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Thursday, November 24, 2005


With this script rewrite I've been trying to recapture the flavour of a classic family film. Will this appeal to an audience? We have seen, by the ease with which people got excited about an old game show (see comments on last post) that people love harking back. But they don't like it too much. I think it would be hard to sit through the actual show. So the balance has to be a bit of the old, with an injection of the new.

Let's just be clear - I'm talking about the style here, not the content. Apply the same thinking to that and you end up with Starsky and Hutch, Dukes of Hazzard etc. And they've had more than enough space wasted on them by me already.

Still from Everyday Man


Paul Draper said...

A few older style recent releases I can think of:

The Man Who Wasn't There
Payback (or any film noir attempt)
Down With Love (Ewan seems to like material in an older style)
That Thing You Do!
Road To Perdition

Tim Clague said...

No mainstream family films there. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Herbie Rides Again is the only one I can think of. Although a new Lassie is supposed to be on its way. But its easy to think of these as in the old style as they are remakes or based on old material.

Ghostbusters is kind of what I'm talking about - a few scares, a few laughs etc. But even thats old now.

Maybe, really, they don't make em like they used to.

Paul Draper said...

Mainstream tastes have changed of course.

I do think that people prefer more irony and a cutting edge these days, perhaps the hallmark of an older style was innocence.

Even in the U certificate animations like Shrek and Toy Story there are ladles of irony, post-irony, and other "sophisticated" dialogue and narrative cues.

Rewind to "The Secret Weapon" and Basil Rathbone as Holmes concludes that he lives in "This fortress built by Nature for herself . . . This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England" without a trace of irony.

It's a classic line, but audiences would laugh if released now.

Tim Clague said...

Well I might be on a winner here. The central character speaks like that. But he is also a comedy character - so it get it both ways. Great speeches but also a bit of irony and light heartedness of watching a character out of time. Genius! Or a disaster waiting to happen as it hits neither target.

Paul Draper said...

Hehe - an exciting risk!

Been reflecting on this further and the film-audience relationship should really be placed in temporal context to examine it properly.

The Holmes film was produced during WWII, so audiences wanted to hear about the glory of England.

We now live in a confused, fast paced world where we are suffused with knowledge but relatively powerless. This frustration often manifests in grim and ironic humour, which sets the context.

Tim Clague said...

I would say suffused with media - rather than knowledge.

Isn't that the problem with whole post-modern trend. Everything has been done. That everything has become ironic. What happens after that?

I guess we all leave and go home and try to do something else thats new (like Quartz Shorts) or try to use old media for old stories (as in my script rewrite)

That seems a grim outlook - but a true one.