Monday, 30 July 2012

The Field Of Broken Dreams

A finished motion picture is a miracle of epic proportions. From idea to script, from pre production to casting, filming to post production, promotion to viewing. Every single one stands as a testament to the work of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people, who have put their hearts and souls into what they finally produce.

Many of these films are weak, flawed animals that you learn to love or hate for those very same flaws. Some are average; possessing very little originality but have a good base of skill throughout the production which sees them through to a 2.5 out of 5. Some are very good; they have originality or flare, star turns, great performances by actors or effects, an eye for detail or a ear for the unforgeable.
Some are great, hitting the right spot in almost ever discipline and stand way out and then there are the classics.

Its funny to think that a classic doesn't have to be loved by all but if it is a true classic then you should be able to at least nod and say 'Okay, yeah, I can see why you love it.' Classics are incredibly rare, they are to be held as shinning examples of how to make films and that it can be done; if you try hard enough and have enough magic then you can achieve something that touches people.

Sadly its these films that are re-made. Its the classic books that are 're-imaged', 'retold' or 'adapted' and its almost certainly true that what we are left with are tattered stories, weakened ideas and scripts that try to bring something new to something that should always have been left alone. This is a sad state of affairs and one that has been with us for many years, but now I ask it to stop.

We do not need to see remakes of classics, we do not need to see weak prequels (Yes Ridley Scott, I'm talking about you), and we do not need to see reimaginings of great literary works because we should not have to watch people trying to alter greatness.

I propose a new standard idea; a new mission for Hollywood! A new era! Bring your ideas to the table and if they are similar to something that has been before then tweak it and film it anyway. Let each film that is not a direct sequel stand on its own. Have the faith needed in your product to give it a different name and put all your effort into making it as good as you can. Beg, borrow and steal from your favorite ideas throughout print, film and music and charge forward. Be an individual! Stand on your own two feet!

Now this does sound like I'm contradicting myself and you'd be right, I am, from a certain point of view. I'm saying that you can have something that is similar but doesn't stand too close to what gave you the original idea. You can retread old ground but if you don't attach your product to someone else's then it doesn't matter what yours is like, it can suck and you haven't tainted someone's baby. If its great then you have filmed something that's like something else but does not effect the source material.

A vampire can be a vampire without being called Dracula, a captain can command a spaceship without calling that ship 'Enterprise', a man can kill a woman and not be 'Psycho.'

I want to see new classics, fresh performances, new actors and actresses, and I also want my standard 'average' night at the cinema to at least have the stomach to try and make its own way.

Look at 'First Knight,' not a great film but not an all out shocker, yet because it takes all the names from the Arthurian legends and craps on them it pushes itself into idiocy. If you just changed the blurb and the characters names and take away the obviously gutless attempt to make a vague sword and sorcery film that the studio didn't think would make anything if it didn't have Arthur in it and you have something that's nowhere near as insulting or annoying and so maybe we hate it a little less or maybe even love it a little bit more.

Prometheous would be far less stupid if it wasn't a crap attempt to make an ill-conceived prequel of a classic.It could be judged on what it was like as a self contained unit (still a botched movie) rather than how it effected the original masterpiece. In truth it makes no effect on the masterpiece other than to annoy people who can now argue whether or not it was the worst prequel ever or in fact if it is the directors worst film?

Taking the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of film makers and millions of fans and using your modern army of hundreds to take something special apart is wrong. Stop doing it. Please?

Each film is a dream that has come to actuality, if it is a true classic then it seeps into the collective psyche of the people who love it and becomes important to them.

If you are in the business then vow to forge new dreams...not shatter old ones.

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