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Old August 20th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #31
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"Stealth looked great, and probbably sold plenty of tickets for hollywood to get what they wanted."

I am happy to inform you that Stealth made one of the largest losses of all time.

I'd also count myself as a science fiction reading technical person, and I find most science fiction for TV is unwatchable. Particually shows like 'The Sentinal' and 'John Doe', we just don't have a culture that can entertain and inform - you either write scripts or pass remedial science.

There are a few gems like 'Regenesis' which has a very high standard of science, not perfect, but very high for TV.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #32
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Thanks Marvin for the great news about stealth!

I do understand why Sci-Fi shows have trouble being realistic. They need to keep things exciting, which often means ignoring simple solutions. And as you stated, not many script writers know much about science.

I saw a documantary a while back about a guy who does consulting with script writers, helping them keep the movie as technically accurate as possible. In his interview he explained how it's not always easy to get them to change things. Often they work out compromises, but he feels the movies he works on are much better on the details because of his help.

I'll have to check out "Regenisis", I've never heard of it. But from what you wrote it must be good.

I do agree with Ash that trying to make an independent film, and hoping to get it in the mainstream theaters is more likely to just end in disapointment. Not because the film maker doesn't have the skills, or a good script, but because he can't get the money, actors, support, and equipment the big producers can.

Personally, I want a career in media, but if I ever try to make a feature length film, it will be for personal reasons, not to try to get it in theaters.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #33
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Hollywood's goal isn't to make movies that make money.

It's to make movies that can be marketed with enough razzle dazzle that the studio can be guaranteed to make the film's budget back the first and second weekend before bad word of mouth can sink it. That's the business model now. Hollywood knows how to market to kids and make an acceptable profit without running risk so that's what they do. They staff their productions with people who have no interest in films outside of the glamour and the money. Those kinds of people pick the easiest audience to exploit.

It isn't the "public" in general that goes to see crap - it's the under-25 crowd. They don't go so much to see the film, as to have the social engagement of sitting in the theatre watching the movies with their friends and chatting about it online (and of course, there are plenty of serious kids who don't do that). But generally speaking, that's who these films are made for and marketed to which is fine, but.....

Hollywood has trained people over 35, (and women, in particular), to just not even both going to the theater. And once people get out of the habit of going to the theater, talking them in to going to the theater becomes a very difficult proposition. And Hollywood loses a massive audience and a massive amount of box office dollar.

The loss of the small local theater has played a role in older audiences demise. The megaplexes with their lines, their lobbies designed to amplify the noise of the theater goers (makes it seem happenin' is the design theory there) and the mix of theater goers also play a role in this. The last two times I went to the theater, I was nearly knocked flat by kids running through the lobbies. Now, that's what kids do - that's fine. But with megaplexes, when you're off seeing the latest Ivory Merchant film, you've got 13 year old boys running around gleeful about somebody getting blowed up (it was so coooool), and occasionally the inevitable will happen. Somewhere in your thirties, that cultural experience becomes less tolerable.

Now, I am not complaining about young people. The problem isn't that Hollywood makes films for young people, and young people go see them in spades. The problem is that the entire industry has geared itself to only serve that demographic, and that structure makes it very difficult for other types of films to find their audience and make money. You hit 35 and you conclude that going to the theater to see a movie is likely to be an unpleasant experience, and why spend $10 (haha, I almost typed $8 but realized I'd be giving away how long it's been since I've been to the theater) doing that? Wait for it to come out on DVD and risk only $2.99.

When was the last time a movie was made that 40+ year old men went to see in droves? Does it even happen? Women had My Big Fat Greek Wedding a few years ago but what about men?

Anyway, Hollywood as convinced itself that they'd rather do business with only one demographic because only one demographic goes to the movie theatre over and over again (which is also not true - see Room With A View for a reference that 30+ year old women will go to theater over and over again), and that's the golden ring that they're all reaching for - a big, noisy movie that'll gross $500m of teen box office dollars and monopolize the media for a few weeks. It's an anti-artist business model. Movies aren't about the human experience, because that's a trickier thing to market. And if costs more than a pittance to make, then they might lose money. Can't have that.

Why did Dukes of Hazzard cost more than $3 million to make? It's a legitimate question.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Deming
I do understand why Sci-Fi shows have trouble being realistic. They need to keep things exciting, which often means ignoring simple solutions. And as you stated, not many script writers know much about science.
The X Files did a pretty good job sometimes :-D
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Old August 20th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #35
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One sci-fi film I saw drove me neerly insane.

Concept was, metorite hits the side of the ship, where strangely the only container of oxygen, that support the crew through the whole journey is located, and this gets vented.

Captain leaves the ship in the only life pod and leaves the crew behind. The captain then denies there was anyone left alive because of an inside deal with someone (You can tell what sort of movie it is by now).

Everything is working apart from oxygen and comms. I mean everything, is working, the engines, the lights, drinks making facilities, food, no lack of power. They are calmly discussing the lack of oxygen problem and it turns out only 1 person can be left alive with what remains in the ship. Shock, horror. The ship has full power and supplies, people are drinking bottles of wine and making coffie while they make a lottery as to who gets to live. Of course this breaks down, you have a bad guy who selfisly wants to live, people do stupid things and die anyway by depressurising - its a pretty by the book trapped in a spaceship scifi.

There is me wripping out my hair 'how can you be so stupid. You have WATER - H2O, you have power, TURN IT INTO OXYGEN. 1ml of the water in that wine you are trying to drink yourself to death with turns into 11 litres of pure oxygen by electrolysis', you put your entire oxygen supply as a liquified gas (ships of the future will not bother to try and recycle oxygen, its just not fashionable, and com dish RIGHT NEXT TO EACHOTHER on the side of a ship, presumably with a giant bullseye patten around it, and noone not even the guys who fix the engines know that water is neerly 90% oxygen by weight.

Did these guys even have a science guy look over the script? I don't remember the name, its a mid 90's film I think. I'll leave the ending, and all the other logical and scientific flaws the film has in case someone watches it.

If you read a modern scifi book, you are almost guarenteed to learn something, and have your mind expanded at the same time. Watch a movie.....you start the slow evolutionary process back to the slime.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 05:06 AM   #36
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Maybe it was a porn movie. I've heard they don't care so much about the science.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:53 AM   #37
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Marvin, I'm glad I didn't see that movie, I'm afraid I might lose IQ points if I ever do.

To make that script, they made a ship with no redundancy for two critical systems, and idiots for crew. In real life, they make ships with as much redundancy as possible, and astronauts are almost scientists! You'd never learn that from seeing a movie, (except Apollo 13).

I found a little discussion thread on Yahoo a few days ago, the person that started the thread posed the question "Do you think people will ever live on the moon?" Someone actually responded that there is no atmosphere on the moon, and there isn't enough gravity to hold one, so it's impossible to live there. He didn't even consider making an undergound environment, or a dome covering a crater. That's what bad Sci-Fi has done to some of us! People are unable to consider simple, obvious solutions.

It's just sad, that's why I read instead. I still watch most Sci-Fi, but I expect to be disapointed. I do get surprised every once in while with something good.

Maybe if they were porn movies I wouldn't feel so dumb for watching them.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:17 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
The technicalities of making movies should be the least of the average filmmakers troubles. And if they're not, then...
Not only does the technical elements not matter all that much but it usually takes an army of people to make a movie....
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:30 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Justin Deming
Maybe if they were porn movies I wouldn't feel so dumb for watching them.
No, I've seen the movie in question and I've seen a sci-fi porno...the dumb crew drinking themselves to death on the ship sapped many less IQ points than the Sci-Fi Porn (in my defense, the porn was packaged as a 'B' sci-fi movie and it was a b-movie night...it was way softer than softcore and quite bad).
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:52 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
No, I've seen the movie in question and I've seen a sci-fi porno...the dumb crew drinking themselves to death on the ship sapped many less IQ points than the Sci-Fi Porn (in my defense, the porn was packaged as a 'B' sci-fi movie and it was a b-movie night...it was way softer than softcore and quite bad).
Too much info...
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:41 AM   #41
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what, you've never gone to a video store and picked a nights' viewing strictly on the cover art?

blonde models in tin foil with a title like the women who took over the earth or something cheesy like that sounded like a great 'B' sci-fi movie...we ended up MST3King it (too easy)...lots of caffeine and laughter...good times.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:06 PM   #42
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"Why did Dukes of Hazzard cost more than $3 million to make?"

didn't Jessica get most of that $$ !!! ....

well you see in general hollywood really doesn't know what will be a hit or a dud !! so they tend to COPY and recycle and package what they think the general public wants to see ( oh and that general public is 12-23year olds and most of that is BOYS) based on past hits ... so if Joe Smith had a hit directing BIG $$$ movie - they pay him whatever he wants and they tend to let him do whatever because he knows how to make a HIT ... when they cast the movie like dukes they cast jessica because they think she'll put allot of paying 13-18year male old BUTTS in the seats . remember she is on many teen magazine covers and she gets allot of air time on entertainment type TV shows ..

most of the time they figure if they throw enough $$$$$$$$ at it -it will be a hit ... so from their POV a 3million movie stands a good chance to be a dud and a 50million movie stands a pretty good chance to be a hit ...
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:35 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
what, you've never gone to a video store and picked a nights' viewing strictly on the cover art?

blonde models in tin foil with a title like the women who took over the earth or something cheesy like that sounded like a great 'B' sci-fi movie...we ended up MST3King it (too easy)...lots of caffeine and laughter...good times.
Yeah, I've had a great laughing experience once too with one... but that's too much off topic right now ;-)
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:02 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Well, there you go! You should be using a Funk & Wagnell ;)

As far as using the term hillbilly, you really need to live in some of the real backroads of the south to appreciate it fully. However, I have never wanted to jump anything in a Charger... except Daisy Duke ;)
There must be hills involved for there to be hillbillies friends. The term was cooked up to describe the folks of Kentucky and West Virginia to be exact. Specifically it came about when the NY press was covering the Hatfield / McCoy fued which was fought across the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy river which is the border between WV and KY. Don't you guys remember your mass media class in college? :)

Speaking as an actual "bona fide" Kentucky hillbilly I can assure you guys - it's yeeehaw. That's straight from the Mountain Standard Dictionary. I have never heard an implied "y" in that term. Hmmm... I guess I wouldn't at that. But trust me it's supposed to be there.

BTW the Dukes were Georgia hillbillies. There are mountains in north Georgia which technically are in the same mountain range as the KY and WV hills that spawned the Hatfield / McCoy clans.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:13 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Lori Starfelt
When was the last time a movie was made that 40+ year old men went to see in droves?
Actually a Hollywood film raked in huge numbers of old folks including men not too long ago. It was something that most of Hollywood shunned like it was a death blow to their whole industry. It was The Passion Of The Christ that brought in huge numbers of older people and it brought in their money too.

But Hollywood has no interest in producing movies of this nature despite the money made from it. The main reason they don't want to make these movies is because they don't appeal to that under 25 demographic. Those under 25's think they will live forever so they don't worry about such things.

Some of us remember the exact moment Hollywood ditched the old folks market btw. It was decided that advertisers wanted to appeal to a young audience because they were open to their messages and they would be customers for products for decades to come. It was 1971 and tv shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Andy Griffith were the top shows in the ratings. But CBS dumped all 3 and more at once because all 3 appealed to older audiences and very few young people were watching them. The young folks were watching Easy Rider. From that point on we've been seeing a whole lot of rebellion pictures. Some things seem to never change.
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