In my memory, I didnt make up the lesson in the afternoon, because all the teachers in the Department love to play basketball. After watching the ball in the morning, when I was in a mood of agitation, I would naturally go to the court in the afternoon to vent. So the teachers, the students and the students fought until dark. Thats my memory of the 97-98 season. For us, Jordan is the anchor of both youth and memory. The last dance to see Jordan again, the past in mind.
In the 1980s, most of the fans did not witness the miracle of the six Championships, but they still experienced the Jordan era, saw the worlds media and fans repeatedly arguing about who is Jordans successor, witnessed Jordans second comeback, and looked back on Jordans way of sealing the gods in the last dance. We can imagine the mood. In the future, Jordan is closer to the legend, but when the legend is in front of him, even James, the target of the war, tears like a fan brother in front of the TV, how can he not move the fans now.
As a result, the last dance was hailed as a masterpiece. The ten episodes of documentary films received an average of more than 6 million viewers in the United States, setting a record for ESPN. At IMDB, the last dance was rated the next day after the episode Nine point four It is far beyond the influence of sports. In the United States hit by the epidemic, the early broadcast of the last dance has become a hot cultural phenomenon in the near future. In a sense, Jordan has also become the embodiment of the American spirit. Due to various reasons in China, the audience is mainly sports fans, but Doubans score has also reached Nine point eight Top 10 in documentary category.
But looking at the evaluation process of the last dance, there is a very interesting phenomenon. IMDBs rating is diversity, and the later it is broadcast, the higher the rating of the latest episode 10 and 9 is Nine point seven and Nine point six , and the first and second episodes are down to Nine point two u3002 The score of Douban in China has not changed much since the earliest Nine point eight drop to Nine point seven Again Nine point eight However, the number of 5-star rating and 1-star rating at both poles is decreasing, and the number of 4-star and 3-star rating is increasing. Therefore, when Jordan was enthroned in the last dance, could it really bear the name of God. With the passage of time, without the blessing of Jordans personal aura, whether the documentary itself can stand the test.
A masterpiece or a biography
I personally think that the translation of the last dance is a little too faithful to the original and can not meet the requirements of faithfulness and elegance. The last dance was the theme set by coach Phil Jackson before the start of the 97-98 season, because the bulls, who were fighting for the second three consecutive titles at that time, were facing disintegration, but everyone wanted to win the championship and achieve unprecedented achievements. For the audience, there is a dance tradition abroad. When it comes to the last dance in the dance, its not only easy to understand, but also touch the story of the last dance in many peoples hearts. Its really a miracle. In China, the name of the last dance has lost its rich meaning behind it. It is better to sing a unique song.
The name is the signboard of documentary film, and the focus of media publicity is also here. In the 97-98 season, the NBA used the most advanced IMAX photography technology to go deep into the Bulls locker room and training hall, shooting more than 500 hours of material. In the medias propaganda, these materials have not been disclosed in more than 20 years of history, which is extremely eye-catching.
In the actual broadcast of the documentary, passers-by and sports fans may feel the first gap is the lack of this part of the film. The first episode of the documentary tells the story of the managements intention to break the Bulls existing lineup and rebuild, and Jordans determination to maintain the teams championship. In this episode, Jordan satirizes manager fatty Jerry and coach Phil Jackson to show the words TheLastDance on the cover of the season manual. Before the first game before the game, Jordan inspires his teammates to focus on the new images in the game, which really makes us feel some new excitement. But in the later episodes, especially the fifth episode about Jordans second championship and the Olympic Games, and the sixth episode about the first three consecutive championships and the story of Jordan being blacked by the media, almost all of them are historical materials and current interviews. The so-called 500 hour dust cover materials are almost invisible.
This is a strange thing. The 500 hour material is the selling point of the documentary. The production company and the director will try their best to explore its value without abandoning it. Therefore, I did pull film analysis on ten documentaries. Due to the IMAX technology, this part of the material is of excellent quality and concentrated in the 97-98 season, so it is easy to identify. According to my statistics, this part of material appears less than one hour in the film, and in the total 500 minutes of broadcast time, it is less than one tenth of the proportion. Whats more, this part of material didnt reveal the secret effect, nor really promote the story. It mostly shows the daily life of the bulls in the 97-98 season. One of the more innovative is to show Jordans winning, not willing to admit defeat in any place, using various means to inspire, stimulate or even provoke teammates, and stimulate their desire to win.
On the whole, this part of material shooting is more casual, lack of focus and shooting intention. It can be proved that the previous documentary extreme Jordan, which is 45 minutes long, used exactly these 500 hours of material, but in the publicity of the last dance, it was deliberately ignored.
Its a question of sweating. When you get 500 hours of secret Xin and spend 20 years to get the basketball God to nod his head and promise to make it, your company asks you to put out a 500 minute blockbuster, but the material in your hand cant be used much. Of course, this may not be the case, but for production, the problem always exists, that is, what kind of story to tell. Therefore, when the whole picture of the documentary is shown, we see the dislocation between publicity and reality. In the publicity, the 97-98 season that became the top performer is the main line of the story, and the 500 hour material is the selling point of the film. In fact, the last dance is more like a biographical film of Jordan and the bull Dynasty. It not only describes the personal growth history of Jordan since he was a child, but also tells the story of Phil Jackson, Pippen, Rodman, Cole, etc., and the bull Dynasty The establishment process of. In addition, the documentary also explains Jordans cultural image from the perspectives of sneakers, music and media, and concludes through the words of former US President Barack Obama that no athlete can surpass the scope of sports itself. Because of him (JORDAN), people know that sports and entertainment can be connected with each other.
For the audience, the epitome of a season or Jordans biography is not the focus of attention, and the difference between publicity and practice is not a problem. The key problem is whether the season of becoming a top performer can carry such rich content.
Plot or logic
Among the scores and comments you can see at present, the ninth and tenth episodes of the last dance are generally praised and IMDB scores are given Nine point six and Nine point eight u3002 This score may have just been broadcast, and it may decline in the future Nine point four Average score of. In the previous episodes, the lowest score is Episode 6, with only one score Nine point two , well below the overall score. Why does the low tide of Episode 6 appear?
In the opening three minutes of the sixth episode, let Jordan show himself to say that its not easy to be a star, and then give the title of the film. This is similar to the previous practice, but compared with the previous episodes, there is a significant decline in content quality and effect. In the previous episodes, either the teams reconstruction or Pippen, the second in command, is making a major transition in the transfer story, or Rodmans gossip story is not lack of attention. In the fifth episode, Kobe Bryants appearance is even more tearful. However, after being touched by Kobe Bryants tears, Ill take a closer look at the fifth episode. As the prelude to anchoring emotions and themes, the story Im going to tell next has little to do with it, especially in the sixth episode.
The next six episodes show Jordans life in the dressing room after he gambled and tossed coins in the dressing room and won the playoff seat in the regular season victory over magic. In about 10 minutes, the time line jumped to the old story that Jordan was blacked by the media, and interspersed with the experience of defeating the New York Knicks in the 93 east area final. It took 20 minutes to narrate this passage. In the 30th minute, the film jumps back to April, 1998. Its another 3-minute life passage. After Jordan trained, he took his teammates to play golf. Then the story jumps back to the 1993 finals, where the Bulls beat the Suns to win three consecutive titles. In the 46th minute, he jumped back to 1998. At the end of the regular season in April, Jordan was in the car talking with reporters about his retirement.
Through the above arrangement, we can see that the sixth episode is a story of obvious double line crossing. One line is from March to April, 1998, when the Bulls finished the regular season and got the qualification for the playoffs; the other line is the story of the first three consecutive titles in 93, when the Bulls defeated the Knicks in the East finals and the suns in the finals. At the same time, in the process of winning the championship in 1993, Jordan, who has always had a good public image, faced the accusation of gambling addiction in the media, which indirectly led to his first retirement after his father was killed.
Logically speaking, there is no problem in this kind of double line crossing narrative method, but it is a very easy trap to fall into. The biggest difference between a documentary and a drama is that the drama relies on the script. From preparation, shooting to the later stage, it shows the plot and characters of the script. The script that can be shot is generally tested in plot clues and character arc. Different from documentary, the story outline of documentary is more like a list of materials, which can only show the existence of these materials, and it is possible to fit in the logical chain. The real story creation, instead, is in the later editing stage. Only by mastering the material in an all-round way, or even connecting it on the time line, can we know whether the previous expectation is true or not. A few years ago, I attended a workshop in Sundance, and Doug Brasi, the editor of Oscar best documentary twenty feet away from the superstar, once told about the example in the film: there was a singer in the film who sang songs instead of others and pretended to use them. She left the industry to do cleaning for a living. On Christmas Eve, she was still doing cleaning work. At that time, the songs she was falsely used came from the radio. In such an atmosphere, if she was inspired, she was determined to continue her career as a singer and eventually succeed. This is undoubtedly a moving story, and the director and the editor early incorporated it into the story as one of the most important paragraphs. But when they really began to edit, they found that the material was difficult to support the story. When they had no way to go, they had to re shoot and buy some pictures before they finally finished the story.
The same is true of the low tide of Episode 6. On the one hand, it undertakes the transition from regular season to playoffs. On the other hand, it must finish the first three consecutive titles. Fortunately, in Episode 7 and 8, it tells about Jordans retirement and the return of the king. The most important thing is that the bulls are not really challenged in these two periods. As a result, the sixth episode became the lowest tide of the whole drama.
Throughout the ten episodes of the last dance, we can measure the effect of story telling from the perspective of double lines. The first episode is a classic Hollywood rhythm, with the prologue asking questions: whether the bulls that have grown old since 1998 should rebuild or maintain their lineup for six titles; Jordans tough response in about ten minutes -- winning the championship; then setting up a villain role manager Jerry, who doesnt want to renew his contract with coach Phil Jackson; jumping to another story line, Jordan grows from a college student to an NBA player and leads a weak public The Bulls became the top team and the city symbol; then the story line turned back to 1998, Jackson was renewed but only coached for one year regardless of his achievements; Jackson displayed the word last dance. At the beginning of the new season, Jordan and the Bulls began to perform their best.
In the first episode, the combination of two lines is very close. It begins with Jordan and ends with Jordan. Its not only Jordans personal experience, but also the fate of the bull. The duet shows the beauty of polyphony. In the same way, the 10th episode of the finale has been finished. The history has been finished. The two lines are in one place, focusing on one by one about the final finals, which makes people feel sad.
Generally speaking, the story line of 97-98 season is too thin. Ive made some statistics. The second episode talks about the start of 0-4, the third episode talks about the reversal of 24-9, the fourth episode talks about the all star game in the middle of the season, the fifth episode starts from 44-1, and then the playoffs of the sixth episode end. But with the exception of Jordan, audiences are afraid to remember only the stories of Pippen, Rodman, Jackson, Kobe and kukochi. Double line is a good way to structure a story, but in order to have a good effect, each of the two story lines must be established, and the effect of one plus one is greater than two must also be played, otherwise it is easy to block each other and jump to ambiguous.
Moving you or persuading you
When it comes to the ten part documentary film the last dance, I personally dont want to talk about this issue, which is why I wrote my personal watching experience at the beginning of the article. Because the documentary and the man jordan can move us a lot. His desire for victory, his friendliness to ordinary people, his legendary experience, the era and social significance he carries, especially in the face of the invincible piston, he thoroughly reflected and determined to promote his teammates to lead the team to success. It can be said that Jordans experience is the most classic movie story in Hollywood. Jordan is the so-called thousand face hero with the highest position. Even Jordans every move seems to have some enlightenment. Jordans two comebacks have directly driven the recovery and development of NBA and sports market. During the period of American depression, the launch of the last dance was regarded by many media as the reconstruction of American spirit.
With a huge volume of 500 minutes, many people can find fragments and moments that move them. Its said that the documentary does not do well in emotional expression, which may make many people feel uncomfortable. However, these moves are more about Jordans personal, as far as the documentary itself is concerned, it may not be so convincing.
As mentioned earlier, the workload of this documentary is quite amazing with 500 hours of secret video, 10000 hours of total material and 4 years of interviews. As planned, it shouldnt be launched so soon. I checked the information. At the end of 2018, the first trailer of the last dance was launched, announcing the start of the project. In December 2019, the second trailer will be launched, which is expected to go online in June this year. The production speed is already amazing. Then on April 19, the film was launched ahead of time, and the next four episodes havent even been edited. Although it is impossible to know the specific decision-making process, it is closely related to the epidemic. In addition to the impact of the epidemic on peoples hearts, it has a great impact on the media, especially the sports rights holders. ESPN ratings dropped by 57%, and even by 70% in the first week of April. After the last dance went online on April 19, it not only broke the record of average audience, but also won in Chicago twelve point one The ratings of.
However, for the narrative works themselves, the most important thing is still to show rather than show. My personal favorite part, for example, is the return of Jordan in Episode 8. When imback! was announced, Jordan talked about the tension and uneasiness of his return because his father, who had been with him, was gone. The assistant said that he cried when no one was around, because he missed his father; he didnt want to wear number 23 when he returned, because it was the number he wore when his father was around. Later, at the end of the eighth episode, Peyton, the best defensive player of the year, talks about how he successfully exhausted Jordan, while Jordan, who saw the video in the dialogue between the air, laughs, and says calmly, I dont care about him, I care about others.. When the music started, Jordans mother came out to explain that during fathers day, Jordan had been missing his father After the Bulls beat the sonics, Jordan said in a tearful interview that winning on fathers day meant a lot to him. Then the camera turns to the dressing room, Jordan pours on the floor holding the basketball and cries. In the whole documentary, Jordan never lost his temper like this, rolling and crying, panting, totally ignoring the comfort of the staff and the camera shooting, just like a big child. The sound of the songs that have been hidden gradually becomes stronger. In this song called teardrop, singer Jos u00e9 Gonz u00e1 lez sings:
Tears twinkled in the fire
Feathers flutter in the breath
But why are you struggling in the dark
Struggling in the dark
When the picture gradually darkened and the music gradually disappeared, the tears left on their own. As mentioned before, Jordan touched the hearts of the audience in too many places, but most of them were only related to his greatness. As Steve Cole said in the film, he is not the same world as us. But only in this period, what we feel is not the transcendence of the flying man, but the sadness of the flying man.
Looking back at the last dance from this point of view, for punishing opponents, stimulating teammates, gambling and so on, the film said too much, proved too much, but did not spend too much ink on emotional moving. In contrast to the story line mentioned above, in the whole 97-98 season, we saw events and time points one by one, without more contact with Jordans heart, from here to experience the last dance.
At the end of the last dance, Jordan and his bull Dynasty came to an end after their six victories, leaving only endless memories and feelings. Can the documentary itself reach such a height? I think, as fans of the last dance like to say, time will prove that Jordan was, is and will be the God of basketball, alpha of alpha. While thanking this documentary for its moving to us, we also give it time to take it to a proper place.
Associate Professor, director department, Communication University of China, member of China Film Editing Association
The long and short clips have been shortlisted in Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden, first Youth International Film Festival, Washington Chinese Film Festival, etc. As a producer, the documentary film ashore won the best proposal of CCDF, Tokyo talent workshop of Berlin Film Festival and other best proposal. As a producer and editing director, the short story film nowhere to put won the golden Baron Award best live short film of Shanghai Film Festival.