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A weekly show where we debunk common misconceptions. This week, Elliott discusses some misconceptions about movie making!

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Hi I'm Elliott and this is Mental Floss video, today's episode is brought to you by our friends at truTV with Adam Ruins Everything and today I'm gonna talk about some misconceptions about my favorite industry, it's the film industry. Hi film industry. Welcome.


Misconception number one: A director owns the rights to their movie. As you probably know, movies are made with the help of a bunch of people. There's writers, directors, producers, etc. In terms of copyright, this makes them joint works. Sometimes when copyrighting a film, a company provides a list of authors who co-own the copyright, but usually a motion picture company hires a bunch of individuals to work on the film. So when a director signs on to a project, it will often be in their contract that they don't own the copyright to the film.

And this can cause problems, like in 2015 director Alex Merkin lost a court case to the production company 16 Casa Duse because he refused to give them the raw footage for a short film they'd hired him to make. He never actually signed his contract, he just went ahead and registered the film with the US copyright office on his own. You can't do that, man. The court ruled that 16 Casa Duse owned the footage because they'd put the project together and hired the crew, including Merkin.

Misconception number two: A movie producer primarily deals with the movie's finances. Producers do a lot of stuff so people usually simplify it by saying "they're the ones handling the money." There are actually a few different types of producers and they all do different jobs. An executive producer isn't involved in any of the technical parts of film making, but handles the business and legal side. They also may or may not own the rights to the story. A co-executive producer is involved in providing some of the budget, then a co-producer does more of the day to day stuff, from casting to filming to post-production.

Misconception number 3: Editors start working after the movie finishes filming. Actually, editors are typically working throughout the film's production. According to Tim Squyres, who edited Life of Pi, "If they start shooting on a Monday... I get the footage on Tuesday." While the director is on set, the editor might put together cuts of scenes, then the director can watch those throughout production.

Misconception number four: Films are shot in chronological order. Films are shot out of order for many reasons like scheduling, lighting, actor availability, and just plain convenience. The crew would be unnecessarily moving from place to place if films were shot in order of scene. Instead, they're able to film all the scenes that occur in a certain location before packing up and moving to a new place. If films were shot in chronological order, they would probably be a nightmare to schedule, plus it would take much longer to complete one. A few movies have been shot in chronological order, though, usually because a director wants to get actors to feel a certain way, like A Beautiful Mind and 9 1/2 Weeks were mostly filmed in order.

Misconception number five: All noises in films were created on set. The microphones on set have one primary purpose which is to record dialogue and movie props often don't even sound right because they're fake. Noises made by feet, doors, and pretty much every prop are added in later by a Foley artist. This person records sounds in a studio so a film's background noise sounds the way it should. A Foley artist can record the noise that the actual item should make when it's being picked up or moved. Even dialogue can be recorded after a film is done shooting.

Speaking of sound, misconception number six: The Jazz Singer was the first movie with sound. This film is often credited as the first film with sound but that's not really the case, there were already many short films containing sound, dialogue and even musical numbers, and there were a few feature length films containing sound effects and music. The Jazz Singer was the first feature length film with synchronized dialogue. It also only has about two minutes of that total.

Misconception number seven: 3D movies must be filmed with a special camera. Traditionally, a 3D film was made with something called stereoscopic photography. In this technique, a camera basically captures two images at once so there are multiple perspectives of the same thing. Nowadays it's not necessary. Many movies released in 3D have been made that way in post-production. It takes 4-6 months to convert a movie filmed normally into 3D and this has been done with movies including The Avengers and Jurassic World.

Misconception number 8: The term "Bollywood" refers to India's filmmaking industry. Actually, Bollywood only describes the industry in India that makes films in Hindi. India has the biggest filmmaking industry in the world and Bollywood is only part of that. India also contains Tollywood which produces films in the Telugu language and Kollywood which makes films in Tamil. Bollywood, by the way, is called that because it got the B from Bombay and of course the "ollywood" is... just guess. It's from Hollywood.

Misconception number nine: The lion from the MGM logo killed its trainer. That is not true. Since 1917, MGM has had multiple logos run before their films and these were filmed by different lions. The one that this legend probably refers to is Jackie because he was the first post-silent-film era lion, so he's the first logo that roared basically. Regardless, neither him nor any of the other MGM lions ever killed a trainer, they were very professional.

Misconception number 10: Marisa Tomei won her Academy Award by accident. So in 1993 Marisa Tomei won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in My Cousin Vinny, which is a fantastic movie. It was considered an upset because she beat a few great actresses including Vanessa Redgrave who many people thought would win. Afterwards, a film critic named Rex Reed claimed that Jack Palance read the wrong name at the ceremony, meaning she was not the genuine winner, but this was just a theory.

In 1997 Roger Ebert asked the executive director of the academy about the situation. He responded, "If such a scenario were ever to occur, the Price Waterhouse people backstage would simply step out onstage and point out the error. They are not shy."

Thank you for watching Misconception on Mental Floss video which is brought to you by our friends at truTV with Adam Ruins Everything. If you have a topic for an upcoming Misconceptions episode that you would like to see, you know what to do, just go down in the comments and just leave it down there and we'll take a look at it. I'll see you next week. Bye.