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Something I’ve been pondering over for a long time and after seeing recent advances in computer game technology and stories (TOM CLANCY – SPLINTER CELL) I think it’s pretty inevitable I’ll be filming something of this kind of genre in the future.

Got to give praise to the Splinter Cell franchise, the story that unfolds over a large series of games that started in 2002 and the story line’s turned personal. It’s a great step for gaming series and one that makes Sam Fisher possibly the strongest computer game character evers created.

Splinter Cell Double Agent being one of the best games I’ve ever played, also giving the feeling and intensity of a movie it did lead me to come up with stealth movie ideas at the time about car thieves. The story for conviction now has taken a larger than life kind of feel and Sam Fisher turning in to some kind of one man army, which is exactly the sort of thing I really enjoy.

I do get a lot of game inspiration probably just as much as from movies. Inspiration for my movie “Recon” about a sniper and a spotter was heavily inspired by Battle Field Bad Company 2… well the whole recon part was, and the fact that Sniping is a type of soldier everyone seems to love.

Also inspiration from Modern Warfare 2… Although I’ve lost complete respect for IW because of their greed I did like the idea of not actually seeing one characters face and that character being niether good nor bad… Leading for some interesting character development. Well that was me but from MW2 I did borrow the idea of never seeing the snipers face, taken from character in MW2 “Ghost”

The main idea behind the Sniper character is that you don’t know him and you don’t feel any empathy.. You don’t like him because he’s heartless but you do like him because he’s efficient. There’s something about not showing the characters face and only showing his eyes that’s good. When the character does decide to f*** orders and go in, you enjoy it… because through the script he obeys the rules making him heartless, you don’t like him.

I’ve talking about this character development before, not liking a cool character but loving it when he comes together with the good guy.

Anyhoo, getting a little side tracked but I do have plans for a stealth action thriller

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like people, obviously… I mean point here being DON’T stereotype.. Recently I watched this video, it was a review, asking the public what they thought of the new movie Cop Out and this posh old British lady really didn’t enjoy it.. in the comments section all the comments were “what was she thinking? she’s much better suited to a posh British drama” or something stereotypical like that.

The lady did say she went to see Cop Out because Bruce Willis was in it, which got me thinking she’s probably a big fan of the Die Hard Movies since that’s what he’s best known for.

The main idea here is don’t make your characters 2D by stereotyping them or psychoanalysing them… That’s a very bad idea, likewise actors.. If you’re ever writing and you think the character would never do that it’s totally out of behaviour that’s bullshit.. Nothing is out of behaviour.

Shy people can flirt, kind people can back stab, stupid people can be careful… It’s an argument I’ve had on a few occasions but you have to learn not to decide who the character is.. in some rare and extreme cases this theory can be abandoned if there’s noway a person would act differently.. John Coffey for example I couldn’t see him being an asshole because he’s so anti-asshole.. He hates people being nasty to each other so you have to watch out for things like that.

Don’t contradict the character but don’t psychoanalyse who they are and try and anticipate what they’ll do.. because people are complex, your characters are too

In my opinion one of the greatest cinema experiences ever.. I could spend hours talking about this film so I’ve decided to just address some things about it.

There’s an enourmous amount of people that love it, like myself I hail it as the greatest cinematic experience I’ve had to date. My brother loves it, but doesn’t see it as the greatest film, great film none the less he says. There are a few people that think it’s “ok” and there’s a few that hate all the hype it has so they hate it. Then there’s a few people that just generally don’t like it.

Going a bit serious here but this is where people differ.. Movies like music have different genres, movie genres are so much more complex than movie genres but they’re still genres, some people like other genres more than other… I love action adventure more than anything so even watching the trailers for Avatar I was hyped and even from the trailer there was an amazing atmosphere and I instantly knew it was a 2 and a half hour movie when I had purposely read nothing about it, same instincts told me it was going to be fantastic, (and the fact my brother told me all the top directors saw a preview and came out blown away)

The movie was really dream like, and I think that’s what really won me over about the whole thing is that it was like a really amazing dream you don’t want to wake up from. Probably dragging on from that I could say the creativity in this movie is far far beyond anything I’ve seen, conceived or imagined myself.

POCAHONTAS vs AVATAR (vs Dances with Wolves vs Last Samurai vs every other movie with culture clash plot)

Addressing some critism here, there are only 7 types of plot, some say there’s up to 21, I’ve been taught 7 by my writing books so I’ll say 7.. point being there isn’t that many plots going about.. For example, boy meets girl, boy loses girl boy gets girl… (which is actually a plot inside Avatar) It’s vague but it can be applied to LOADS of films.

The battle between good and evil or over coming a monster.. Plots that would be associated with a culture clash theme. What I’m really getting at here is that if you talk about the movies in vague sense they all sound similar. Once you start adding in details in to the story and in to the storyline you completely set the two apart.

For this reason people saying “crappy plot” are completely wrong, it’s not a bad plot it’s just obvious.. Audiences hate plot, once the audience figure out the plot they lose interest because they know what will happen it makes them loosens that sense of anticipation mixed with uncertainty. Admitidly this is one thing Avatar did badly, it didn’t manage to hide the plot… but considering it would be incredibly difficult to hide and trying to hide a plot like this would require mass amounts of elements that wouldn’t be needed other than to hide the plot it would actually make the movie worse.

One thing that’s true about the vagueness of movie plots is in the final hour or so of Avatar it’s NOTHING like Dances with Wolves, Pochahontas or The Last Samurai… Because movies set the scene and the theme (culture clash) and the first hour or so of Avatar was setting the scene and setting everything up. In a way it’s like a game of chess, you move your pieces in to position and then execute your plan.

No Character Development

This is something I heard from a number of people including another film student, kind of wondering what they’re doing on a film course when I hear things like this. Couple of points, if there was no character development at all nothing would have happened.

  • The most basic character development is to have the main character thinking one way at the start but at the end of the film give him a complete reversal of his views. How some people missed that one I don’t know, considering Jake had a complete reversal of his views I thought it was pretty obvious.
  • Character Development in the story gets more complex, all the characters have to bounce of each other, Norm bounces off Jake, Dr Augustine bounces off Jake, and the biggest developments between characters are the 2 key players Neytiri and Quarich have mass amounts of character development with Jake… The development between Quarich makes us love it when they go at it during the final battle and you want to see Jake win. The development between Jake and Neytiri creates a lot of emotion.
  • Loads of people including myself found this movie to be an emotional roller coaster, this is impossible without character development. (see the Matrix) The characters Neo and Trinity weren’t developed enough so when she says “I love you” I felt nothing.
  • Unfortunatly if you know this about film you know some of the characters that aren’t developed can get killed… I was expecting either Trudy or that scientist with the glasses to die. Trudy died but we didn’t feel too sad about that because her character wasn’t developed. Note that if you want to convey tragedy you develop the character then kill them off like in Tsutes case.. Tsute’s was developed, his character bouncing off Jake or even when he sees his home land being destroyed by the “sky people” he had character development in the film which made it a shame when he died
  • Even Neytiris Ikran (dragon) has development – if you really pay attention there’s quite a bit, if you do pay attention you do feel sad when her dragon gets shot down. Again because of development.

I could go on about it for ages but you get the idea that there was massive amounts of character development so where the claims “no character development” come from I have no idea… Probably the pretentious film student. Problem is that guy doesn’t know a lot about films.

Technology, known through out the film industry for it’s revolutionizing technology Avatar stands really tall, I’m leaving this until another post becuase it wouldn’t be right for this one. It is another reason why I love this film, what it’s achieved via technology it’s now the film that has truly defined 3D movies.

If you speak about the film as the highest grossing film of all time (currently at Box office #1 after 3 months..) unbelievably impressive. I mean it’s actually unbelievable, after 3 months and it’s at number 1! There was a point where it dropped down but now it’s back up. It’s unbelievable. Also the total gross at the moment is at $2.5 Billion… It’s a number enough to make you teary eyed, I doubt there will be a movie that can over take it. That’s ridiculous the film has grossed that much.

Despite what some people say, ticket sales do count, if people are seeing the film it means people are enjoying it, if people are seeing the movie over and over it means it’s a really good film. Avatar’s right up to $2.5 Billion which is the highest grossing movie ever by a long shot.. currently the only movie to ever make over $2 Billion there’s no doubt about it that Avatar is an amazing movie.

As far as hugely successful movies go it means there will be guys anti-hyping. The more successful it is the more people feel the need to shout out in anger at it. Anything with this much publicity and doing this well has these guys. Maybe one day I’ll review Avatar, take some time to look in to the greatest film I’ve seen but I’ll wait for the DVD before I even attempt to understand the movie completely.