The Hollywood Formula

Many books have been written on the various psychological and social forces that lead millions of people into the theaters month-after-month, to sit through overblown, repetitive, recycled extravaganzas that contain that familiar sugary-punch solution we call entertainment. What is not talked about so much is why we enjoy such a love/hate relationship with these conventions.Like children who beckon their parents for the same three bedtime stories through much of their childhood, some part of humanity delights in the comfort of knowing just where everything is, where it came from, and where it’s going. But even kids often seek out something new, something unconventional, while it seems that adults have largely surrendered the pursuit of discovery, or have relegated films to serving as mind-relief devices to escape the agonies of their routine lives.

It is possible that the part of us that resents the Formula is the part that wants to reclaim the spirit of discovery that once took us into so many new directions. The rapidly growing demand for film-punditry, parodies, comedic-criticism and even just the general groaning that has become commonplace during trailer previews seems to point to a rising sense of dissatisfaction with the old Hollywood 1-2-3 punch.Now more than ever, independent filmmakers have an opportunity to raise the volume of that groan, and not only send Hollywood a clear message about the kind of content we want to see, but to show them that if they are unwilling to budge from their comfort zones, we’ll gladly do it for them, and for a fraction of the headaches.

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