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How to Make a Movie

10 Jul

movie - matrix

Despite the struggling economy, watching movies are still one of America’s favorite pastimes. But, the quality of movies have steadily declined with the economy. The blueprint of a good movie is simple and should be followed in order for guaranteed movie success.

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1. Have a clear storyline - The storyline is the basically the path that the protagonist, your hero will take. And, the storyline is one of the most effective ways to connect your audience with your hero. For instance, the truncated storyline of the movie Gladiator is mentioned near its conclusion. It is the story of a general that became a slave, and the slave that became the savior of the people. Because the storyline of Gladiator is so intriguing, the movie is great.

2. Create a villain without a conscience - Villains almost create themselves. The only character trait that is necessary to make a great antagonist is the willingness to do anything to accomplish a goal, whether that goal be to make money, to suppress a group of people, or to just create chaos. The villain must be willing to steal from people, terrorize them, or even killing them. And, the best villains do all three indiscriminately.

3. Have a Likeable Hero - Your audience has to like your protagonist or at the very least be able to connect with him or her. This means that the author has to make him easy to relate with. There are several different ways to make a likeable character and numerous archetypes for heroes. There is the classic hero that always does the right thing regardless of the situation and the consequences. There is the lovable loser that makes good in the end. There is the tortured hero that fights in response to great loss caused by the antagonist. And, there is the accidental hero that is thrust into leadership. The protagonist also needs to be capable of showing multiple emotions. The efficacy of the movie rests on the hero’s ability to consociate with the audience.

4. Have great supporting characters - The supporting cast carries the storyline. They supply the smaller stories that build and move the story along. Having a colorful, diverse characters is equally as important as having a hero that can engage the audience. Supporting characters are the difference between movies like The Lord of the Rings and 300. Though both had cleanly choreographed fight scenes and strong heroes. But, The Lord of the Rings had terrific smaller roles.

5. Have at least two interconnected subplots – These stories involve and develop the supporting characters, and ultimately help the hero in the end. The subplots tie the story together and give deeper meaning to the underlying themes. Backstories of love, loss, and redemption are common relatable motifs that all people have experienced.

6. Your hero must have a bittersweet victory - Make sure that the hero wins against the villain, but loses something dear to him as a result of his struggle. In life, people very rarely achieve everything that desired to do or have, so good cinema should reflect that.

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7. Tie everything into a lesson or a moral - The best movies serve as a metaphor for life. People are intrigued by the storyline, they connect to the characters, and they are engaged in the plot. But, the movies that stand above the rest give their audience a message that relates directly to their lives. The Matrix was loved by so many viewers because the message of stepping out of your mundane, day-to-day patterns reached the audience. It had an enduring theme of freeing your mind and taking control of your own destiny. The best plots transcend the movie.

Must See Movies About Race

26 Jun

race - a time to kill

American History X – America (especially suburban America) has been convinced that racism no longer exists. People want to believe that at worst, racism is tucked far away from most civilizations in the back woods of rural Bible Belt states. American History X portrays racism in its current form which strangely mirrors the same hatred of past generations.

Roots – Roots is the first cinematic portrayal of slavery in its true horrible form. It showed the the essence of one of the darkest times in American history from the forced changes of the names and thus the identities of the slaves to make them more pliable for their owners to the savage beatings and murders of the slaves for mistakes, insurrections, and sometimes for no reason at all.

Amistad – Amistad is one of the few recent films that accurately shows slavery as it was, a brutal, gory part of American history.

Glory – Glory shows the role of African Americans in the Civil War. It is full with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Broderick. It gives a realistic depiction of both the country and its treatment of slaves and former slaves.

Crash – One of the few movies that focus on the roles that stereotypes play in people’s perceptions of various other ethnic groups and how that perception differs from reality.

Higher Learning – Higher Learning exposes several different issues that involve race on college campuses while focusing on the social experiences of specific college students.

Mississippi Burning – Staged in the volatile small country towns of 1970′s Mississippi, Mississippi Burning deals with the racially charged lynchings, hangings, castrations, and murders by the Ku Klux Klan.

A Time to Kill – A Time to Kill reveals the treatment of colored people by the police in the rural old south when faced with crimes against them. Since African Americans were considered subhuman, crimes against them were often excused. It uncovers a man’s fight to seek justice from a country that has long ignored his people.

The Obvious Reasons Sex and the City Was Written By a Gay Guy

5 Apr

sex and the city

Sex and the City was one of the most popular series that HBO ever televised. Furthermore, it is one of the most financially lucrative series that has been in syndication, turning several seasons of drama into two of the highest grossing movies of the last decade. Sex and the City empowered women everywhere, specifically single women, because it is one of the few shows where the story lines are carried solely by women. But, it was quite obviously written by a gay man. Below are a few of the most glaring examples of why everyone should have known the writer of Sex and the City was gay.

1. The Protagonists Are Women

Straight, American male writers in Hollywood generally write about men who express the ideals of manhood. They either create stoic, charming characters who vanquish their enemies or flawed anti-heroes who beat the odds and succeed in the end (think anything by the Michael Bay, Scorsese, or even Spielberg, etc). Women tend to base their work around complex, story line connections and emotional ties rather than an actual hero (think Hurt Locker). Gay male directors focus their stories around the most significant person in their lives, their mothers. It is no coincidence that all of the women that Sex and the City is based on are middle-aged, successful women. That confident, sophisticated woman portends the image that the average gay man holds of his mother (at least if he loves her).

 

2. The Women Are Caricatures of Themselves

In Sex and the City, all the women are wildly, successful professionally, but in shambles emotionally. Miranda is a powerful attorney on the fast track to partner, but she is almost emotionally despondent. Samantha is completely open sexually, however she is challenged when it comes to intimacy. Charlotte is sexually inexperienced and sheltered socially. And, Carrie despite being a burgeoning writer is also completely indecisive and confused romantically. Each character is a stereotype of a specific kind of woman, and no particular group of people are more stereotyped or more capable of indulging stereotypes than gay men.

 

3. The Men Are Just Eye Candy

If you want to know what single gay men think of other men, either go to glo-stick night at your nearest gay bar or club on Friday or watch an episode of Sex and the City. You will get the same conception of a homosexual male’s idea of men. Each show is a buffet of single available men that are at the women’s disposal. Occasionally, one guy sticks around with one of the female leads for more than a few shows, but usually they are in the story line just long enough for everyone to ogle.

 

4. The Way Sex Scenes Are Shot

The typical way that sex scenes are shot by men incorporates plenty of boobs with the desultory butt shot (female, of course) accompanied by the camera panning to either the man or woman jumping up and down or thrusting. Women generally film sex and nudity only in awkward context to evoke realism into their film. But in Sex and the City, the sex scenes display the men like films directed by straight men depict the women. They show the men’s bodies as trophies and then pan to the pure ecstasy on faces of the female leads.

 

5. The Show Is About Sex

Sex and the City is a show about (wait for it…) women who have sex in the city of New York. What could be more enticing and gossip-inducing to a gay man than the sexual conquests and emotional trauma of his closest successful businesswomen friends? That is what Sex and the City provides. It gives a look into the lives of four interesting women who have plenty of sex and plenty to tell.

 

6.The Designers

The fashion is also a little reminder that the director has to be a gay man. The designers really “came out” for the show (see what I did there). They make cameos on Sex and the City, place their clothes throughout it, and have the actresses on the show at their shows. Count the Jimmy Choo references in the next episode that you see.

 

7. Big

The only male character that remained static throughout the show and the dream guy for Carrie, the main character of Sex and the City, was named after the size of his penis. The ultimate goal of the show, which was about a lady having it all, focused on her marrying the drama filled, penis of her dreams. The man behind this all had to be gay.

How to Make a Scary Movie

21 Nov

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Scary movies are often terrible for a myriad of reasons. Because we love a good horror flick more than the average guy does, AnswersFromMen.com has put together the outline of a good scary movie.

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Rule #1: You Must Build Suspense

Suspense is built through good story lines. It is not enough for the audience to know that there is a scary monster or a complete psychopath on the loose in a movie. They must also understand why the monster or psychopath is killing. The back story not only makes the film interesting, but it also makes the fantastical idea of an imaginary creature attacking real people credible. More importantly though, the story must be brought along slowly, revealing key information at critical junctures in the movie. Slow revelation builds suspense.

Rule #2: No Cheap Thrills

Most movies have moments that are very suspenseful where the villain jumps out at the victim as a loud drum plays in the background, the classic cheap thrill. Good movies build the same tension and move between harmless situations and attacking violently with the bad guy of the movie seamlessly. However, the best scary movies do not use paltry tricks and slowly reveal the impending danger of the villain in the vicinity of the hero. Great horror film directors almost never resort to blunt trickery to entertain their audience. They use subtlety and cinematography to lead their audiences into their worst fears.

Rule #3: Understand What is Scary

There are common things that scare most people. Most people are afraid of drowning or suffocating to death. Most people know that walking down dark alleys is a bad idea. Good movies use the things that naturally frighten people to terrify them.

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Rule #4: Never Reveal the Monster

The best directors can make a terrifying monster without ever actually showing it. They can imply horrific acts without actually filming any violence onscreen. For instance, rather than showing a monster literally tearing apart a victim using bad special effects or computer generated imaging, great directors would allude to the monster’s presence through the use of sound and shadows. The viewer knows that the monster has reached his victim when a shadow completely overruns them. The coup de grace is then showing blood running into a nearby gutter or the gory remains of a victim. This permits the audience to fill in their own idea of what the terrifying monster looks like and what the monster did to their victims with their imagination, making it much more excruciating than if the director simply gave his interpretation of the beast and the act. Great directors use their audiences’ imagination against them.

Rule #5: If You Break Rule #4, It Better Be Scary

Finally, if a director chooses to break Rule #4, then the monster has to be so frightening that any audience member would be scared stiff. There have been many offenders to this rule and each one has been totally detrimental to the movie, but the most recent offender was the recent adaptation of “The Wolfman.” The movie was both paralyzingly suspenseful and creepy until they showed the creature for the first time. The wolfman looked like a muppet and the movie was ruined. The same thing has happened when the alien was revealed in the movie Signs, it happened when the bat creature from Jeepers Creepers made his first appearance, and when several other movies showed their monstrous villains. If the monster ever shows its face, it needs to be terrifying.

wolfman

After the wolfman was shown, the movie lost credibility. This guy looks like a Jim Henson-created caricature of a dark-skinned Mexican man with a Jheri-curl.