Sorry for the break between posts. Life seems to be throwing un-catchable curve balls covered in goo and rusty nails these days, but I aim to get a post up every two weeks from now on. Even if the next ball makes me move countries. Who knows…. Here we go:
Hollywood movie makers need to implement a new position in their production team. I would suggest calling it Script Sceptic but BS Manager would be more accurate. We’ve all experienced it. When going to watch the latest blockbuster to come out of the Wood, we accept that some suspension of belief is necessary and acceptable for the experience. It’s OK that the hero can survive some improbable event, that the odds of character A and character B meeting in that city with those people at the time is unlikely, but a properly constructed narrative will keep the suspension active.
But quite often pure bedlam enters the screen and a maddening display of improbable, illogical, irresponsible bullshit just happens. Its like somebody looked up at the carefully crafted suspension system hanging from its intricate woven wires meticulously attached to the strongly built wooden frame work and thought that’s a bit much and took the wire-cutter and hacksaw duo for a spin and set a few controlled fires. What was once an engineering marvel of suspension is soon reduced to a primitive hammock with one end untied.
Of course, the reason for such monumental screw ups is often down to misunderstandings between creators and producers, accidents in production or budget cuts (who needs a fact checker, when you can have a nifty explosion or CGI effect). But mostly, it comes down to ignorance or a preference for looks over logic. Being ignorant should probably be the worst sin. Misunderstanding the laws of physics is bad enough, but getting basic facts wrong or having characters act against common sense is detrimental to maintaining the narrative. Prioritising looks over logic comes naturally to Hollywood.
So what can we do? Well…. Either we send Hollywood back to school, starting with courses in Conservation of Energy, Statistical Significance, Common Sense and Fact Checking. Or we add one more person to staff who can veto stupid.
But what do you think? Is it OK for film makers to continue to “guess” what is reality and makes characters dumber than the law allows. Or “it’s just a movie” so I should “just let it go”. Let me know before I return to yell at the TV. Or at books. Or just at people in general.
Photograph by phasisphoto on www.freedigitalphotos.net