Dear Hollywood "Creative" Community,
It's time for someone to speak up and help you face the glaring truth. CREATIVITY IS NOT DEAD - YOU ARE JUST NOT USING IT.
The past few years of product coming out from production companies, studios and development executives threatens to destroy decades of legacy. This legacy is what changed the face of entertainment across the globe. As someone who not only works in the media industry, but someone who just truly loves television and film, I feel that someone should, or must, finally say something.
Enough is enough.
You have taken the "reboot" concept too far. You have killed the novelty of the sequel. Nostalgia is fine and dandy, but it should be an exception, not a rule. There is a very fine, yet distinct line between the creative continuation of a story (consider Star Wars, just not Episodes I, II or III) and latching onto a title with mediocre work for the sake of eyeballs (consider the upcoming Vacation film, despite it's stellar casting and writers).
You are burying creativity under ratings and profit when it's truly profitable to have both. Look at films such as Good Will Hunting, The Blair Witch Project and the recent Skeleton Twins. Films with a unique voice and perspective, made on shoestring budgets, but live on in our minds. Unfortunately the current mindset both undermines the typical American and your stockholders since these reboot tactics generally turn into box office and rating bombs.
Movies that are making it to the screen are film versions of kids toys like Transformers, board games like Battleship and new versions of old films like Annie. Why? Because it's easy to write a script with the entire second act consisting of two pages of explosions? Because it saves any need to write new songs?
NBC recently announced plans to develop and produce a "continuation" show about the evergreen coming of age film Say Anything. If there was truly a new story to tell 25-years after the original, Cameron Crowe and John Cusack would tell the story. But to continue a story based on characters brought to life by masters of their craft, without their involvement, is an attempt to grab ratings with an absurd hook. Luckily Mr. Crowe and Cusack went public with their non-support of the project and NBC caved. A mere few hours later, ABC announced plans to create a television version of Uncle Buck. That shaking we all felt was John Candy rolling over in his grave. And now, just a few days later, Variety reports that a new television version of Lost in Space is in development - a television version of a movie version of a campy television show. My head hurts.
Television is having a major resurgence of creativity on cable. Networks such as FX, HBO, Showtime, and even the TV Guide Channel are pumping out incredible pieces of storytelling and attracting some of Hollywood's most acclaimed actors. Broadcast networks are reeling in an effort to find relevancy again. Not since the heyday of Must See TV Thursdays has NBC been able to capture their footing again. ABC and CBS are in the same situation, although at least they have a few anchor shows to hang their hats.
Feature films are just in a terrible position at this point thanks to streaming services and feature television events. These competitive outlets are taking profits from studios that try to catch up by making $100M on a movie where robots blow up Chicago. While there is nothing wrong some good old action, how about this becoming a needle in a haystack of creative original work?
So what is the answer? It's simple. THINK ORIGINAL. There are thousands of people who can create and develop innovate shows and heart-stopping scripts. The type of work which will be seen as masterpieces and land on AFI lists. They are out there, waiting and hoping for a chance. The scripts are there, likely sitting in a pile next to a producer talking about Die Hard 6. Just ask people around you for an original idea they would watch. The answer might really surprise you.