makers here felt that these movies should not be part of the legacy, so why include them. Don’t be that guy (or girl) who thinks that they are better than the movies they leave out because they aren’t.
2                    2.)    Sound is just as important as picture. This should be a given, but the makers of The Psycho Legacy seem to have forgotten this or they were just too lazy. There are a lot of interviews included in this documentary that have some of the worst audio I have heard in a long time. There are YouTube videos that have better audio and they just had a store bought microphone. Sound can make or break a movie, so make sure that you can hear your interviewees clearly and without any echo.
3                    3.)    Don’t shoot your interviewees from EXTREME angles. I know that every director wants to make their mark somehow, but shooting your interviewees up from the bottom of their feet just makes you look douchey.  I would say about half of the people interviewed here are shot from angles that are best suited for porn. There are better ways to shoot interviews. Do the traditional way and have the camera between a full on forward shot and a side shot. You sit in front of the interviewee and they talk to you. Or you can have them talk directly to the camera. Errol Morris does this for his documentary and it works. It makes it seem like the interviewee is speaking directly to the audience. Put proper angles and good sound together and you have yourself a better made documentary then The Psycho Legacy.
4                    4.)    No Pets! You will end up shooting your interviewees at a hotel or their house. Do the best  that you can to keep the pets out of the room while shooting. Just ask the interviewee if they could keep the pets in another room while shooting is going on. I can not tell you how many times I have gotten mad at someone on YouTube who is trying to tell their audience something serious, only to have their cat jump up on the couch. The person then starts to play with the cat and their video, which should have been five to ten minutes is now twenty-five minutes because of that damn cat.

      These steps will ensure that you documentary is well made, even if the subject matter isn’t to everyone’s liking.
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      Better Luck Next Time,
      Jimmy P
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      The Psycho Legacy is a poor attempt at a documentary about the Psycho Series. The movie is only an hour and a half long which isn’t a lot of time to cover four movies. This is especially sad because the same year that The Psycho Legacy was released, we got another series encompassing documentary about A Nightmare on Elm Street. That documentary was well research, we made, and well edited. Oh, and it was shot in HD. The Psycho Legacy was not shot in HD and looks dated.
   
      It is a shame because this documentary should have been so much better had a little time and effort been put into it. I am not saying that this is the worst documentary I have seen, but it fails to deliver on what other documentaries are doing with even less. It is worth watching, but only if you want to hear all the stories you have heard over the years again.
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