Attention Hollywood Film Industry: How To Solve Your [Good] Idea Shortage

Especially When It Comes To Genre Entertainment


Stop The Insanity!

My first thought was “What in the hell?!”

Photo © Daikrieg el Jevi, Used via CC By 2.0

That was my reaction after reading Hollywood is going to make a movie based on PEZ candies.

Yeah, you read that right.

A hollywood studio plans on spending millions of dollars to bring you an animated movie based on the candy that comes out of flip-head dispensers.

What’s next, Twizzlers: The Motion Picture?

Sigh.

This comes right on the heels of a 2014 announcement revealing plans for a motion picture based on the video game Tetris to be released sometime in the near future.

Really? Tetris? Didn’t anyone in Hollywood learn anything from the colossal turkey that was Battleship?

Let’s not forget the more recent bomb Pixels audiences were subjected too this summer.

This foolishness has gotten way out of hand.

A Drought Of [Good] Ideas

As further evidenced by the endless stream of reboots and remakes planned, it seems the Hollywood film industry is mired in a drought of good ideas — solely focused on producing the next blockbuster film franchise.

Consequently, this tunnel vision comes at the expense of creativity and originality.

Though true for all genres, films based on speculative fiction seem to be the favored target for the remake/reboot treatment.

Yes, I love the occasional mindless, bombastic popcorn blockbuster. Still, there is also room for more substantive films that explore new ideas — or old ideas in an inventive way.

Recently, the television industry has entered a new golden age by boldly embracing unique storytelling concepts. The result has been an avalanche of ground-breaking series.

Series like: Breaking Bad, How To Get Away With Murder, The Americans, Mr. Robot, and Game Of Thrones are the tip of an enormous iceberg of stellar television programming proving originality and creativity onscreen can draw audiences.

Although the film industry is different from television, they are similar in that both audiences still appreciate a well-told story presented with flair and panache.

Sorry, but silly proposals for movies based on games and various consumer goods aren’t necessary.

The Web: An Oasis Of Creativity And Talent

Fortunately, there is a wellspring of relatively untapped material well suited for development by Hollywood — the world of online short films.

There is an almost endless number of excellent shorts on the web featuring compelling narratives told by talented filmmakers.

There really isn’t a reason for a Hollywood studio executive to look at a Snickers bar and think, “We can make a movie based on that!” when a source of new ideas is a mouse click away.

The following short films represent a fraction of the quality material online ideal for being developed into full-length features.

The OceanMaker

This Pixar-like 3d-animated short was produced by Austin-based animation studio Mighty Coconut.

Set in a dystopian world where the oceans have vanished, a courageous young pilot must battle air pirates for control of the last precious source of water on earth — the clouds.

This 10-minute short has no dialogue, but features breathtaking animation pared with an original orchestral soundtrack.

State Zero

This post-apocalyptic short is set in a wasteland formerly known as Stockholm, Sweden.

A squadron of soldiers is sent on a routine mission to repair a communications tower. However, the mission goes very wrong.

This stylish film by first-time director Andrée Wallin features an intriguing plot accented by cinematic action sequences.

Wake

This Southern gothic horror tale was written and directed by filmmaker-civil rights activist Bree Newsome.

It tells the story of Charmaine, a young woman long oppressed by a domineering father.

After arranging her father’s death, Charmaine calls upon ancestral folk magic called “root magic” to create her perfect mate.

What Charmaine doesn’t realize is the high price she must pay in return.

Wake heralds the arrival of a truly unique voice in cinema.


The web is a rich resource for discovering not only fresh movie ideas, but also maverick filmmakers whose unique visions hold the promise of reinvigorating Hollywood’s stagnant film industry.

Let’s hope they are given the opportunity.


Hi, I’m Rod T. Faulkner. I’m a HUGE sci-fi fan, and wrote 200 Best Online Sci-Fi Short Films, a compilation of terrific science fiction and genre short films available for viewing online.