Author Topic: Why every movie feels the same  (Read 75 times)

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Neumatic

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Why every movie feels the same
« on: July 19, 2013, 11:29:16 am »
I just read this article, and I think Chip has also read the book, but this is worth a read:

Slate Magazine: Save the Movie!  The 2005 screenwriting book that’s taken over Hollywood—and made every movie feel the same

The article posits that everyone uses the same book, "Save The Cat," (which yes, I read and use as a reference, but sparingly) and as such movies are starting to feel the same, and whole scenes and actions start to feel forced because they need that beat to happen there.  The problem with all these things is that they're meant to be learning tools, not cheat sheets or forms to be filled out.  It really drives me nuts when I'm checking off boxes in a theater.

There needs to be an opposite book written, "Screw The Cat!" or something, that gives you a million examples of successfully breaking the rules.

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Mac

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 02:31:05 pm »
I hear ya

I like your idea
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Neumatic

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 02:50:45 pm »
"Save The Cat" is of course the ultimate example, the idea being right at the start you have to show your character as likable.  I was thinking about that because I rewatched "The Queen Of Versailles" last night and that moment doesn't happen until near the end of the movie, and it's much more powerful for happening there instead of at the start (I won't say what it is in case you haven't seen it yet), but it just says that these moments don't have to happen by a certain page, they have to happen at the right MOMENT.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2013, 05:29:29 am »
My review can be found here. Interesting article. I like the book for one thing and one thing only, it makes you think somewhat outside of the book in a 'paint by numbers' method. But it's not something I use at all. I like to do things a bit more organically and let things unfold on its own rather than putting a story together piecemeal. The thing with something so successful like Save The Cat is that everyone gloms onto it and uses it as a crutch, so naturally you're going to get a lot of movies feeling the same. I think the best way to use Save The Cat is to first just write your story with no editing and just 'get it out on the paper' and then go back and tighten up your script using Blake's method as your own personal script doctor. One last thing, trying to "make something happen by a certain page number" is counter intuitive and cripples good writing and storytelling. It's not natural and feels forced and you can see it on the page and the screen.

Should this thread be moved over to Creative Screenwriting since it deals more with the art of writing and not so much movies?
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Mac

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2013, 09:29:34 am »
Quote

Should this thread be moved over to Creative Screenwriting since it deals more with the art of writing and not so much movies?

I would... Neumatic?
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Neumatic

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 09:29:59 am »
Go ahead.

Mac

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2013, 11:27:23 am »
I believe along those lines being discussed here...

Joss Whedon criticises lack of originality in Hollywood: Comic-Con 2013



Quote
Joss Whedon took to the Comic-Con stage at a special panel on Friday evening, and spoke at length about the need for more originality in Hollywood.

“I do feel like we are in desperate need of new content,” said Whedon. “Pop culture is eating itself at a rate that is going to be dangerous. Too many narratives are built on the resonance of recognition. That’s going to become really problematic.”

“Even though it’s enormous fun to work on something I read as a child, I think it’s important for us to step back from that and create new universes, new messages, and new icons,” says Whedon, before jokingly adding, “so that 10 years from now we can reboot those!”

Whedon was also asked whether he would have any interest in returning to Wonder Woman, a project he was once attached to with Warner Bros.

“I don’t like to go back to things,” was the reply, “and I also feel there’s plenty of room for a new iconic female heroine. So let’s look to the future.”

Even if he were keen, Warner probably wouldn’t take to kindly to the following jab Whedon managed to sneak in about one of their less successful superhero outings…

“I think Martin Campbell kicks ass,” said Whedon mischievously. “I just don’t think Green Lantern was his thing… and it showed.” Ooh, burn…
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Neumatic

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Re: Why every movie feels the same
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2013, 01:13:02 pm »
I'm actually feeling kind of hopeful at the moment, because obviously he's not the only one thinking this:  you combine this revulsion of this self-cannibalism combined with how many more distribution platforms that exist now (and you gotta figure that number is gonna grow) that all need new and different content, this is the calm before the storm.  We're already seeing drops of it but it's gonna hit SO hard our heads are gonna be spinning.

 

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