Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why are Hollywood and Bollywood movies so bad?


I have few suggestions for making good movies. Let me try to explain. If you take story /concept not all the hit movies are good movies. Not all the flap movies are made with bad stories! If you check with movies made out of fictions then you will understand what I mean.
In my opinion three people are responsible for making bad movies.

These people are capable of writing good, bad and trash fictions/novels. Advantage of being a writer is that he can churn out pages after pages by developing subplots and more subplots. Only thing is that subplots should not deviate from the main story. Subplots should be part of the story if possible it should join with main story at later stage if not you will find too many loose ends.

If bad movies are made it is because of bad story writers. Here I am not writing about stories written with professional touch. Some of the professional writers write stories without a concept. Such stories cannot have logline! Concept of the story should be the foundation of every story, based on the story only screenplays are written.

In India very few fictions/novels are made out into movies. There are writers in film field. They write stories exclusively for movie production .most of them steal story concept from foreign movies and indianize it. All most all those writers are capable of writing ’Masala’ fictions for movie production.  When you mix Indian spices in right proposition you get masala. We use it for making curry/gravy. Those writers mix family value, love, romance, fight, songs and dances scenes to make it appealing for the mass. Most of the movies make money. Content wise there is nothing new. You will find hundreds of ‘similar’ movies in different Indian languages.  The other method producer use to make money is to remake regional hit movies in other Indian language with leading stars.

Have you ever read professional trash? Yeah! Usually professional writer will show case his proficiency in high standard of English. Some of the big novels start with great story as the writer keeps adding plots and subplots to make it magnum opus story deviated from main story! Subplots will take you nowhere! Some time it will take you to dead end!! Again writer will start with main story in the end he will find too many loose ends! He is not sure how to end his magnum opus. Story will end unexpectedly and readers are left high and dry.

A good story or concept need not be written by professional writers it can be written by amateur writers too. He many not go in for details like character development unless story revolves around the main character. I.e. if he writes… her father was bank manager that is more than sufficient. Story is not about her father, it is all about his daughter’s love life…. Casting director will chose tailor made character (Bank manager) from movie, T.V or theater field.

As you say director is the captain of the ship. Making good and successful (B.O) movies are the responsibilities of directors. His carrier also depends on it. If the story is not good enough he better not to direct such movies to ruin his carrier and reputation. Whenever a movie became hit, it is the director who takes credit. Do you think the success of movie depends on director and not the story writer? 

A writer can take liberty by adding more subplots to the main story where as a director will find it difficult to ‘compress’ a novel into 120 screenplay pages. Some of the subplots get chopped off. That is the reason few of the prominent writers will never ever sell their fiction for movie production.  When I send my fiction to screenplay writer he asked me how to make it within 120 pages? My fiction is not a final edition.  My long working hours does not permit me to develop subplots. Main story is only 59 A-4 pages in M.S words or 110 book pages.  Average Indian movies run between two and half hours to three hours. So it is not a problem at all.  He also found it difficult to ‘compress’ 25 years while writing screenplay. It is easy for me to compress 25 years. I can rotate four chapters alternately for ten or fifteen minutes. More than that I think it will be boring.  I had seen ‘Life of Pi’ not for direction or graphics. As per the story the boy was out there in the sea for 299 days. I do not see the difference between each day. Days and nights are rolled into one! No one can be sure of 299 days.
Success of movie depends on good story and a competent director’s ability to pictures/presentation. No story, no producer, no director, no hero.

A director can do three things with the story.
1) He can improve upon the story using his creative ideas.
2) There are instance where a director made good movie out of not so good story.
3) An incompetent director can screw up a good story. This should never be allowed.
Perhaps that is the reason few of the prominent writer does not want to sell their fiction/novels for movie production. As a writer when your creation (story) is presented badly by director your feelings are hurt. Even your readers will be disappointed after watching movie version.  If a director cannot make a Faithfull ‘reproduction’ of fiction using film as medium, minim he should do ‘justice’ to the story.
Do you still believe that the director makes good movies or good story makes great movies?

Instead of making high budget movie and risking money producer and production house should make more medium budget movies with good story concept. If a movie was made with ten million USD and the total collection is only twelve million dollars then the movie cannot be considered as a hit movie. At the same time if a movie was made with one million dollar and if the movie’s total collection is four or more million USD, then it is a hit movie.

We story writers are capable of writing good, bad and trash fictions. But a producer who is spending millions to make movie out of our fiction should be capable of finding movie material out of our fiction or screenplay, his experience and knowledge should help him to find movie material.

Here I am not comparing producer with a scrap yard dealer. It is my way of thinking. If we try to dump our used/trash items at the scrap dealer he will take it if only the material has resale value or if it can be recycled. Otherwise he will tell us to dump it in the garbage box. He is not a qualified man but he is capable of finding money out of trash. For that he uses his experience and knowledge about trash materials.
 Part of the blame for making bad movie lies with producer! It is their failure to identify movie material. I was told Hollywood producer search through hundreds of screenplay before finalizing. If so why they make so many bad movies? Same is the case with Bollywood movies. In my opinion medium budget movies made with good story/concept is the best bet. Finding good story is the responsibility of producer. Instead of proof reading story a producer should try to understand story or concept. Now the question is when professionally written story/screenplays are available why producer should take time to read such stories? Fine. Then how comes producers make bad movies out of professionally written fiction/screenplay? There are two reasons for that.

1) Professionally written story or screenplay was not a movie material.
 2) It was producer’s failure to identify movie material.
In U.S and Europe producers insist on screenplay. I was told most of the production houses make couple of movies simultaneously. They receive hundreds of screen play. They do not have time to read fiction/novels. Fine. That means producers are making flop movies out of screenplay! I would say it was producer’s failure to identify ‘movie material’ from hundreds of screenplay!! They had only looked for professionally written screenplay with industrial standard but not the story concept or movie material.

Not every story writer can write screenplay. To convert fiction/ novel into screenplay cost 5000 to 6000 USD! Which not every story writer can afford to pay. Here is my suggestion. Producer /production house can ask for submission of story/novel (published or with copyright registered) synopsis or summery of story/novel from authors. Summary of fiction/novel will not be more than one or two A-4 pages long. If they find the story worth making movie they can ask for full manuscript from the author. There are professional screenplay writers who can do ‘justice’ to the original manuscript. When adopting novel to the screenplay there will be lots of chopping that means missing out on subplots.

There are any numbers of good novels and screenplay is available for producers.  Almost all sorts of the fictions can be made into movies. Perhaps that is the one of the reason for making bad movies. Finding good story and movie material is the responsibly of producer.  His precious money and name of Production Company is at stake. All most all the major movie production house debate before investing in a bad story.  Most of the major movie production house will give us value for money by providing good entertainment.  A part from major movie production house we have B grade and C grade producer and production house. C grade producer makes local movies base on local theme and culture.  Such movies will only runs in B and C grade theater circles.  Nevertheless such movies make money. Then there are hundreds of Indi producers who make low budget movies. They make parallel cinema or art movies with local artists.    Even though concept /content wise they make better movies than B and C grade production house you can find lack of professional touch in those movies.

Here is my verdict. It would be impossible to stop people making bad movies.