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NoBudgetFilmSchool Written by NoBudgetFilmSchool
Jul. 29, 2009 | 8:05 PM

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How To Be A Big-Time Hollywood Producer

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have no idea how to be a big-time Hollywood producer. I have never produced a studio movie and have really never had any desire to.]

So you want to be a Hollywood producer. Make big films for the studios. Here’s how you do it. First, you find something that everyone knows about. Could be anything, just as long as EVERYONE knows about it or has heard of it. It’s called Recognition.  This is important in the modern age of releasing studio movies. Because films live or die by how many people show up the first night of a film’s opening weekend, you can’t rely on the film being good to drive people into the theater.  No one’s got the time to worry about that. Word of mouth? That’s now done through Twitter during the first show that first night. But no one’s going to tweet in an empty theater, so the way you get them in there is through recognition, extremely high recognition. Oh, and it helps if this element is recognized by teenagers, since they are the only people who really make a point about seeing a movie on Friday night of its opening weekend.  Oh, and if they can’t drive, or can’t be in a movie without a parental guardian, then you’ll want it to be recognizable to their parents, too.  We’re starting to build quadrants here—this is fun!

So let’s think about some recognizable elements for our film.  Movie stars are a good place to start, but let’s make sure to put them in the “right” movie. Don’t want to make the mistake that “Margot At The Wedding” made. What else? Well, sequels of hit movies are also an excellent place to start.  Guy wearing a mask or a big creature—don’t need the expensive (and difficult) movie star!  Anything else? Yes, remakes. And if we remake horror films, we don’t have to spend $150 million to make them. So let’s jot down all the 70’s horror films we can think of to remake. Oops! Someone’s already done those. Ok, jot down ones from the 80’s and 90’s.  Option those rights and now we’re geniuses.  Big-time Hollywood Producers! 

Geniuses in the film business option the rights to recognizable elements of all sorts.  Best-selling books, video games, old TV shows, musical plays, musical plays based on the popular music of old bands, and my favorite:  musical plays based on old movies. If you can make a movie that was based on a play that was based on a movie, you’re not remaking the first movie, you’re just a genius.And The Oscar Goes To…!

But why stop with optioning other forms of entertainment.  You’re a genius, you think OUTSIDE of the box. Why not option toys?  Or even better, kinda-toys? Let’s option the rights to the GAF View-Master and make a movie out of that! It’s been around for 80 years—kids know it, parents know it, grandparents know it. Shit, we’re doing that thing with the quadrants again. We’re geniuses!

Oops!  Dreamworks beat us to it. Damn that Spielberg!  We’ve got to be quick in this game.  I can’t believe they got to the View-Master before we did.  And it’s a 3D kinda-toy, so now they can make a 3D movie out of it—and you know how big 3D is.  Didn’t you go to Comic Con?  So now the geniuses at Dreamworks are going to make that great View-Master movie. I can see Orson Welles wiggling in his grave right now, just trying to get out so he could have a shot at directing that one.

So just remember these important things, budding big-time Hollywood producers:  Recognition, Kids, Friday Night, Twitter, Comic Con, Mortal Kombat, TJ Hooker, ABBA, 3D, and Halloween H2.  This is what the new glory days of Hollywood filmmaking are made of.  Hooray for us!

First Comment:

  1. what if like someone had the perfect awsome idea that would draw peoples attention an make almost as much as the big time movies you see on commercials? what if mister producer guy?

    Posted by trevvvvv on 04/18 at 12:24 PM