An Open Letter to Young British Filmmakers
Film students, graduates, lend me your eyes. This may be the most important article you’ll ever read. It’s important for you, as a creative being, and important for the little people, who as we speak are toiling hard in serious jobs to earn a guinea to redeem at the box office. In fact, the significance, for the health of the culture you seek to represent, Britain’s film culture, may be profound. My message is clear: consider putting your energies into a genre other than horror.
That’s right, there are others.
Look, I understand the allure; it looks easy, right? It plays to your weaknesses. You can get away with having a concept and nothing more. You don’t need a plot, real characters, a talent for writing dialogue, a point, questions for the crowd, answers, and the best part is your target audience are the least demanding around. No really, they’ll pay to see anything. Scatology, misogyny, stereotyping, feculence – that’s manna to these gumps, but consider: you’ve learned some technical skills – you’ve discovered how to operate a camera, record good sound, light a scene, work with actors – why not challenge yourself to produce something original? Why not strive to create work that’s culturally distinct, so we can fantasise about having a film culture of our own? Perhaps you could attempt to change the way I see the world. You could undercut my complacency. Tear my mind a new one. What do you say; shall we rip up that zombie script, even though Vernon Kay’s attached?
What’s that? You’ve got nothing to talk about? You just want to extend your love affair with schlock by making your own? I can understand that. When I think of cinema overall, I’m conscious that ill-conceived remakes of fanboy favourites are few and far between. Congratulations on spotting a gap in the market.
Consider further: are you certain you know what made the best horror movies work? Yes, I know you think you do, I mean, you’ve studied it in the abstract, you ignored all Michael Winner’s advice, but did you get it? Could you replicate the technique that made a scene work or do you think that if you mimic the look, perhaps decorate your set in a similar way, the audience will be reminded of the parent movie and won’t notice how redundant your copy is?Pages: 1 2