What do you know about moviemaking superstitions?

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cmvgor
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Location: Southern US
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What do you know about moviemaking superstitions?

Post by cmvgor »

A Hollywood filick about Hollywood, It's A Great Feeling (Doris Day,
Jack Carson, et al) went by on TCM the other morning, while I did something else and gave the movie only partial attention. I stayed with it for the cameos, mostly. Anyway, a comment about "That's bad luck!" went by without me catching the context, but it got me to wondering. From the mid 1960s to the late 1980s, I spent some time occasionally in
an atmosphere where I got chided if I whistled backstage. And you had to say "break a leg" as apposed to saying "good luck". And a friend of mine would say "MacBeth" if he was in a classroom, but would mutter "the
Scottish Play" if he was in a theater.

In short, I have a nodding acquaintence with theater superstitions, and I've spent some time on Google giving myself a review. Also picked up some theories about reasons and origins. (The theory concerning backstage whistling is intriguing, and it seems plausable.) However, I have little information on superstitions concerning film making.
Maybe there are none worth noting, or maybe I just couldn't come up with
the keywords to get to them.

Does anyone in the Oasis membership have any information about this?
Any answers, any referral to sources, will be appreciated.
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"
--Bret & Bart's Pappy
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Ayres
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Joined: April 13th, 2007, 2:45 pm

Post by Ayres »

There may be superstitions unique to moviemaking, but I imagine that many of the ones observed are, as you point out, simply theatrical superstitions that carried over.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatrical_superstitions

By the way, I've got professional actor friends who have never worried about wishing each other "Good luck," even though people in high school productions are terrified to!
cmvgor
Posts: 165
Joined: April 23rd, 2007, 10:23 am
Location: Southern US
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digging in an empty garden?

Post by cmvgor »

Addressing AYRES;

You seem to have researched the same sites I did and to have reached a
similar conclusion. My exposure to the lore was in College, Town & Gown
and Community Theatre (sic; I'm spelling it the way they did) programs. Nobody I ever worked with ever took it seriously; they just
seemed to adopt it as the rituals of the fraternity -- part of the enjoyment.

As for filmfolk, perhaps they never developed any such institutions. At least I haven't found signs of any. By comparison, ML Baseballers seem to have a raftload of them, and they seem to take them seriously. (Don't
shave / shower / change socks / whatever, during a winning streak, etc.)

And if we're wrong on this point, maybe someone will turn up who can enlighten us. Thanks for your contribution.

cmvgor
"Faint heart never filled inside straight"
--Bret & Bart's Pappy
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