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Animation / Film, Film, Film

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Film, Film, Film is a Soviet animated film (1968) directed by Fyodor Khitruk which chronicles the creation of a movie from the writing of a script to the premiere.

It can be seen on YouTube with English subtitles.


  • Affectionate Parody: Of movie-making in general. The writer is a neurotic mess; the director is a hard-working perfectionist on the verge of heart attack; executives' demands are unreasonable; studio is rather chaotic with actors in costumes off their sets (a witch, a skeleton, an army with rifles and tanks); the technical crew are weirdos in love with their jobs; Shining City is built out of cardboard and plywood; logistics is a mess; weather is uncooperative; the director forces the male lead to repeat a dangerous stunt again and again, because the antagonist repeatedly fails to show how evil he is; executives' demands are unreasonable; the director is forced to twist the plot into its opposite: reshoot funeral as a wedding; a child actor repeatedly fails to follow orders; executives' demands are unreasonable; the film gets unfair criticism before getting approved by viewers; all in all, the work is highly stressful, while the theme song tells how joyful it is.
  • Alien Geometries: the movie studio looks trippy.
  • Camera Tricks: The cameraman is quite fond of these. The first time we see him, he is filming a fishbowl while upside down. Later, we see him filming a horse chase, while being right under the stampede.
  • Development Hell: In-universe. Mainly, preproduction hell. A lot of managers have to approve the script, and the director and the writer rewrite it several times. This involves throwing several pages in a trash bin, then retrieving them two managers later.
  • Driven to Suicide: The screenwriter, when we first see him, is fantasizing about hanging himself, imagining his cigarette smoke as a noose. During the film's premiere, he repeatedly tries to jump out the nearest window and is dragged back in by other members of the crew.
  • Epic Film: Parodied. The characters are trying to produce a grandiose historical drama.
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe example. It starts during pre-production with the director having to drop and rewrite entire pages of the script to get the movie approved by officials and continues during the production.
  • Facepalm: The director does this, when the Powers That Be make him retool a funeral scene into a wedding scene.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The piece of the storyboard we see during the funeral/wedding scene contains the names of the movie's apparent protagonist and his bride: Nikita and Natalya.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After they get management approval, but before going to the biggest boss, the writer offers a bottle of Validol pillsnote  and the director downs it.
  • Lighter and Softer: In-universe. After Executive Meddling kicks in, the director is forced to reshoot an "overly depressing" funeral and mourning scene as a bright and joyful wedding scene.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: The big guy seems to play a villain, or at least a brute, on-set. But his default expression is really demure and he seemed to be one of hte most anxious people at the premiere.
  • The Muse: She comes and goes to the scriptwriter as she pleases.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: invoked The animals aren't a problem, except that the animal handlers accidentally bring a lion instead of a cow. The little girl seems to have been the biggest challenge during the production.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The director in the short looks suspiciously like Sergei Eisenstein (even if Khitruk himself says that the director was modeled after another person), and the movie they're filming looks too much like a certain historical flick set in medieval Russia.
  • Primadonna Director: Played with and parodied. The director may be an easily-angered dictatorial perfectionist, but he also really loves his job and has to endure a lot of pressure from the studio.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Lampshaded in the short. They have to use a water hose to film a rain scene, and when the real rain starts they stop shooting.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Appears briefly when the director and the screenwriter are running around the studio offices, trying to get the screenplay approved.
  • Shining City: The set, at least from the outside. (And when they aren't filming a funeral.) With white walls and golden domes built out of cardboard or plywood.
  • Speaking Simlish: No real words are uttered during the film.
  • Thunder Equals Downpour: Just as the director was about to try, for the third time, to film one scene, thunder sounds in the background, and the downpour makes the production halt again.
  • Troubled Production: Played for laughs. Apparently gathering the required personnel for shooting was the only smooth procedure. Everythign else involved problems that delayed the production in various ways.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: It started to rain really heavily during a shot to the point of halting production.
  • Weird Sun: A bright red one.
  • Writer's Block: The scriptwriter is having problems completing the script, specially with his muse appearing and disappearing all the time.
  • Writers Suck: The writer is a suicidal neurotic mess, and one can see why.