The Reason Why So Many Movies Seem So Similar

Today, we looked at the argument for smaller, quieter movies — and got some thoughts from inside the writer's room on just why we see the movies that we do.

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Commenter SteveTheCreep shared these thoughts on how the process impacts his own screenwriting:

I can tell you why: development executives. 2013 was the year my screenwriting career finally started to take off, which meant constant meetings with development executives, and they all seemed to have the same notes. 1) the main character has to be the only person who could possibly be the hero of this script. They have an epic destiny or a very specific set of skills that make them perfect. Gone are the days when a protagonist could be an anybody who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. 2) the stakes have to be raised. No matter how high the stakes are now, they need to be higher. This can't be about one small town, it has to have the possibility to leak into the whole world. It can't be about one man or woman saving their child. In the process, they also have to stop the villains from taking over the government. Any successful film that didn't meet these two points is considered an "fluke." It's like they all got a checklist of what to ask when it comes to story pitches. I'm probably like most other screenwriters, in that I now develop my pitches so they hit these bullet points.

Have your own thoughts on the year in movies, or what makes a movie stand out from the pack? Share them in the comments now.

Image: Emily Barney

DISCUSSION

I'm not sure I get what the point of this is... Is it asking / discussing why we see so many large action packed pop-corn flicks...? It's because people don't like to think. Sure we get smart movies, dramas, those quiet and small movies... But I feel like that is just how movies have always been. All the biggest movies that come to mind over time are always the big loud dumb ones, and I don't mean dumb in a bad way. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Jaws... Classic movies but they aren't really 'award' winning when it comes to their depth. That's not to say it's the only style of movies, for ever Die Hard we get a Psycho, for every Psycho we get a Casablanca... Not always in terms of how well made but just in tone. I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore... Basically pop corn movies make money so we get tons of them.