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The Five Crucial Things We Want From Movies
By Ted Hope
I think there are universal hopes all audiences have for cinema each and every time they sit down to watch. When we fail to provide them, people start to lose faith in our product. We need to keep this promises front and center when we create new movies. Many do, some don’t. Which side do you want to be on?
I recognize that this may feel a bit “back to the basics” or even obvious. Yet, I can’t even begin to list the number of times I have left unfilled. I recognize great cinema does a lot more than these five too. I have made my lists of all I want from cinema. I encourage you to do likewise, but mostly I want us all to keep these five essential needs at the forefront of our endeavors:
- Take me somewhere I have never been. The discovery can be a place, person, or thing. It can be beauty or an aesthetic. It can be emotion or thought. It just needs to feel fresh, original, or somehow new.
- Make me feel. This needs to be authentic, not manipulative. Sadness is perhaps the easiest to deliver, perhaps alongside fear. It grows increasingly challenging to deliver more complex emotions.
- Help me understand this issue/world a little better. And this needs to be for myself — don’t just tell me. I want to walk away with this new found knowledge as part of myself.
- Deliver fun and surprises. Chills and giggles. Beauty and desire.
- A transformative experience. This can be either for the viewer or for the characters on screen (and thus potentially replicated by the viewer too).
Without these things, what are we delivering? Without these things, how can we unlock the inherent utility of cinema?