Hollywood Movie Rules

This group of pages has my contributions to the Internet community.

I have developed and refined these rules over time. Some of these were insipred by William Goldman (Adventures on the Screen Trade and Which Lie Did I Tell?). They go a long way to explain most movie trends of the past 75 years.

Commentary is in italics.

  • The overriding consideration for all decisions relating to a movie is to avoid a failure. Actually creating a good movie is a nice bonus, but is really beside the point.
  • Decisions are made without regard to history. It doesn't matter if you've already spent a fortune. The question is, can you spend a little more to guard against a failure?
  • If someone new gets involved, that person has to change something. The change can be for the better or not. It is the fact of the change itself that is important.
  • If someone currently involved goes away, something has to be changed. Again, it is only the fact of the change that is important.
  • The people making the decisions really don't have a clue as to whether their decisions are good ones. Of course, they think they do...
  • Once a movie has made a profit with an effect handled a given way, all other movies will handle the effect in the same way, even if it is awful from any other point of view. From Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics by Tom Rogers.
  • The accuracy of a gun is soley determined by the needs of the story. The characters may be expert marksmen, but if the story needs them to miss right now, they will, even if it's at point-blank range. This is a generalization of the "bad guys can't hit anything/good guys make the shot every time" observation.

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I am Craig A. Finseth.

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Last modified Sunday, 2012-01-08T11:38:54-06:00.