Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Where Has The Plot Gone?
It's been a while since I wrote what's on my mind, especially movie related subjects. I want to talk about movie plots and how is spending quite a bit of time NOT focused on them. The no-focused plot problem has been happening for a long while now, but for me personally it has been more noticeable lately. We are currently in summer movie season, which means a slew of big budgeted blockbusters. These types of films suffer the most from this plot problem, here's why: Mr CEO Producer at Big Film Studio 6 wants to make a crap ton of money. He thinks to himself, whats hot right now that I can take to the bank. He realizes comic book movies, teen fiction novels, and toys turned cartoon series. He then calls up his three best friends who happen to be a filmmaker. The first filmmaker is a geek or nerd that makes geek or nerd movies so he's handed a script to the lasted comic book movie. The CEO asks him to spearhead the first movie in a ten picture cinematic universe, here's a crap tone of money make me proud. The second filmmaker isn't as well know to mainstream Hollywood, but has made some decent film in the past. The CEO asks this guy, "Do you want to swim in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck? Well, here's the latest seven part teen fiction novels that we just acquired the movie rights for. The third guy is known for making "guy movies" The CEO calls him up and says, "Hey bro we just got the rights to Toy's INC action figure line. I loved the cartoon as a kid now makes me love the live action version" Respectively each of the three guys create their fun summer blockbuster that make tons of money. Once this happen The CEO calls the three guys up and ask one question "You ready for a sequel?" Is this really that bad of thinking? Not quite. From a business model it works, but from an artist standpoint its bad news. Being a graphics guy I'm okay with the filmmakers spending a good amount of their budget on visual effect. I'm even okay with the filmmakers being detail oriented and hiring on specialized craftsmen to craft sets and costumes. I'm okay with filmmakers experimenting or expanding upon the tech side of filmmaking. All these things take a lot of time and money to execute. Writing a story takes time, but very little money compared to they other thing mention. Ideally, there will only be one guys or gal that the studio will have to pay plus, maybe one person who created the source material if the script is adapted from someone else work. The key word here is "One" Now days it seems there's at least four or five people penning screenplays, which I believe affects the plot, here's why: Sam the screenwriter writes a decent screenplay but he thinks it need improvements on the story. He gives it Steve the storyteller to read and improve upon. Steve gives his feedback and returns the script. Sam thinks Steve's advice was great and change the script. Since the script was changed significantly with Steve's idea's Sam decides to credit Steve with the story. Sam and Steve decide to submit their screenplay to Big Film Studio 6. The studio likes the screenplay for the most part, but they want their studio guys to give it a glance. Tom changes the tone of the film. Dan tweaks the dialogue and Andy add some more action, while Carl adds a more comedy element. These four in-house studio writers have added to the screenplay so they deserve credit as writers as well. Do you see the problem? I personally think Mr. CEO Producer is suppressing the creative freedom of his filmmaker to play it safe because he knows that his type of film will make money but a movie with plot may not. What do you guys think about this problem? For another plot related post, click here.