CategoryScreen

Don’t Break the Egregore of the Long-Running Franchise

Star Wars Squadrons

I have written on this topic before (the challenge of creating and sustaining a supportive and bought-in audience) in the articles: Why Audiences Leave when Stories get too Big The End of Part II The Endurance of Dr Who & 007 And today I want to take another look at this given the outcry on the Internet at where the big studios are taking some of the fans’ beloved franchises (or where...

Does the Modern Franchise offer Panacea or Pain for the Moviegoer?

Outside a Movie Theatre (aka Cinema) at Night

I read an article on ScriptMag titled “Is the ‘MacGuffin’ an Endangered Plot Device?” written by Tim Schildberger, an experienced writer, script coach, and co-founder/Head Judge of Write LA. He talks about the failure of surprise in the use of a MacGuffin in the classic three-act structure because he argues that anyone who has seen movies regularly over the last 40 years –...

The End of Part II

Or, Why Movie Universes are suffering from Cosmic Inflation. Movies, or more specifically, movie universes and franchises like Marvel, DC, the Hunger Games series, Harry Potter, Warhammer, the Divergent series, etc, are big. But are they getting too big? The TV Analog In television, a show is developed to run over a series of episodes. Depending on the run, this can be a handful like 6-10 or a...

The Endurance of Dr Who & 007

Dr Who. A TV series that has endured more than 50 years (albeit with a hiatus for 16 years, notwithstanding the 1996 film introducing us to the Eighth Doctor). It began in 1963 and is now in its 35th series (season). There is no other series in history that has come close to this longevity, aside from the James Bond (007) films which first screened in 1962 and now enjoying his 24th outing in...

Chasing Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Movie Grail

I read HP Lovecraft in my teens and early twenties. Like many of my friends, we all enjoyed a good scare and Lovecraft provided something primaeval in his mythos. Films such as The Evil Dead and Reanimator supported this stage of life, but were they really any good and true to the books? Returning to the stories 20+ years on with talk of a movie that will ‘finally’ give us the Lovecraft movie we...

Why audiences leave when stories get too big

There are many shows that rumble on season after season, and there are some shows that stop abruptly part-way through their entire multi-season story arc. Examples of the latter are Heroes, Dollhouse and, to an extent, Legend of the Seeker. Other shows such as Chuck and No Ordinary Family are also teetering on the edge of termination while there may be still much mileage in their plots. What is...

Are TV Shows the new Comic book?

I have been thinking about this since the last couple of posts on this subject (“From cliffhanger to cancelled” & “Why do good TV shows get cancelled“) and the more I think about it the more I have come to the conclusion that TV shows (especially sci-fi and fantasy ones) have become the 21st century comic book. The parallels are clear – they are both planned as...

From Cliffhanger to Cancelled

I am not sure why the studios insist on ending each season of a TV show with a cliffhanger ending. It has been happening for many years, and most shows these days insist on ending one series with a cliffhanger as if to bait the viewer to ensure they watch the next season. However, if a viewer really likes a show (ie becomes a fan), they will tune in anyway – I know I do, and research shows...

Why do good TV shows get cancelled?

I am referring here mainly to sci-fi and fantasy related shows as these are the main ones that I watch, and ones that I see copious amounts of debate about on the Internet, and ones that have very vocal and loyal fanbases who disagree with the network’s decision to axe the show. Examples of such axed shows include The 4400, Firefly, Dollhouse, Legend of the Seeker, Flash Forward, Stargate:...

Thoughts on Movie Piracy

I like movies, but ever since November 2009 when LOVEFiLM started their dispute with Universal Studios I have not been able to rent any new Universal movies through their site. In the last few months, this has started to really annoy me as there are a growing number of movies I would like to watch but LOVEFiLM still is unable to offer. The dispute rumbles on and there is no word about whether it...

The Here & Now

I’m working on developing a feature film – a supernatural thriller. You can find more about this on my production website. I am doing a script readthrough at Pinewood later in March for a TV comedy pilot. Plus the usual audition rounds of course. And my IMDb StarMeter has improved by 30,000!