Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #570: Should Have Seen That Coming

Welcome to the show folks...

Today, we're going to look at things that people should have seen coming. First up...


This is one of those things that I saw coming and wondered why others didn't. It seems the sales of tickets to 3D movies are going down with every 3D film released, despite the higher prices, and the claims of the studios that it was the unstoppable wave of the future.

Now there are those who say that this downturn is just temporary, because there aren't enough 3D screens, and too many 3D movies out at once. I beg to differ, there are several reasons for this downturn, and why I think it's permanent:

1. The Price. It was really expensive to rig a theater to play 3D movies. So the theaters jacked up the price to 3D movies. Naturally. Then they jack the price up again, and will no doubt do it again and again, long after the conversions have been paid for. Why? Because they think they can get away with it. Except the rule of prices state that when people start feeling like they're getting screwed, stay away.

2. The Goggles. They wore them during
Avatar, and thought "They feel uncomfortable, but I'll get used to them soon enough." Then they went to Alice In Wonderland and they were still uncomfortable, then came The Last Airbender, and they thought "Still uncomfortable and the picture's so damn dark," so by the time Cat & Dogs in came out in 3D, they decided to watch Inception in 2D again instead.

3. The Movies. Many of the recent 3D movies were strong on visuals and special effects, but weak in the story department. A lot of people say that audiences want a thrill ride, but I suspect that they are increasingly craving a real story to go with the thrills. Now when they see the commercials scream 3D at the top of their lungs, the average audience member thinks to themselves, "I'm not falling for that trap again."

4. The Hype. Audiences are getting increasingly jaded. So when a corporation starts demanding that they spend more of their hard earned money to wear uncomfortable glasses in order to watch a dark picture and a weak story.

That's what I think, what do you think?


Okay, here's the story.

Last year Amber Benson and Adam Busch co-directed a film written by comedy writers Acker & Blacker called
Drones. The plot for this micro-budget comedy was the story of an office worker who finds out the company he works for is staffed with aliens disguised as humans. It premiered at Slamdance, got a small distribution deal, and the film's trailer premiered on the website of the SyFy (formerl Sci-Fi) Channel.

This week SyFy announced their upcoming shows, and among them is a new sit-com called Human Relations. The premise is that an office worker discovers that the company they work for is staffed with aliens disguised as humans.

Sound familiar?

The makers of Drones certainly think so.

Now there are two possible reasons for this event to happen in the way it has happened. They are Stupidity or Malice.

Stupidity allows for the possibility of the creation of Human Relations as a coincidence. Somebody, somewhere came up with the same idea as the Drones hive and ran with it without any prior knowledge of the little indie comedy.

Here is where the stupidity comes in. Someone at SyFy should have realized that this isn't your usual Science Fiction trope. It's not common like the 'crew of a space ship explores the galaxy' premise. So someone should have done the due diligence and at least did a Google search, especially in this litigious age.

Now SyFy's defense is that they are a division of the NBC-Universal cluster-frack and that screwing up such standard operating procedures is their standard operating procedure. Otherwise, they'd have seen the similarities, made some sort of deal to avoid litigation and bad press, and moved on.

Then there's the possibility of malice.

Malice means that someone at SyFy remembered the trailer they debuted on their web-site and mentioned it higher up the food chain in relation to this new show. Then one or more of those higher ups said: "Away with you lowly minion! These indie filmmakers are nothing to us powerful cable channel types for we will bury them with our mighty corporate power! Now bow and scrape for my amusement! Bwah-hah-hah!"

This means that stupidity is involved too, because these executives don't really know who is watching SyFy and would watch a show like Human Relations. Most of the the target audience for Human Relations are the sort of people who watched Amber Benson on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, who follow her tweets, and who will avoid a show that they believe screwed over one of their favorites.

So either way, SyFy has screwed over their own show by either not doing their jobs, or by being the embodiment of everything wrong with business in Hollywood.

What's next, will SyFy start a new sitcom about gamers called The
Fellowship with a redheaded actress in the lead?


  1. Dirty Dingus Sezs:

    In regards to the 3Deee bugaboo, director camoron knew that if he filmed his "Nu" 3 D movie 'avatard' in the normal route. It too would of been muddy and Dark~ Don't know how many bought the dVd or Blu-ray, but I'm guessing there's a few. Watch it yourself again and notice how BRIGHT every shot looks day or night, since director camoron was too busy rolling in his mountain of dough to tell anyone to lower the fricking light for the 2Deee release!
    The forced 3d movies -Avatar: the Last Airbender, Clash of the Titans- filmed their movies in the normal style so its like you going into the theater with your sunglasses on~

  2. Back in the fifties ,my Dad took my brother and I to see a matinee of ,"The Creature From the Black Lagoon",complete with 3-D glasses. The creature was kind of creepy,but the entire experience was summed up nicely by my Dad who said the glasses were a damned nuisance.He was right.

  3. What pisses me off most about the possible plagiarism is that the default response from commenters on the article seems to be 'you're stupid and ugly, so shut up and take it'.

  4. Striker Z--

    I went back and took a gander at the comments, and I have to say: Did the head of SyFy get an 8 year old to write some of those? I was expecting someone to call someone "poopypants" at any minute.

    What childish crap with so little thought behind it.

  5. The problem with some movies shown on 3D is they base their movies on editing. Producers concentrate on visuals too much, and they tend to forget about the flow of the stories. You can easily identify a good movie from a great movie if you can compare it with the Avatar.