A CINEMATIC RUNNING GUIDE

The Exec is proud to present A Cinematic Running Guide. We break down all the elements required to make sure the running in your film is up to speed. A Cinematic Running Guide is presented in proud association with NIKE. NIKE, just fucking do it already.

A Cinematic Running Guide, Nay A History

Since the burgeoning cinema at the start of the 20th Century, film makers have captured running in all its forms. From Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, men, women and children have run on screen. Sometimes towards the camera, sometimes away and sometimes they even ran across the shot. Cinema audiences around the world have been thrilled in whichever direction people could run in films.

And ACTION!

With the introduction of sound, running in movies became an even more immersive experience. Hollywood film makers such as Hitchcock used it to great effect in action sequences. Take North By Northwest, Hitchcock uses running towards camera AND away from a fucking plane to create an iconic scene. Without running, this scene would have been dog shit.

It’s All About The Running

Take Tony Richardson’s run-fest, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner. It came just three years after North By Northwest, but already running is in the title and features heavily as a plot device and arty-farty metaphor. Ok Tony, you went to Oxford, we get it already, jeez!

But Where’s The Chariot?

Fast forward to the early 80s and running is now the entire narrative in Hugh Hudson’s Oscar winning Chariots Of Fire. But audiences were left confused because there were no chariots to be seen anywhere. What’s wrong with these crazy Brits?

Blockbuster Running

With boxing underdog movie Rocky, Sylvester Stallone took running to new, heroic heights. Sly continued to fly the flag for heroic running (mainly toward camera but away from the exploding whatever) in films as diverse as First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and the inexplicably titled Rambo III. There was no Rambo II. What the fuck Sly?

Nice Try Arnie

Other blockbuster action stars tried to get in on the running, but with less success. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried with a bit of running in Conan The Barbarian. But this was mainly across the shot, which was proven to be the least effective. He even tried using running in one of his titles, The Running Man. But all anyone remembers about that film is how piss poor Mic Fleetwood was in it. I’ll be back? Nah, you’re ok man. Stay where you are.

The Running King

And now we come to the undisputed king of running in movies: Tom Cruise. Cruise tried his hand at ‘acting’ in films such as The Color Of Money, Rain Man and Born On The Fourth Of July. But he found his little running feet in The Firm. Here, Cruise discovered he could thrill audiences the world over just by sprinting towards the camera and away from scary, cuddly uncle Wilford Brimley. But he really got up to pace three years later with Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible. The legendary scene where Tom leaps away from exploding chewing gum on a fish tank is an all time running classic. The invention and the daring to not only run toward the camera and away from the water, but in slow-mo and then under the camera is ground-breaking. I mean… shit the bed shivers up my spine.

Running The Show

Since then, Cruise has gone from strength to strength. He can run on sand, on roads, rooves, through windows and even under water. He continues to thrill and astound audiences with his running. Hardly anyone has noticed he really can’t act. And he owes it all to running. Go figure.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS CHARLIE CHAPLIN

HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the man they called the laughing arse: Charlie Chaplin.

Hollywood’s historians will always gleefully tell those tales of the silent stars whose careers didn’t survive the arrival of sound, or ‘the talkies’ as we called them.  But few will ever remember those giants of the black and white movies whose days on the big screen came to an end with the invention of color.

I was one of the lucky ones: the dinner jacket I always wore while filming actually looked very smart in colour, but not everyone was as fortunate.

Dear Buster Keaton, for example, was absolutely hilarious in black and white, but in color his slapstick and general tomfoolery just didn’t come across. I personally think that audiences were distracted by his bright blue skin. The studio didn’t know what to do with him and after he turned down a lead role in The Smurfs he was never seen again. 
 
It was a similar story with Charlie Chaplin.  
In black and white he had the audience holding their sides with laughter, but in color his green skin just didn’t work. He read for both The Incredible Hulk and Kermit The Frog, but sadly lost out to slightly more emerald actors. I believe that in later years he moved to Japan and enjoyed a lucrative career as Godzilla.
But that’s another story… 

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS MARLON BRANDO

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the globulous Marlon Brando.

I can’t remember exactly when I arrived in Hollywood, but it was certainly when films were still being made in black and white. Nowadays ambitious directors will shoot in black and white for what they call ‘artistic reasons’, but believe me when I say back in those days we had no choice!

It was black and white or nothing, and there was no sound either! This made learning lines particularly difficult as there weren’t any, and for years I found it to be a time consuming and laborious process. The best piece of advice I ever got was from my dear old friend Marlon Brando.

‘Just don’t bother,’ he said and from that day to this I never learned my lines again. 
Many modern directors fail to appreciate this particular technique, feeling it to be rather old fashioned, but I disagree. Just look at the greats, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Katherine Hepburn, none of them ever learned their lines and it never did them any harm!  George Cukor actually preferred it when I didn’t know the lines. During the famous Ascot scene in My Fair Lady he gave me the best note I ever had. ‘Edwin,’ he said ‘just stand at the back and don’t say anything’. You won’t find many
directors today with such a clear vision of what they want from an actor, more’s the pity. 
I remember darling Alec Guinness telling me what he thought George Lucas should do with some of his lines on Star Wars, but that’s another story…

FLUFFER REFUSES TO LEARN HIS LINES

That’s me in the topper at the back…












I can’t remember exactly when I arrived in Hollywood, but it was certainly when films were still being made in black and white. Nowadays ambitious directors will shoot in black and white for what they call ‘artistic reasons’, but believe me when I say back in those days we had no choice!

It was black and white or nothing, and there was no sound either! This made learning lines particularly difficult as there weren’t any, and for years I found it to be a time consuming and laborious process. The best piece of advice I ever got was from my dear old friend Marlon Brando.

‘Just don’t bother,’ he said and from that day to this I never learned my lines again. 
Many modern directors fail to appreciate this particular technique, feeling it to be rather old fashioned, but I disagree. Just look at the greats, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Katherine Hepburn, none of them ever learned their lines and it never did them any harm!  George Cukor actually preferred it when I didn’t know the lines. During the famous Ascot scene in My Fair Lady he gave me the best note I ever had. ‘Edwin,’ he said ‘just stand at the back and don’t say anything’. You won’t find many directors today with such a clear vision of what they want from an actor, more’s the pity. 
I remember darling Alec Guinness telling me what he thought George Lucas should do with some of his lines on Star Wars, but that’s another story…