9.21.18: a rebel alliance of quality content
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the magnet of false prestige
money vs quality/entertainment in the film industry
by john david antesberger iii

"Based on the Award-winning Book Series..." "... the greatest rollercoaster ride of the year." "Critically acclaimed director..." "From the director of..." As soon as you hear those few words you can rest assured that nothing is going to improve anywhere in Hollywood. All those words seem to mean is that people are going to go and see what someone else thinks the world of Harry Potter, or Twilight, or Ironman looks like. And is it ever what you want it to look like?

It doesn't matter anymore to the ringleaders at major production companies anymore what "you" want it to look like, all they want is the sweet smell of success... and the large amount of cash from your savings account. When you want to find out which movie is the best so far "they" give you the amount of money a film has racked up. "See here? This movie has to be the greatest because its got the most money in the bank this weekend." Sure, whatever you say.

So how are we to judge if a film is good or bad?

James Cameron's Avatar made it to the top of the All-Time box office list with a little over 6 billion. That's quite impressive. But not only is that impressive, but so is that fact that Cameron topped one of his own movies that has held firm since 1997: Titanic. Now the question comes as to the quality of Avatar. Was it really worth the effort to pay the 3D ticket fee? In my mind it was worth to see the depth of the CGI, but the acting wasn't the best and there really wasn't anything that I could see which made it Oscar-worthy. Sure, we can hand it to Cameron that he had created a new 3D camera, but he should get something like the Nobel for that, not an Oscar. So what if it made it to the top of All-Time. This was during a time of inflation!

Anyway... the point is that money isn't everything. It shouldn't matter how much money the movie racks up, it's the profit it makes. That profit goes toward making other movies and pursuing the talent of the directors (the ones who sell the tickets really. If it doesn't look good then no one will see it). Basically, the money is important in the film industry, without it the business would go nowhere, and what do we think is going to pay for all those cameras, contracts, lighting, and all the other equipment?

The idea that money makes the quality of the picture is completely false and is a poor choice in marketing strategy. The more it's done the more it insults the time and effort put into making the film. The ones who are behind the camera, handling the equipment, and the ones in front of the camera are artists and consider film to be their medium. Sure they get money for doing it, but look at what they all bring in front of us to the Big Screen.

It is a false presumption to a dominant art form that is film, and by using that deceiving prestige only makes it worse. It's a disgusting method of business and impresses some, but not others. Many people go to the movies to be entertained and have fun, whatever makes them enjoy their time is worth their money. Quality or no, people see any movie for any number of reasons, none of the reasons right or wrong.

Looking at the number of adaptations and remakes that have been produced since the success of The Lord of the Rings it is no wonder that money plays a part in convincing people to go see it, but the only aim on the producers' end and the company's end is that they want to bathe in money. This is bringing Hollywood to lose its originality at a rate quicker than the speed of light and in the end someone will realize this and start the industry anew.


Ever since I was 12 I have been hooked on novels, movies, and artwork, dabbing in each from time to time. Over the past few years I have been trudging more and more in the direction of writing and am working on my first novel and hopefully would finish it. To keep me going I keep reminding myself of something my mother always says: "Everyone has a book inside of them."

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