Saturday, January 19, 2013

Can any genre of film produce a good sequel?

There is two ways to approach this question, financially and aesthetically.

We have to remember that filmmaking is a business therefore the purpose of producing films is to make money. With that being said let me share this antidote. A new filmmarker is personally given a thousand dollars to make their film. The overall gross of this film is five thousand dollars, which is a profit of four thousand dollars. The producer of the film will then hint at the idea of a sequel, knowing that there is potential of striking gold. This producer will sweeten the deal by given the filmmaker more money to make the sequel. The filmmaking process is repeated with the same formulas with hopes of profit. This process will be repeated until the films become not profitable, or the filmmaker runs out of ideas. Before the filmmaker runs out of ideas, the producer will take the project and hand it to a filmmaker willing to piggyback off of someone else idea. This very producer could very well utter these words, “We will make twenty of them if it puts money in my pocket.” This antidote defines “good” in the question, Can any genre of film produce a good sequel, as profitable. The answer to this question will be yes if the film will be profitable for all parties in the end. This isn't a bad way of thinking, any good business man should think this way but film is also an art form, therefore pleasing the aesthetics audience has to be factored into the formula.

I believe the best way to pin down the aesthetic of sequels is to look at what “we” want in a story. Realistically, everybody wants something different, hence why many different genres and sub-genres exist. I believe that certain genre lend themselves to sequel more than others. The following characteristics of a story tend to need sequels to develop well round movies: Epics with rich lore and well developed characters, exploration of a new and existing world or universe, pop culture icons with many years of cannon. Movie that are made with these characteristics tend to fall in one of the following genres: adventure, comic book, fantasy, horror, or sci-fi. While other stories only need one telling, because they are that good. Most genres that encompass this notion are action, comedy, thrillers, and western. Some of these genres might be easier to stretch into more than one film but others like comedy it’s a bit harder. Comedy is hard because its nature is to be funny. Have you ever heard a joke that has lost it funny? Most answer this question with yes because when jokes are told over and over they began to become unfunny. The same happens with comedy film and their sequels, jokes are recycled and it becomes unfunny. Not to pick on comedies by any means , but my point is some genre it’s hard to make a good sequel because the information given in the story doesn't lend to expansion.