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The film industry should be an art more than a business

Credit: Maya Avelar / The Foothill Dragon Press.

The film industry should be an art first and a business second. A filmmaker’s primary goal should be to create a community organizing tool, not to reel in profit.

They should force us to feel, to think, to interact and to engage. When film is an integral aspect of a community, a film is instantly better in that it has the ability to encourage advocacy of the issues that surround us.

We should be seeing real ingenuity and thought on the screen. A film should be a visibly ambitious production to it’s audience. Laziness and a craving of money are clear on screen, as well, if those are the attributes in which the film was made.

CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is a perfect example. CGI is often used out of laziness, and in turn you get something which is not a believable portrayal. Computers have changed the way movies are made, for the better and for the worse. Sometimes, computers are deployed almost haphazardly, just because it is a tool which is readily available.

Using CGI can also make actors’ performances less believable. No actor wants to work in front a green screen, and the people behind the camera don’t either. The filmmakers and actors would have more verve, more passion, with real, manmade props in real places in the world that reflect the film’s setting.

In my mind, the issue of a lacking originality in the film industry is particularly among science fiction films. In the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, influential sci-fi films were produced, backed by the genius of Spielberg, Scott, Kubrick, Lucas and the like. They seemed to write a whole new rulebook for the film industry’s direction. I’d say it’s about time to write a new one.

I’m waiting for the movie to come out which defines our generation and sparks inspiration for a new epoch of filmgoing.

We need more filmmakers today to slip the leash of their influence and show us their individuality, their creativity. We need more bravery in the cinema.

From a financial perspective, you would think, “sure, let’s bring back all of the successful franchises…let’s just recycle what people will watch and try to do it as cheap as we can.”

But that’s not right. Movies represent time periods, move humanity forward, reflect on issues, prompt discussion and advocate change. That is their most powerful asset, not being a money-making machine.

Last year, fifteen of the twenty highest grossing movies were all sequels or previously published ideas brought to life, such as comic books or novels. They were just recycled material brought back for the cash. How has Hollywood become so overrun by sequels? Do they really have to sequelize every financially successful movie to make it last as long as possible, just for the profit?

Some, among this constant mirage of sequels, have failed anyway, regardless of the success of the original.

But why is this?

I believe it is because they are caught in an increasing demand for new franchises, new stand-alone blockbusters, new inspiration.

This year has been one of the worst for Hollywood in a long time. People are tired of unoriginal content.

It’s not about the money. Nothing in life should be about money. In the film industry, as in life, the focus should be on being genuine and making an impact. It should be about encouraging advocacy of the issues we face. Defining who we will be as a generation, as a people. Being bold, brave, courageous and true.

Because your life doesn’t get a sequel.

What do you think?
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