Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy " (aka "The Day That They Greenlighted the 'Pearl Harbor' Script")

While making the final descent into Honolulu Intl. Airport en route to Guam, the pilot mentioned that if you peek out the window on the left side of the plane (my side) you'll be able to see the famous Pearl Harbor. I couldn't help but to think about how calm and serene it was. Then, unwillingly, my train of thought brought to my attention Michael Bay's interpretation of "Pearl Harbor" starring Ben Affleck. Then I thought about the movie "Godzilla" starring Matthew Broderick. Then I thought about "The Hulk" directed by Ang Lee. I think you know where I'm going with this...

Dollars and Deadlines
Box office blockbuster movie budgets, although a quick and certain way of improving production value in a movie, don't necessarily mean that it'll win the viewers over, no matter how much marketing you pour in. You'll still need a little thing called a storyline. I remember watching the "Pearl Harbor" trailer in theaters and to be honest, I think that the trailer moved me more in one minute than the movie did in two hours. Unfortunately, "Godzilla" and "The Hulk" fell victim to the same big-budget marketing hype as well, but had the potential to become something great with just a little more imagination. Something that big budgets - no matter how big - can't guarantee.

Care to Disagree?
Let's a take a look at "Batman Begins" and Frank Miller's "300". Both with Hollwood budgets, great visual effects and actors but both also with great imagination and storylines with depth, keeping the audiences in the theaters and filling the seats. This is a strong point for little indies to exploit. The imagination. Not to say that we don't have a choice (imagination vs. money) but more so because we're in a position where we can. With no studio pressures or millions of investor dollars riding on a little production, there is more of the imagination to explore.

I know what you're thinking. I just landed in one of the most beautiful destinations on the entire planet and all I can think of are movie budgets and Hollywood woes? Point taken. Aloha!