Same Old Story Structure…

I have gathered from reading the set text ‘Ideas for the Animated Short’ that the reason people haven’t tired of the same old structure is that it isn’t the thing that draws people to see film. At their core, people are interested in film because of the stories that they tell. People love to see things that they can relate to, to escape to a different time and place, to see relatable characters with human flaws struggle through adversity and jump hurdles to achieve a goals. People can relate to that. And that is why I’ve found that after all this time, people haven’t tired of watching films. Naturally some types of stories go in and out of style, just as anything else e.g. the fashion industry. Some things have their hey day and won’t come back into mainstream for a long time. For example the “monster on the loose” type films of the mid 1900’s, involving Ray Harryhausen. Jason and the Argonauts and Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were amazing films but an audience needs diversity in subject matter and story to keep their attention and so at the peak of his career, Harryhausen’s work became a little passe to the public eye. As we can see now, though, with the Transformers franchise, Pacific Rim, and Godzilla soon to be released, we can see a resurgence in interest in these types of films and gives some truth to my conclusion about the rise and fall in popularity of different types of stories.  
What dictates this changing opinion? Who decides when it’s time for a new movement, and what it should be? Is it the public? Somehow I think not. Is it the producers and directors? Or is it just the case of perfect timing for someone who has just so happened to have a good idea and brought it to the attention of someone of note, and they say “hey, that’s fresh and different, let’s do that”? Timing is often a huge factor in these matters as I’ve seen first hand.
My uncle had an idea for a childrens television series many years ago. He had it all organised with two episodes written, fully rendered artwork for characters and backgrounds, two theme songs written. His agent got it read by a producer who optioned it and was quite sold on producing it for a major network. A new producer came in and decided that they it wasn’t what they were looking for at the time and gave it a miss.
How many other people with ideas and concepts out there have failed to show their work? Countless. It’s the nature of the industry. I guess we just have to do what we love and be good at it so we can take advantage of opportunity when it comes.


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