Godzilla's Screentime

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Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Smuggers » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:24 am

Thought this topic would be worth having its own thread to discuss it. Godzilla's screentime was a big point of contention here for some and with King of the Monsters promising more Godzilla with viewer accounts guessing anywhere from twice much as 2014 to as high as 40 minutes, I figured it'd be worth going through the film and seeing how it really stacks up, especially after complaints of "Not enough Godzilla" from some people again.

What we're considering "screentime" here:
Simply put, any time Godzilla is present on the screen, even if he's not the direct focus of a shot. Can you see his spines? Screentime. He's on a TV? Screentime (literally). Camera pans to and from him in the space of a second? Screentime. The only thing I'm not counting are still frames of something we've already seen, so the pictures Ford is shown during the presentation in 2014 aren't counted, nor is the frame of Godzilla's spines shrouded in mist on the monitor of Monarch's submarine in KotM. This is the approach I took with 2014 and I got exactly 10 minutes of screentime. You can view that here to get an idea of how we're applying this to KoTM's scenes.



I went through a cam of KoTM (don't worry, it's a pretty clear one) doing the exact same thing I did for that video. How much screentime did I come up with?

Spoiler:
10 minutes and 10 seconds


But here's the kicker: If we were to add a "no stock footage" clause, we instead get

Spoiler:
9 minutes and 58 seconds


Not what you were expecting? Exactly what you were expecting? After watching for the first time I got the impression that he wasn't in the film for that much longer than 2014, so I can see where the people criticizing it are coming from.

I don't personally care much for the numbers themselves, but I know some people do. The only reason I took the time to get his screentime in the first place was because of hyperbolic claims that he only had six minutes of screentime back in 2014. I Think there's more to it than just numbers--the impression of more screentime is thanks to Godzilla's story relevance early on and him having more scenes peppered throughout the first 45 minutes of the film. Plus, there's so many different ways to judge screentime. You could judge it by only scenes where the monsters are the focus, how much is given to the other monsters, how much time the monsters share with each other, etc... What do you think? I'm expecting to get about the same amount again in GvK.

I'm not uploading the compilation for obvious reasons, but I'll do it again once we the film is out on video. Even with a high definition copy I can't imagine the totals changing more than 2 seconds, though.
Last edited by Smuggers on Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Dr. Professor » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:29 pm

I've never felt dissatisfied with Godzilla's screentime in G14, however with KOTM, I kind of felt like I wanted to see more of him. Obviously the amount of screentime wasn't the problem for me, but I guess it was more the way it was utilized. In G14, Godzilla's appearance is built up to and built up to and he never gets a full scene to himself until the Golden Gate Bridge sequence and then the fight against the MUTOs. During he GGB sequence, the focus is solely on Godzilla, and then the MUTO fight feels long enough and satisfying.

KOTM, on the other hand,
Spoiler:
You get Godzilla from the very beginning of the film. He's in the flashback, we get a (very good) scene with him underwater, he fights Ghidorah for a bit, he fights Ghidorah for a bit again, he gets revived (another great scene), he fights Ghidorah again, and then he becomes king.
So we get a lot of scenes with Godzilla, but yet he doesn't really get enough screentime within those scenes for his presence in the film to feel as satisfying as it does (to me) in G14 or a film like Monster Zero, a film in which Godzilla gets his lowest amount of screentime so far. MZ is also another film in which Godzilla's full appearance is saved for only a few big scenes, much like G14. I get that he's already established in KOTM so we're gonna spend more time establishing the other Titans, but even the final battle doesn't really get enough focus to (again) feel satisfying to me. So, once again, it's not about the amount of screentime, but whether or not it's used wisely.

However, at the time of me writing this, I've only seen the film once. I'm going back again tonight, so who knows, maybe my opinion will completely change, but that's where I stand as of right now.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Godzillian » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:37 pm

2014 had a fine amount of screentime since you felt the weight and tension of Godzilla appearing. What people had a problem with were the constant cutaways.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Huan_of_Valinor » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:04 pm

I'm honestly a little surprised. It *felt* like he was in it s lot more than 2014 to me (I had just re-watched it as prep for this film)

I wonder why that was my perception.

Doesn't ruin my enjoyment of the film, but it is interesting.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Living Corpse » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 pm

Screentime isn't the problem, it's what you do with it. He actually has less screentime in Gojira 1954 but it feels like he has a lot of screentime cause they use it well. Godzilla 2014 had an intresting idea in teasing which is not bad but you gotta deliver the goods eventually and when they did it was in the dark after we had to sit through so much bullshit with cardboard cutouts pretending to be important characters or even human and at that point a lot of people, not everyone, but a lot were fed up and done.

G2014 did things I liked but it also did things that pissed me off and held the movie back, there's a better movie in there somewhere but it's buried under bullshit, and I know I'm not alone in feeling that way.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:48 pm

Lol but the critics are hypocrites who are never happy with screentime!!!
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Ivo-goji » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:57 pm

The screen time in both G14 and KoM is perfectly fine.

What amuses me is how KoM fans insist KoM is the spiritual antithesis of G14, and, well, it isn't. Both movies approach the monsters in pretty much the same way.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby GojiDog » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:44 pm

Didn't Shin Godzilla have a similar deal where people thought Godzilla was in it more than he was in 2014, but it wasn't really that much of a difference?
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm

The issue was in G14 is that the Muto`s had considerably more screen time, or scenes that were exclusively relevant to them. Godzilla`s screentime/role in the movie should have been swapped with the MUTOS. It`s fine in KOTM because its a sequel, and they spread Godzilla out better.
And it`s not like Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan didn`t have a lot of screen time as well.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby MorgolKing » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:06 pm

I was curious how much screen time he had, because it didn't feel like much more in KoTM. But I do remember Mike Dougherty saying an interview he'll be in the movie at least twice as much as G14. I'm sure Mike knows how much screen time Godzilla had in 2014, so he couldn't said it in error and I don't believe he would mislead or lie, so something's not adding up. Are you confident in your calculations?

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Smuggers » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:26 pm

MorgolKing wrote:I was curious how much screen time he had, because it didn't feel like much more in KoTM. But I do remember Mike Dougherty saying an interview he'll be in the movie at least twice as much as G14. I'm sure Mike knows how much screen time Godzilla had in 2014, so he couldn't said it in error and I don't believe he would mislead or lie, so something's not adding up. Are you confident in your calculations?

Yes.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Cloverfield48 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:37 pm

Shots with his face in the frame doubled in time i suppose

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby MorgolKing » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:41 pm

Smuggers wrote:
MorgolKing wrote:I was curious how much screen time he had, because it didn't feel like much more in KoTM. But I do remember Mike Dougherty saying an interview he'll be in the movie at least twice as much as G14. I'm sure Mike knows how much screen time Godzilla had in 2014, so he couldn't said it in error and I don't believe he would mislead or lie, so something's not adding up. Are you confident in your calculations?

Yes.


I wonder where the disconnect is then, because in the interview (he was with the cast members I believe in a group interview at Comic Con) and he was very confident in answering because he paused and said "You will see him...[pause] at least two times as much in this movie".

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby MegaEvilSaurus666 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:23 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:The issue was in G14 is that the Muto`s had considerably more screen time, or scenes that were exclusively relevant to them. Godzilla`s screentime/role in the movie should have been swapped with the MUTOS. It`s fine in KOTM because its a sequel, and they spread Godzilla out better.
And it`s not like Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan didn`t have a lot of screen time as well.

I don't see the problem with how much emphasis was put on the MUTOS. The movie establishes the threat they pose, as they are the antagonists of the film that had not been observed in any form before, for both the viewers and in-universe. Godzilla similarly hadn't been seen extensively, but was clearly not the threat to humanity as the MUTOS were. If there roles had been swapped, that would have created another set of complaints. Many questions would have been asked about the MUTOS, what they do, how much of a threat were they, etc. I think the first film left a lot to be explored for Godzilla in the future of the MonsterVerse. He felt like an ancient, unknown creature.

Similarly, I believe that Godzilla vs. Megaguirus sets up the dimension tide and Megaguirus more than Godzilla. Whether the film was good or not, the amount of time addressing the monsters is sufficient. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the latter gets a decent amount of explanation and screen time. If Godzilla had been the main focus of the film, Destoroyah, the new villain, would have came from left field. Sure, Godzilla was an extremely important threat to the world in that movie, so he does also have a good number of scenes and dialogue surrounding him spread evenly through the film. Legendary's Godzilla is an elusive giant. He stayed far out of the way, and was in the water for most of the film.

Anyway, all of this is subjective. I feel like KOTM didn't put enough focus on the other monsters, to be honest. More time is spent on Godzilla's revival than Ghidorah's destruction and the effects of the monsters being awakened. We're told more often that it's terrible and widespread, rather than shown.

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:30 pm

MorgolKing wrote:I wonder where the disconnect is then, because in the interview (he was with the cast members I believe in a group interview at Comic Con) and he was very confident in answering because he paused and said "You will see him...[pause] at least two times as much in this movie".


Might have been talking about a different cut than what was ultimately chosen.....
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby MorgolKing » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:08 am

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:
MorgolKing wrote:I wonder where the disconnect is then, because in the interview (he was with the cast members I believe in a group interview at Comic Con) and he was very confident in answering because he paused and said "You will see him...[pause] at least two times as much in this movie".


Might have been talking about a different cut than what was ultimately chosen.....


This was at last year's Comic Con when the first trailer was released, so they should have known how much CGI was going to be in the movie. It wouldn't make sense for them to plan on 20 mins of CGI and cut it by half in less than a year - particularly after principal photography was completed for a long time before that.

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:58 am

Ivo-goji wrote:The screen time in both G14 and KoM is perfectly fine.

What amuses me is how KoM fans insist KoM is the spiritual antithesis of G14, and, well, it isn't. Both movies approach the monsters in pretty much the same way.


And I'm all the happier for it. More LPG/KotM, less "Introduce the main villain in a friggin exposition dump" Skull Island please.
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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby szmigiel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am

I did the whole series of screentime and plan to update with the 3 Anime movies and KOTM once it is out on Blu-Ray. But in doing the project I have learned really that actual screentime means little, and it is how the screentime is used in the film. One thing for sure looking at screentime as either total or percent has no correlation on how much I enjoyed the film.

Each era handles the screentime slightly differently, the golden age typically had less screentime then the Champion Festival films, the Heisei and Millennium typically had the highest screentime count.

I am going through my data I collected and trying to break it down into a timeline graph of when kaiju are appearing on screen, but it is slow work still in the later showa era, hopefully I can have it all done by the time I am ready to post the KOTM data.

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby MorgolKing » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:10 am

szmigiel wrote:I did the whole series of screentime and plan to update with the 3 Anime movies and KOTM once it is out on Blu-Ray. But in doing the project I have learned really that actual screentime means little, and it is how the screentime is used in the film. One thing for sure looking at screentime as either total or percent has no correlation on how much I enjoyed the film.

Each era handles the screentime slightly differently, the golden age typically had less screentime then the Champion Festival films, the Heisei and Millennium typically had the highest screentime count.

I am going through my data I collected and trying to break it down into a timeline graph of when kaiju are appearing on screen, but it is slow work still in the later showa era, hopefully I can have it all done by the time I am ready to post the KOTM data.


I'll definitely be interested to see the data.

Added in 7 days 20 hours 58 minutes 50 seconds:
Here's the interview I was talking about:

https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/07/21/y ... e-godzilla

Look he deliberately is calculating the screen time in his head and says Godzilla will be on the screen at least twice as much.

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Re: Godzilla's Screentime

Postby Relair » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:04 am

KotM just had better pacing, you never seem to go more than 10 minutes between monster scenes, and the monsters are more of a focus than a backdrop this time around. It never feels lacking. I really enjoyed the Jaws/Alien-esque build up in G14, but it *feels* much, much slower paced than KotM. Different styles that both worked for me.


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