Monday, May 18, 2009

Just a little effort is all I'm asking.

I got involved in a very long but quite entertaining conversation tonight. It centered around an individual’s taste in movies and entertainment in general. This person that I had the debate with is someone who for the most part I find to have pretty good taste or at least a taste that runs along the same wave length as mine. Recently however we have found ourselves more and more at odds with some of the things we vehemently like and dislike. In the course of this heated discussion I think I was finally able to encapsulate that which really effects my like or dislike of a particular movie.

I hate WOLVERINE and TWILIGHT because they don’t try. They are the perfect examples of studio movies that realized they could make money based on the name brand alone and as such they never put in an ounce of effort to make something memorable or classic. They made Teflon because they knew they could do so quick and easy and still line their wallets.

I love IRON MAN, STAR TREK and THE DARK KNIGHT because they try. The studios and film makers involved realized that while they could just phone it in, if they actually sat down and came up with interesting characters and stories, if they put just as much time into the special effects as they did the script they could make movies that had legs, movies that people would fall in love with and watch over and over again. They were smart enough to realize that these movies would make money hand over fist because they would stick with people and they would be revisited by ravenous fans. This would in turn make their movies HUGE successes but also set up franchises that would last for years instead of the sugary, forgettable, Saturday morning cartoon mentality that’s embraced by so many other blockbusters.

Sure that extra effort is hard. Sure it causes some headaches and may mean you can’t quite meet whatever release date you’ve had carved out for the last half decade, but at the end of the day it’s worth it. What no studio wants to admit, yet every movie-goer proves over and over again with their hard earned money is that we notice this.

Sure we may throw cash at your piece of crap the first week but once everyone figures out it sucks it’s not gonna do so well. As such your piece of crap movie really has only ONE weekend to make as much money as it can. If you make a good movie however it’s a totally different story. There’s a pretty good chance it’ll open to decent numbers and then STAY THERE as everyone that falls in love with it tells their friends and then they tell their friends and so on. If you don’t believe me look at how much STAR TREK dropped off in it’s second weekend compared to WOLVERINE.

I’ll admit that as a film maker whose put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and EFFORT into making a movie over the past year this is a very sensitive issue for me at the moment. I’ve seen what it’s taken to make my movie, I see the unfathomable amount of imagination, heart and effort creative artists put into their work and then I see something that’s crap with a painted on gold varnish and I’ll be quite honest it pisses me off. I don’t think I’m getting snobby, I don’t think I’m being too harsh I’m just finally at the point where I realize my time, money and the creative efforts of true artists are far too valuable to be wasted on people and product that simply don’t give a damn.


Megan said...

I fully agree with you and think it's quite eloquent. I don't think we're getting snobby; I think it's more like people who drink wine. The more wine you drink the more you realize what you CAN expect out of it. It can be full bodied and wonderful or it can be momentarily yummy but unmemorable. We've seen a ton of movies, more than most people who love movies and we've come to expect that people & studios should at least do something very simple - try.

Anonymous said...

"If you don’t believe me look at how much STAR TREK dropped off in it’s second weekend compared to WOLVERINE."

Uhh, I think you meant to reverse those two?

Anyway, I think the worst thing is when they get the same original team that worked on a series and yet still fail spectacuarly on a project like Lucas did with the latest installments in the Star Wars/Indy franchises.