I have a real issue (ok, a temporary issue as I have a life – sort of) when I go on writing courses, read writing books, tweets, articles that tell me a film that I liked and that did well at the box office is a BAD movie. It will usually be labelled bad because it didn’t meet the ‘correct’ plot structure or the characters didn’t arc, blah, blah. Which of course is something all cinema goers, particularly those target 15-24 year-olds are looking out for, right? Because going to the cinema is obviously like going for your drivers’ theory test.
The worst are the people that come up with their own theory of how a film should be written. They are flawed from the outset because if a movie dare not fit nicely (or in most cases: mishaped in with a lot of poetic license by the desperate theorist) into their genius steps then, by default, its a bad movie. And a few of these demi-gods even try and tell you this in their blogs.
The thing is movies aren’t all about theories or even good stories. It’s entertainment, man! Some people do watch films to numb their brains, to hear noise and see lots of flashing images. In fact a hell of a lot of people do as most blockbusters that make shit loads of money get criticised for exactly this by these so called experts that haven’t had a movie made in the first place.
It’s almost like some sort of smug satisfaction is gained by picking holes in a successful film. ‘Look at me and my knowledge, that movie was rubbish because technically…” Yeah, it also made tonnes of money because, get this, PEOPLE LIKED THE FUCKING MOVIE AND DIDN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE THEORY. Including me, who you’ve now lost as someone who respects your teachings because if you’re telling me it’s wrong to write a script like the one that I and many, many, paying members of the public liked – this relationship is over, baby. It’s not me, it’s you.
I’m not saying purposely write bad characters and structure. Just work out what the key is to the movies you like and want to write. And don’t listen to all the bullshit advice that’s out there. Some teachers are just preachers. Art and creativity isn’t about conforming to rules anyway, oh and not everyone is trying to be an artist. Some of us just want to make movies and entertain.