Crimes of Grindelwald — Death By Author | Anatomy Of A Failure



among rioters there's a bit of an unwritten rule that you don't go after other riders you might criticize a rider's work but generally you don't go after them specifically this is especially the case in screenwriting because screenwriters at least in Hollywood are some of the most underappreciated and powerless workers in existence which is why they can't afford to fight amongst themselves I'm not here doing screenwriting true but it's a rule I always try to do my best to live by regardless today however I'm gonna have to break that one rule because it's the only way this video is going to work because today we will be talking about the crimes of printer world and writer JK Rowling then again maybe JK Rowling isn't just a tiny little writer anymore as much as she is a super celebrity political activist billionaire so maybe it's okay all that out of the way crimes of grandeur world is one of the most aimless and confusing and nonsensical movies I've seen in a very long time I guess it does have some enjoyable visuals especially if you're a huge Harry Potter fan but for those that are not it's hard to even know what this movie is about I mean it gets to the point where you would need a separate information chart to fully comprehend what is happening like you do in some experimental indie films and in a 200 million Hollywood blockbuster that's usually not so good initially I was so confused by this movie that I wasn't going to make a video on it until I saw the ending credits specifically the writing credit of JK Rowling because as it turns out this film wasn't written by a screenwriter it was written by a book author and when I realized this that's when all the pieces of the puzzle started to fall in place for those of you who don't know / care writing for books and for movies are two very different jobs I'm sure we all have our own opinions about this but at least to me a screenwriting is the more difficult job of the two because usually not only have to do more than books you also have to do everything under very strict handicaps and restrictions that books do not have and in my eyes its JK Rowling's failure to adhere to these handicaps and restrictions that serves as the ultimate reason why this movie simply doesn't work at all so here's the plan for the day let's fly into the magical world of crimes of Grindelwald in order to see how writing a movie like it was a book will lead to its destruction let's find out what the most essential handicaps and restrictions of screenwriting are that set it apart from book writing and how this movie fails to follow them if you're a book author about to try out screenwriting here's a useful guide of what to do and what not to do the beautiful thing about writing books is that you pretty much always have the luxury of time take all seven Harry Potter books and average their word count that average count is over one hundred and fifty thousand words that's a lot of time and so you don't have to be too picky about where you spend it or who you spend it with you obviously should view most of your story from the perspective of your main hero but you can also jump to the perspectives of multiple different side characters it only works if you properly develop and delve into who the side characters are but luckily you have time so no worries in screenwriting however time is always your worst enemy the average word count of a two hour film script is usually around twenty to thirty thousand words as in around sixteen percent of the average word count of the Harry Potter books you might argue that Harry Potter books are longer than most other works but so are two-hour film scripts and therefore when writing a movie you always have to be very careful about what perspectives you spend your limited time on in crimes of Grindelwald we see the story through the eyes of our main hero Newt Scamander but we also have a villain perspective in Johnny Depp plus also a second hero perspective in this detective woman that's already a bunch of perspectives and subplots but if you properly develop these characters and who they are it can work just fine the problem is that's not nearly the end of it we also have another our perspective with the detective woman's sister as well as newts brother we also have another villain point of view in Ezra Miller plus there's also Dumbledore with his secret motivations plus then there's also saw a Kravitz and her history not to mention this other dude who just shows up then there's this blonde guy and also Johnny Depp's henchman it goes on and on just look at the opening of this movie for example for a total of around 30 seconds we spend our time watching the sky fall and then barely survive and if he was a prominent part of the story fine the thing is I have no clue who this is and I'm pretty sure we never see him again except for maybe one scene where he truthfully doesn't really even need to be so why are we with him why do we experience the fall from his perspective not only is it a waste of time it also takes time away from places where it's needed and if this fall scene really is necessary why couldn't this character have been replaced with someone that we actually do spend time with later on like newts brother for example it's hard to know or care about any of these characters when before we even properly get to know them we're already jumping to another character as in instead of following a couple characters that we learn throughout we follow a big bunch of characters that we barely even know the names of not only that it's also hard to understand what this movie is mainly about because there are so many different points of view the primary hero POV seems to be Newt but I don't know if that's actually the case because for the most part this film revolves around stuff and backstory that he has absolutely nothing to do with in books you are more free to explore multiple perspectives because you have time to develop the characters behind those perspectives but in film time is not a luxury you have which means that you have to very carefully choose from whose eyes you tell your story furthermore you also have to make at least one perspective the primary perspective that is directly involved with the entire story and continuously pushes it forward your two-hour movie can be about a boy and a girl and magical beasts or it can be about long-lost siblings finally finding out their past or it can be about former wizard lovers now having turned into enemies but it cannot be all of them speaking of time this leads us to the second screenplay restriction of unending focus since books have time at their side they don't always have to stay exclusively on the main path they can at times feature stuff that isn't absolutely necessary for the story to work it's not advisable but it is acceptable but in film no in film writing everything has to be laser-focused to the point where everything you do has to serve a direct purpose in the larger story in case you've paid any attention to discussions revolving around the last Jedi you've probably heard the term Chekhov's gun if not in essence it means that if your story introduces a weapon that weapon at some point has to be used as in for every setup there has to be a payoff I guess this does apply to both film and books but again with books you have some amount of leeway films however do not have any leeway meaning that every scene and every moment and every action of your film has to either push the story forward or developed character in a meaningful way if it does neither it shouldn't exist the thing that makes crimes of Grindelwald so confusing and so frustrating to watch is because it takes this concept of Chekhov's gun and tosses it into the dirt and then stomps on it and finally spits in its face scene after scene after scene this movie introduces setups that never amount to anything at all take that guy from the opening for example the movie makes a big deal out of the fact that he barely survives the fall and consequently you would think that this character then plays an actual substantial part in the story later on but of course he doesn't so then what was the purpose of this take this scene where we spend two full minutes watching Newt interact with this big water monster that he holds as a prisoner in his house since we are spending minutes establishing this monster and what it can do one would assume that it plays a meaningful role later on maybe new to uses this water monster to battle against Johnny Depp and his bad guys that would make sense but no that never happens because the movie suddenly introduces this other big monster that Newt uses against the bad guys and if so what was the point of this first monster you could argue that the scene is meant to develop Newt as a character but not really because it doesn't tell us anything about him that we don't already know and even if it did why couldn't you just use one big monster and use that why introduce two separate monsters only to toss one of them aside same with the circus woman who has the ability to turn into a monster all the time he will not be able to transform back honestly it's a cool effect it's a cool character but the thing is she doesn't do anything in this movie as a woman or as a snake so then why is she in this movie at all I heard someone say that she is an important character because apparently she's a bad guy snake in Harry Potter but so what doesn't that make it even worse because in here she's completely wasted oh but Phil meant though she probably plays a bigger role in the next movie okay fair but we're not here talking about the next movie we're not here talking about the Harry Potter movies we're talking about this movie if you're writing a film instead of a book you need to make sure that it's so laser focused that every word you write serves some form of a purpose and if the robotic vacuum cleaner in Breaking Bad serves a bigger purpose than Albus Dumbledore does in your movie maybe it's wise to rethink if Albus Dumbledore should be in your movie to begin with every scene has to push the story or develop character or better yet both for every setup there has to be a payoff and preferably this should be done in a bit better way than setting up something in one scene and then paying it off in the very next scene as my brother Theseus I don't suppose you can just separate on ministry premises and farts can you nope finally there's the most obvious and perhaps the most meaningful restriction that movies fall under the restriction that unlike books movies are a visual medium the biggest reason I think that books are easier to write in films is because in books it's much easier to deliver information you can introduce a new character and simply tell the reader in great detail who this character is and why the reader should care about him biggis is this and is this and this but in films you can't just say things you have to find a visual way to prove those things the issue with crimes of printer world is that this movie verbally presents a big bunch of information without ever visually backing up any of that information for example newts relationship with his brother that's your brother so I think I'm a vegetable a sister we have quite a complicated relationship you frequently in this moment the movie verbally presents the information that Newt and his brother have a rocky relationship but that doesn't really make sense because everything we've seen so far goes completely against this information I want to kill you frequently at the beginning of the movie newts brother is actually going out of his way to help him and make things better for him maybe the two do have some differences of opinion like all brothers do but I wouldn't go as far as to call it raki or anything on the level maybe it really is so but you can't just say that you have to show it same with Ezra Miller throughout the movie the audience is led to believe that Ezra Miller is the super powerful wizard who can kill dumbledore who apparently is one of the greatest wizards ever but again it's difficult to believe this because there is no visual evidence to back it up in fact when we do see Ezra Miller using his powers and trying to kill this one nameless wizard he doesn't succeed even in that I understand that he's still developing his powers but it would have been useful to see some level of the real destruction he can cause preferably before the ending shot of the movie I could go on and on but I think the perfect analogy to sum up the point I'm trying to make is to look at JK Rowling JK Rowling apparently is notorious for claiming things without ever putting in actual work to prove those things recently for example she was letting everyone know that Dumbledore and Queen Dewald have or had an intense sexual love relationship but when he watched the movie none of that's bear in other words we have a situation of JK Rowling telling everyone that oh look at me I write progressive characters without actually writing progressive characters all she does do is say that she writes progressive characters maybe that's a bit harsh for me to say but I don't really know how else to say it and again she's a billionaire so boohoo all in all if you're a book writer planning to try out screenwriting here are the three most essential restrictions of screenwriting that you need to keep in mind you never have time so you have to choose a couple key perspectives to tell your story through your story also is expected to be laser-focused so you need to make sure that everything you write serves a purpose a plot purpose or a character purpose and finally because you don't have the possibility of going into every character's mind and constantly using omniscient inner dialog everything you do every piece of information you propose you have to back it up by doing it in a visual way [Applause] [Applause]

29 thoughts on “Crimes of Grindelwald — Death By Author | Anatomy Of A Failure

  1. This idea that books are more forgiving than movies is crazy. Spend loads of time with irrelevant characters? Bad writing. Introduce a plot point then never return to it? Bad writing. Put in page after page or scene after scene of filler that isn't integral to the story? Bad writing. Just because there are so many books out there that contain bad writing, or that a lot of poorly written books become very popular, or you just prefer movies to books, it doesn't mean books are less important, or that bad writing is forgivable in them. Meandering, pointless, excessive or time wasting writing is bad writing whatever medium you're writing for.

  2. Was the first Fantastic Beasts movie written by her too, cause watching that movie made little to no sense except a 20 minute plot in a 2 hour movie. There was a huge lack of information or why anyone was doing anything or what or how they were doing it. Felt like the entire movie was hiding behind "because its magic" as a reason, and that doesn't work.

  3. When you mentioned Chekhov's gun, I immediately thought of the rifle in the bar from Shaun of the dead. I wonder if that plot thread were an omage to Chekhov since it's almost exactly the example he used.

  4. as an aspiring book author, uve got a point lol. the amount of words u have to play with and hence ur ability to develop characters/subplots/worldbuild is waaaaay longer in a book than a screenplay. but i disagree with the last point, just telling readers important info is Bad Writing wherever it is found. JK, what r u doing. show dont tell, that's like rule 1 of writing both books and screenplays.

  5. I actually think the points you made are good recommendations for a book writer as well, though surely being even more important for screenwriters. Thanks for this informative video!

  6. I find it weird, that you criticize J.K. because she wrote the script herself, while she was also writing the first one, which was generally received (by me as well) quite positive. Also, I don't think you can compare screenwriting to writing books or even state which is more difficult. They are just too different imho.
    That doesn't make the movie any better though.

  7. I feel like they wanted to be a visually stunning movie and thats why they added all the extra stuff, like the water monster.

  8. "Draco ? A pale blonde guy ? ts ts ts. A wheelchair bound, black, colorblind ginger, really. You just didn't correctly read the book."

  9. Pisses me of how that EVERY single role in film that has a woman under 40 in it, has to be filled with a beautiful woman. like 100% of them. doesn't that limit the talent pool to only beautiful women for the roles we get to see? why do they only pick beautiful women?

  10. Maybe you want to think about this, I woud rly love to hear your oppinion on this topic: So first: I dont agree on this perspective. Or I kinda do but in another way. You are obviously right about the time part – in a 2 hour movie (if a movie is even that long) theres no place for proper worldbuilding like there is in box. However its not like worldbuilding in movies will not work. Rly Long movies do it – series do it alot. And I rly rly enjoy it. I dont need to get streamlined and I had no problem following this particular movie for example.

    Your perspective just shows the mainstream guide to making a movie. How do I get the most possible outcome – and in this regard – sure this film is not good at all. For fans wich are there for fanservice and worldbuilding this movie works totaly fine. The only way to get all of them is making the movie way longer – wich on the other hand will some people never watch it. I love 3 1/2 hours movies – most people – specally these days – cant stand it for some reason.

    But thats not the problem of the art – its problem of the people.
    Same goes for music – compare todays charts with 1980 and look at how long songs are or how complex these are from music-theorey standpoint. You will realize its kinda the same. You can do 12 minute songs, building it up slowly, it will appeal to people but not to much – and the reason for this is that the industry forced the people over years to make more streamlined less creative products, so they can produce faster,cheaper and more of these products to maximaize income. Same happen with movies shifting from great pictures, great dialog, to fast simple action nobody needs to get a mind for or invest time in.

    This movie – while not a super great movie overall – but decent – trys to recreate that to a certain extend – but it shoud have gone the way to the end instead of just doing little steps to invent back into the idears art had some years ago and wich somehow got lost.

    And one last important part is – people only look at movies themself even though they are part of a big world (with more movies) – I allways believe a movie dosnt need to work on its own, specally not if there is 3 of them containing the full story. 70% of the first movie for example is not important to this one. You coud leave it out. But its part of this magic world she wants to create. This may look like I want to defend JK rowling – but I dont – I think shes a bad writer (and has totaly akward political standpoints) – and I think the harry potter books are badly written – point is – the world she created is still amazing. What I'm saying is – modern movie industry dosnt care about worldbuilding – its not love – its sex. That needs to change – and this movie goes the right direction to an extend – just not to the end.

  11. Great video! I suspect the editor may own a fair amount fault in this as well because several pieces of this film could have been cut.

  12. This movie on its own is trash, but when you place it in the prequals of a huge saga in a huge universe it makes sense. Not better than the MCU story telling and production. But it works for the millions of kids and teens who watch the movies and read the books.

  13. Dude, can you please make the minimal effort required to *learn the female characters names*? A few seconds of Googling is all it takes. Seriously.

  14. harry potter was actually a devoted muslim just as much as he was chinese and he was just has much indian as he was hebrew. never let them tell you harry was just Portuguese he was also the single most greatest pope ever.

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