Friday, August 04, 2006

Film school makes cookie-cutter movies.

According to the Times Dispatch, the 100th movie with a fart joke has come out this summer. Evidently every dumbass teen or tween comedy has to have a joke about flatulence, because they're all basically the same stupid bits rearranged.

The biggest problem facing movies today (other than perhaps an over-reliance on special effects) is this endemic lack of originality. If you see a lot of movies, very little of what you see is new. It is not just the jokes that are so predictable, because they have all been done before. It is that the situations are familiar too.
Why is this happening? Perhaps it's because so many film makers go to film school. Just like other schools, they provide formulas as a basis for learning and most students don't go beyond that.
As an academic exercise, it is perfect. But the practical application of this study has an inadvertent side effect. It stifles creativity. Filmmakers of today, most of whom have come through film school, either intentionally or unintentionally copy the movies they have studied.


TheGirard said...

heh...i just farted

Kathy said...

Isn't this a function of the scripts that are written and purchased by the studios, too?

There have to be some original scripts being written, but they are either not being bought, being bought and then shelved, or being bought because they're great but then dumbed down because it'll "never play in the Midwest."

The studios execs assume that they have to make $100 million per movie to keep their jobs because of the massive budgets most movies have. But take Clerks II, a perfectly delightful movie (again, if that's your thing...I'm sure it's not if it's not your thing, but isn't that granularity what being a better script than the same vanilla bullshit is all about?) which was made for what most studios would consider a shoestring budget.

It's a good movie, it has already turned a profit (which you can't say for many of the $100 million dollar grossers, because they cost a jillion bucks to make) and it wasn't the same old bullshit. Heck, it wasn't the same old Kevin Smith stuff, for crying out loud.

If some of the people producing scripts would gain some courage and produce an original script or two in between the fart jokes and car chases, maybe some of us out here who only go to the theater or the on-demand channel of their cable system a handful of times a year, if that, would be more interested in their product.

Okay, there's my essay. Grade me.

Shocho said...

I'm grading on a curve, and Kathy is doing well so far.


Girard Farted.

Reel Fanatic said...

"film school" is about as useful as "journalism school," which I tried out for a while before simply getting a newspaper job ... I understand that there are technical skills involved, but if you don't have the creative ability, no school's gonna give it to you