Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The 12 Commandments of making movies

The 12 Commandments of Making Movies by William Keenan lists the 12 commandments he saw at a meeting with Pritish Nandy and offers his commentary. It's interesting to read.

Now, these 12 Commandments, not terribly surprisingly, almost all focus on making money and ignoring other concerns.

I have absolutely no problem with the idea that movies should make money. It's a business, and even on a small scale are an expensive product to produce. I think even art movies and experimental movies should be concerned about how they are paid for and what the potential audience is. Those aren't bad things.

But I look at things like "2. There’s nothing called good films. Only hit films and flop films.", I can't help think there was a time when producers and studio heads took special pride in making hit films that were also good. Is that so wrong?

Then there's, "5. Dream wet dreams. Don’t fund movies to make them come true." Keenan responds to this, "I’m down with this one, too. Too many wanna-bes make movies for themselves (that they’d want to see) and proceed to shove ‘em down people’s throats, rather than make a film for other people (ie. the audience)."

And here I'm conflicted.

I have a feeling that among the things the best movies ever made (and, yes, the most successful) and the worst movies ever made have in common is that the moviemakers didn't focus their time on what the audience wanted.

But as long as we're talking to dumbasses like me who haven't had any success or people who are only a step or two above me on the ladder and haven't earned a chance to shoot our wet dreams and see if we're that guy, we should be spending some of our time thinking about an audience.

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