There is no doubt that popular culture is at its peak at this moment in time, with more books, films, television series and music being produced on a daily basis than ever before. Despite this era being dubbed the golden age of television, there is only one medium sitting high and pretty on top of the pop-culture food chain, and that is cinema. #Hollywood happens to be the most popular film industry in the world, receiving more international views than any other medium. You would think receiving such absolute attention from cinema-goers would be liberating to film makers in the United States, but unfortunately, it has only turned them into predictable, linear storytellers who are looking to cash in on a remarkable audience.
Straight from the recycle bin.
A shocking statistic revealed that in 1984, out of the 111 major releases produced by Hollywood, 65 films were purely original scripts. In 2014, only 22 original films made their way to the big screen out of the 89 big releases that year. This means that less than a third of the films being produced right now have not been seen before in some form or another. The sheer depth and variety within pop-culture and its many mediums has given Hollywood producers a wide selection of scripts to choose from; scripts that have already proved to be winners, and are more likely to do well in comparison to original ideas. In a sense, these producers are relying on our high levels of nostalgia to make up for their lack of originality, opting to bank on success stories from the past instead of pushing the boundaries of the medium for the sake of the future.
This is why we now receive an endless supply of prequels, sequels, adaptations, remakes, reboots and cross-overs. This probably won’t stop until anything remotely entertaining has been created multiple times for each generation (think of the three versions of Spiderman we have seen since 2000).
Bigger just means bigger, not better
The problem here is not just the lack of imagination being displayed by some of the so-called creative minds in the industry, but the need to utilize big budgets and massive scales in order to create a preposterous amount of profit. The use of technology has allowed film makers to tell stories in a realistic way that could have never been possible two decades ago (Sci-fi stories like Ex-machina). Instead, a glorified universe of superheroes and supervillains is being meticulously planned out, creating a grotesque amount of wealth using comic book stories written decades ago.
The burden of being on top
Hollywood has a rare opportunity to unite the global mind and raise consciousness by telling powerful, thought-provoking stories that will shape the minds of generations of children around the world. The medium can use the powerful tool that is cinema in order to make us examine the true nature of reality and question the many shades of falsehood being presented to us on a daily basis. They can use this moment in time to take everyone in the world forward, one step at a time, by gradually raising the bar on the cinematic experience, and increase everyone’s capacity to better appreciate a story. The audience and the creators share an intimate bond today thanks to social media and global distribution channels, but it is wasted on mindless entertainers that add no value to a person’s life.
Two hours is not a lot of time to change opinions, and certainly not enough to change the world. But two meaningful hours, over a course of a hundred films each year, across a decade or more, will have an irreversible effect on the global consciousness.
Hollywood, I urge you to seize this opportunity! #Movies