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Author Topic: Dear Hollywood
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 15:22      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know how to put it nicely, so I'll just say this...

Most of your movies suck.

Don't feel too bad. It's kind of understandable sometimes.

You have movie stars like Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu who have made hugely popular movies and you can't help but think "If we put them together... box office gold" ... and then you create "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever."

Then there are the sequels. You have a hit movie like like "The Mask" and it seems obvious that you should make a sequel, but then you give us the crapfest that was "Son of the Mask."

I understand. I do. I'd probably make same mistakes in your place.

But I have a suggestion that I think will help us both.

When you come up with an idea for a movie, don't make the movie. Just make the trailer and put it online and let us, the people you're trying to get money from, tell you which ones are interesting to us.

Then... and this is the nifty part... assign budgets based on actual interest. You'll wind up making more movies that people want to see. Sure, there will be fewer huge-ass blockbuster movies with enormous budgets, but we all remember the blight on society and your checkbook that was "Waterworld" don't we?

The only person who will suffer for this is Ewe Boll, and he's lost his tax shelter status anyway, so c'mon... you know it'll work.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 15:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm reminded of an interview I saw a while back, with the guy who made "March of the Penguins", shortly after he won the Oscar.

He said (paraphrased): Ideally, people in Hollywood will look at the success of this film and think - "Look how successful a new, fresh idea can be, we need more new ideas", but I suspect what they're actually thinking is "Lets make more movies with penguins".

And of course we got a string of crap-fests like 'Happy Feet'.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 15, 2008 16:09      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I liked Waterworld!

/me ducks

but it's true, man, most of the Hollywood movies out there suck.

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 16:50      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree, besides a couple movies a year - they generally suck.

Worst part for me is that I'm the one who chooses the movies that my family watches. So all I see in the video store most of the time is a list of actors, a picture of the main actor on the cover, and a rating that means nothing.

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Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 20:21      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think this is at least partly a working example of Sturgeon's Revelation that "90% of everything is crud." More production = more crud. Multiply that by the lowest common denominator, and what you end up with should be no surprise. Of course they'll still blame dropping box-office on pirate downloads, not on the fact that there's nothing on worth the $15 ticket price.

quote:
Originally posted by Steen:

When you come up with an idea for a movie, don't make the movie. Just make the trailer and put it online and let us, the people you're trying to get money from, tell you which ones are interesting to us.

You mean something like this?

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Posts: 193 | From: Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 03:35      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've seen too many exciting trailers for terrible films to like Steen's idea. It is after all only a variation of the one minute pitch seen in "The Player" except that it's to the public rather than studio execs. It would only result in even more predictable "high concept" movies like "Snakes on a plane" Hollywood has always been a cynical business, which has for instance made crappy sequels and remakes from its earliest years, but artists occasionally can slip something through. The last time Hollywood was adventurous was in the wake of the huge success of "Easy Rider", which quite understandably the suits found utterly inexplicable, as it is a terrible film. But their fruitless search for the next "Easy Rider" led them to fund a great range of low budget independent films from directors like Hal Ashby and Bob Rafaelson. Unfortunately the next big success was "Star Wars" and the era of the big, special effects driven, summer blockbuster was born.

The change that I regret the most in the last thirty years since I started watching films is how old films are valued so slightly now. In all other art forms painting, music, theatre, and literature, the great works of the past are valued and preserved and performed, but we care too little about old films. There are for example some quite marvellous Hollywood comedies from the thirties and forties that are all but forgotten now. These things should be a part of everyone's education.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 05:54      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
I've seen too many exciting trailers for terrible films to like Steen's idea.

My number one gripe with movie trailers is that so many of them give away every 'surprise' in the movie. If I had $1 for every time I've watched a trailer and thought "Well, no need to go see that movie now"...

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 06:04      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, yes, but Hollywood does make some gems (e.g., Donnie Darko, The Player, etc) -- and if it wasn't for the perennial crap-flood of trash they spew out, we wouldn't be taken aback so by the beaming truthiness of the little crumbs of quality that emerge.

My personal peeve: I hate most incidental music that they chuck into movies -- it's like they're saying "we don't have any faith in the dramatic integrity of our work, so we're going to employ some not-so-subtle side-music so you know what sort of message each and every scene is trying to portray." Gimme a break.

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 08:16      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lowest common denominator is just another way of saying most popular *shrug* I think you're mistaken about what the results of my idea would be, Calypigous.

So what if my idea generates movies that appeal to the largest audience? That's what Hollywood is striving for now and it clearly isn't working that well.

In all honesty, my suggestion wouldn't change what sort of films will come out of Hollywood any more than screening with test audiences does. This is just a way of inserting larger test audiences into the process before the budgets are assigned. The biggest benefit is that, to the extent that they are presented, stories and plots would have to stand on their own merit rather than relying millions of dollars in special effects to distract people from the fact that the script that could have been written by an inebriated ten year old.

Artistic movies, on the other hand, don't go through the same process as big Hollywood releases and their goal is almost never to attempt to gain mass appeal. I fail to see how a movie studio losing less money on populuar films would correspond to less money being available for artistic films, however, so I don't think this is a valid argument.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 09:49      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As much as I'd like to blame the studios completely, I have to admit that a lot of crappy movies are made because they sell.

There are still a lot of good movies being made... many of them just aren't made in Hollywood. In the last several years, it seems like it's gotten a lot easier to find good independent and foreign films.

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Posts: 1590 | From: Fresno, CA | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 06:25      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
As much as I'd like to blame the studios completely, I have to admit that a lot of crappy movies are made because they sell.

There are still a lot of good movies being made... many of them just aren't made in Hollywood. In the last several years, it seems like it's gotten a lot easier to find good independent and foreign films.

Well of course popular films don't have to be crappy, and there are plenty of dreary art house films too.

I just don't believe Steen's idea because even now the best mainstream films generally tend to have the best directors at their helm. Hollywood Studios need to be encouraged to back talent rather than focus groups. It is of course a difficult conundrum, because films are so expensive, and you only have to look at the roll call of studios that have gone belly up because of one or two hugely expensive turkeys, to see why studios tend to play it safe with predictable genre films with established stars. Perhaps it's surprising that so much of what comes out of this is good rather than that most films are mediocre.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 12:37      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a side note to this whole debate, this is why I rent movies and never hit the theater anymore. Why should I spend a good $30 on what usually amounts to two hours of wasted time surrounded by people who no longer can keep their mouthes shut, kids quiet, or the office outside the theater?

In the good ol' days we used to hit the theater about twice a month. Over the last few years, though, we've stopped for various reasons, instead opting to rent a movie for about $4 a pop. I've honestly found that watching a movie is much more enjoyable at home, especially since I have no prohibitions against drinking alcohol in my house. In fact, I encourage it. [Big Grin]

Anyway, the only movies I deem worthy of actually hitting a theater for are the big SFX laden films. With those it's really not the same experience, even with a 50"+ HDTV. Plus, the volume on those things is usually way up, so you don't miss any of the really important dialogue. *cough cough*

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somenewdude
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 13:45      Profile for somenewdude         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As much as Hollywood has released such crud, it is a necessary evil. Without it, the little people wouldn't stand a chance. There are some decent movies that come out from the big companies. But I do understand the original point of the thread and do agree to a degree.

I try to support smaller indie films as much as possible at the theater. I'll rent DVDs or watch it on TV mostly.

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iNoles
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 14:40      Profile for iNoles     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is like "I am Legend" where they changed whole ending.
Posts: 57 | From: Melbourne, Florida | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged


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