A Deteriorating Film Industry

When people think of movies, the great classics often come to mind. But when people think of the greatest movies of all time, it’s almost always older movies and nothing from the last fifteen years. The reason for this is simple: the film industry is deteriorating.

Advancements in technology have changed the way movies are made, for better or for worse. “Technology has certainly allowed for improvements, but now it’s starting to replace storytelling” said Greg Angilly, Director of Student Life. “There was definitely more creativity in the past.” While it is true that technology has allowed filmmakers to do impressive things, it is also true that filmmakers tend to overuse it. As technology advances, the old stuff starts to look dated. When a movie like Avatar is almost entirely CG, people who look back on it see that it doesn’t look all that impressive anymore. James Cameron may have used the best CG that was available, but that was in 2009. The only thing “Avatar” had going for it was its special effects, and now that it looks dated, there’s really nothing good in it anymore. CG should be used sparingly, and only for impossible shots that the filmmaker can’t achieve. Practical effects will always look better – because they are actually there.

Overuse of technology is not the only issue with today’s movie industry. “Nowadays if a movie is good, they always make a sequel which never really lives up to the first” suggested Evan Gordon, Class of 2018. “It’s all about ‘How much money can we make in the shortest amount of time?'” Take a look at the Transformers movies. A new one comes out every few years, gets poor reviews, and yet is still a box office hit and gets another sequel. This is something that has been going on for a long time, with movies such as Ghostbusters 2 and Blues Brothers 2000, but these days it’s much worse. The standards have been lowered by the constant flow of bad films that have slowly become accepted by society. “I feel like there are good movies, and there are Michael Bay movies,” added a sarcastic Henry McMullan, Class of 2018.

All of these problems are not simply the fault of filmmakers, but are the fault of consumers. Both share the blame. When a movie like Avatar becomes one of the highest grossing films of all time, that tells filmmakers and studios that audiences want to see more movies just like it: nothing but CG and an unoriginal story. When the Transformers movies earn triple what their budget was, that tells Michael Bay that he should keep making more bad movies with very little story, and almost all fight scenes.

The only way to save the deteriorating film industry is for the consumers to speak with their wallets. When the studios realize that audiences don’t want recycled stories, or CG overload, then things will start to change.