Thursday, 29 August 2013

All films nowadays cost about $200 million, are two and half hours long, and are boring as fuck

"Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next -- or even before then -- will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln" -" Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry", The Hollywood Reporter, 12/6/2013

"With just one week until Labor Day, when the summer officially takes it bow, Variety reported that this summer is on pace to break the record set in 2011, with a domestic box-office take of $4.15bn – up nearly 12% from last year. "Observers already are calling summer 2013 the best ever at the domestic box office" they reported." - "Reports of blockbusters' death have been greatly exaggerated – again", The Guardian, 23/8/2013

It would be nice to be all histrionic and say THE FILM INDUSTRY IS GOING TO DIE but the truth is we all know it won't. But we cannot ignore the fears that the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have. It does feel at the moment that nearly all films are the same, and I imagine the main worry is that Hollywood, in particular, will loose any obligement to creativity and supporting new talent and instead fund only what is familiar; the big budget sequel. In the aforementioned Guardian article, they indicated that it is the likes of Iron Man 3 and Fast and Furious 6 that made the most money. The original mega buck films like Pacific Rim, Elysium and After Earth, with no franchise to latch onto, did not so well.

But even then that has its anomylies; Gore Verbinski's Johnny Depp film The Lone Ranger (based on the classic book and television hero, well known in America and around the world) has taken only $230 million in the box office. Pretty abysmal for a film that cost $215 million to make.

Many films are screen tested to an inch of their lives, portraying what they think the viewer wants to see, but instead presenting something frankly boring. This is the kind of stuff that makes people turn away and use their money for something else.

These big budget films will always make money, but I believe a bit of faith in the basics of movie making will not only encourage people to spend money out on the cinema seats, blue-rays and other merchandise, but will ultimately make film companies more money.

These are my personal opinions as to what would make blockbuster films more fulfilling:

1. First off, get the script right before you even start filming, so you don't have to waste money on rewrites and employing extra writers. And don't insult the audience. You don't have to make it ├╝ber simple and it doesn't have to be unnecessarily complicated either. A simple script with engaging characters can often be enough.

2. Talking of engaging characters, they can only be portrayed by actors that are willing to play it well. Many actors in these big budget films are lazy, bored and sometimes completely inappropriate (Johnny Depp fills all of those criteria for The Lone Ranger). It is cynical to employ a famous actor just because their names will put bums on seats. It often comes across on the screen too.

3. How exactly does a film come to cost $250 million pounds. I know unexpected costs can arise, but seriously, what kind of accounting team does Hollywood use? And also, stop wasting so much money on CGI when you can gat away with live action special effects. All this CGI looks ridiculous an inauthentic now.

4. I know editors exist, but nobody is using them. A lot of these films are coming up to nearly three hours long, which is seriously pushing it in terms of human concentration span. Just cut out all the filler, please, I'm tired of getting tired in the cinema.

So there you go. Remember, these are just my views. If you think I'm wrong, or you've got some more ideas of your own, let me know in the comments.


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