Saturday, January 16, 2010

but is it good?

But is it a good movie?

What makes a good movie, really? A few of my friends and acquaintances in the business of various forms of story telling are finding themselves perplexed at "bad" movies selling a lot of tickets, "bad" books becoming best sellers and "bad" tv shows flooding their channels. I've given this subject some thought and thought I'd pass on a few of my observations.

First off what do you consider "good"? We're shaped by our teachers who are shaped by their teachers etc etc. This means that a bad idea can be passed down for a few hundred years before it changes. If a lesson plan says that in order to be considered a good piece of literature it has to have element A, Element B and Element C like a math equation who's going to be the first educator to stand up and say it's bad information?

Secondly I think with any project you have to look at the goal of the creators. If your goal is to create a tv show that films fast and is extremely cheap to produce then you film an entire season of a reality show in a week and collect your check. If your goal is to make every 13 year old girl (or gay man) fantasize about being in love with a misunderstood monster.. you write Twilight. If you want to hypnotize millions of people with special effects and action sequences then you make Avatar. Are they good? If you're in a classroom then no.. they aren't good. Do the people paying to see consume them or the people cashing the checks care that they aren't considered good by academic standards?.. probably not.

Third.. think about the difference between what you like and what you consider good. For example I can't stand Jane Austins books. I've only set down a small number of books without finishing them and Pride and Prejudice was one of them. On a side note Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is cracking me the hell up. Seems everything can be made better with the addition of the undead in any of its many forms.

So as you're writing, filming, drawing and sculpting think about your own goal. Do you want to create something people want to see or do you want to create something that will be considered good in the academic sense? Do you want fame and riches now or do you want children born long after you're dead to be forced to see your work? .... or.. both?

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