On Better Film-making…

Jan 21, 2011 | Opinions

My usual opinion of Hollywood movies is not exactly high. I’m normally disappointed with them, and with the direction they take in chasing the almighty dollar instead of telling a good or satisfying story. The fact that they blow millions on special effects and then fillet the script to cater to a particular demographic is just… deeply painful, to me at least, and it hurts all the more when the result is bland and forgettable while ticking all the studio-executive-mandated boxes.

I mean, really. Story-telling is not rocket surgery. I have far higher hopes for the games industry – the interactive nature of the medium almost demands a good story, and the current crop of AAA titles bodes well for the future. Look at Heavy Rain, for example. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Gears of War. Splinter Cell: Conviction.

Anyway, that’s not the point here. The real point is that Hollywood just isn’t as good as it used to be at making films, which is an enormous shame seeing as films shape a large part of the cultural consciousness. But what is the solution, I hear you ask? What can we do to stem the tide of meh?

Front and centre, Michael Ashton – and his new feature, Lazy Teenage Superheroes.

Yes, dear reader, the future is once again with the independent film-makers, and this time the Internet is on their side. I am told that this particular work of funny was made for about $300. I can’t say if it’s true or not, but if it is… it makes you wonder what the hell Hollywood is spending their oceans of cash on.

I really do think this is the future of film, by the way. The tech has largely caught up with our imaginations – if we can dream it, we can make it appear on the screen, and the budget is becoming less and less of an issue. The tech can get it out to a global audience, who can decide whether or not they like it instantly – and they will tell you, right there on YouTube. And the tech will let anyone across the world with a Paypal account support what they really love.

Someday, I’d love to see my own work on the silver screen. I can’t help but think that that isn’t just a distant dream anymore, after seeing what an indy director with a vision can do.