||Wed 01 Sep 2004
If you've been reading this website, in particular this page, then you know I've been warning you against trends. I particularly warned against trying to market a western. In fact, I'll just put up here what I'd been saying:
"Back when SILVERADO hit the big screen, every producer was looking for a blockbuster western and I remember that when I was working at MGM, the search was on for an URBAN COWBOY clone. We actually found CONCRETE COWBOY, but I'll bet you never heard of it. Trends are the silliest thing in the world and only go to prove that Hollywood thrives on a follow-the-leader mentality. Right now if you're trying to market a western, I hope you're under 12 because you'll be working at it for the next several years, I'm afraid. Unless, of course, Spielberg decides to produce a western, then that trend will start all over again."
Guess what? The trend is here!!!! YES, my friend. Producer David Milch will be bringing us his TV series "Deadwood" and several westerns are slated for the big screen soon. Will wonders never cease. If you've got a western screenplay, now's the time! Go get'em.
Let's take a look at what else I'm hearing about on the Hollywood production grapevine.
Comics are big. A lot of production going on, based on comic characters, and not all of it is animation. Some, like SPIDER MAN, combines live action and animation, with emphasis on live. However, I'm happy to report that other kinds of movies are in the works, too.
Horror doesn't seem to be as big on the production slate as it once was.
Fantasy, inspired no doubt by the tremendous success of LORD of the RINGS and HARRY POTTER, is a biggie right now, but again it's not the dominating factor.
Sci-Fi couldn't find a home not too long ago if it'd been draped in gold dust. Now it finds open arms at dozens of production houses. I hear they're making a film based on the terrific book, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
What Hollywood SAYS it wants: Comedy, romance. However, my little gremlins tell me that a variety show is scheduled to be seen on TV while on the big screen get set to see a remake of Don Juan's story, a few mysteries that sound rather promising, a sequel to Get Shorty, a vampire movie, a World War II tale, the story of a famous boxer (no, not the pooch), a couple of ghost films, and the story of an astronaut who has a life-changing experience.
My own view is that if you write a fantastic script, and you've learned the craft of creating that screenplay, simply follow your vision. Forget trends. They change in cinema as often as they change in the world of fashion.