Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ratner's Road and letters to Hollywood

The IMDb Hitlist has a brilliant link posted today called "Brett Ratner's Notes for His Film Version of The Road by Cormac McCarthy." Having read The Road this summer and (regrettably) seen some of Ratner's work, I find this article completely hilarious ... albeit a bit crude in places. Here's a taste:
Can this movie make $100 million? No. It can make $200 million.

Switch shopping cart to Hummer or Bentley. (Which is more apocalyptic? Look on Internet.)

When the guy steals all of their supplies, instead of making the guy take off all his clothes but then letting him go, change it to a girl who takes off all her clothes (Alyssa Milano?).
Also, a bunch of bloggers around the web have been writing letters and suggestions to Hollywood at large about what's wrong with the movie industry. Culture Snob made a post earlier today that seemed to be in favor of ditching movies like Rescue Dawn that don't have much mainstream appeal. Although I usually enjoy Snob's work, I couldn't disagree more with this post.

Jim Emerson says that Hollywood needs to take some advice from HBO ... I couldn't agree more. Even though I sometimes think that HBO makes their content raw and salacious just because they can, there's no hiding that they consistently produce compelling television and excellent films that even sometimes attract Hollywood stars.
The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Entourage, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City -- you already know that's exactly the kind of stuff you should be doing. (And you're planning to make feature films out of some of 'em already.) Don't be afraid of cuss words, genitalia or blood-n-guts -- but try something a little more engaging than a hollow three-act structure without story or characters. Memorable, complex characters (without their edges polished off) are probably more compelling than structure, story or profanity-nudity-violence combined.

By this I mean characters who don't always announce to the audience what they're doing and why, because they don't always know. Leave a little room for mystery and ambiguity, give the audience half a chance to pay attention, and you may just pull them deeper into movies.

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