Monday, 22 December 2008

Production Values

I honestly believe that the presence or absence of Hollywood production values is not what decides the overall quality of a film. It's partly a trade-off - with a big budget you get undoubtedly more realistic and more demanding sfx throughout a film, better technical stuff generally, more famous actors etc. but you also get the problems - you have to keep all your investors happy and get the widest possible audience so you have to dumb down the film to the lowest common denominator, or change the ending to please the test audience (that means you, Little Shop of Horrors) or include characters to sell merchandise or computer games; also I think too many films rest on CGI at the expense of plot, dialogue and other character-driven stuff. Let's leave the sequels issue for now.

Indie films meanwhile are a very mixed bunch - lower budgets and production values sometimes compromise the vision but other times force the film-makers to innovate. It might be easier to stay true to your own ideas - or you might be even more dependent on your limited sources of money.

On a related subject I was thinking about the reasons people (like, say, the Asylum) might make derivative rather than original films - it's easy to be cynical about this. Here's a link to an interview with Sandy Collora who previously made a Batman fanfic short but is now working on a more original project. He talks quite frankly about getting more attention for his earlier work because it featured a known character - on the other hand by making it he developed skills and proved he could see a project through to completion, which must have helped when he was looking for support for his new feature.

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