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Matthew Diggory: Creativity in Hollywood makes exit

Posted: April 18, 2009 10:47 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2009 4:30 a.m.
What was once an oasis of new and exciting ideas is now a desolate wasteland.

No longer do Hollywood studios produce creative movies with innovating plots and dynamic characters.

But why is this so? Is it simply the fact that every creative idea for a movie has been used?

I do not believe so.

The commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, Charles H. Duell, stated, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” The irony of this statement is that he was quoted in 1899.

Obviously, this statement is not true. There is no way to know if we have come up with every possible idea since we do not know the future.

The biggest problem in Hollywood is the fear of producing a failure. One bad movie can result in the loss of millions of dollars.

No one wants to take a chance on something new. In today’s movies, we see the same plots and characters rehashed from previous classics.

It has gotten to the point where most movies are too predictable and burdensome to watch.

The most popular movies recently are based upon comic books (Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man) and other forms of literature (Harry Potter).

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against movies based on books or any other source, but where is the creativity?

Instead of creating new ideas, Hollywood attempts to resurrect a classic movie franchise to bring people back to the theater. In the process, it destroys the credibility of the franchise by using a washed-up plot that we have seen hundreds of times.

Hollywood makes a profit by slapping a classic title on a modern, watered-down movie.

In 2008, Hollywood produced the fourth installment of Indiana Jones, 19 years after the conclusion of the trilogy.

Indiana Jones isn’t the only attempt. Within the next year or two, “Ghostbusters” will make its return to the silver screen after 19 years.

Being a college student, I typically spend my Friday nights at the movies. Now in my senior year, I have seen my fair share.

The common theme between all the movies I have enjoyed is the element of surprise in the plot.

I do not want to sit through a movie and know every turn before it happens. I want to be captivated, wondering what is going to happen next.

Hollywood needs a proverbial breath of fresh air. It should stop trying to distract audiences (with beautiful scenery and attractive actors) from regurgitated plots and weak characters.

Instead of focusing solely on profits, someone needs to take a chance on a new idea. If an idea does not work, scratch it and try another.

Eventually, audiences will cry for something new, and Hollywood better produce. I know Hollywood can resuscitate creativity from near death.

I just hope it is not too late.

Matthew Diggory is a senior at The Master’s College. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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