Friday, July 04, 2008

Rise: Blood Hunter

One of these days, I’m gonna do an entry about the things I know now, but wish I had known when I started screenwriting -- probably a good idea for a meme. Here’s one of those lessons: Most people aren’t receptive to genre stuff and it’s next to impossible to win them over -- unless it’s a big budget spectacle. Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi speaks primarily to a niche audience. “Battlestar Galactica” will never have “Grey’s Anatomy” type ratings. Most folks couldn’t pick Joss Whedon out of a line up. And just because “Iron Man” made over 300 million dollars, it doesn’t mean that comic book shops across the country are now flooded with throngs of new customers. Although tiny, this audience is a huge component when it comes to creating buzz. Genre fans will sift through a lot of crap, in the hopes of finding a gem and let everyone know when they do; but the temptation to take them for granted and “broaden” the appeal of a film often leads to failure.
Vamps without fangs? A change like that alienates the people most likely to see the film. The casual viewer probably doesn’t care one way or the other. To be fair, it worked in “The Hunger” and “Ultraviolet” (the UK mini-series) but the tone of those films were much different. “Rise: Blood Hunter” is basically “Kill Bill” with vampires, minus a whole lot of style, action and substance. Reporter gets too close to a story about a vampire club and gets turned. Reporter vows revenge. See Lucy Liu beat up and interrogate a vamp, hate what she's become, repeat until closing credits --- oh yeah, the guy from “The Shield” shows up and helps her take out the head vamp. That's the movie. Seriously. Maybe there’s some great material in the unrated version, but I won’t be checking it out anytime soon. My point isn’t that we should ignore casual viewers/movie goers but to find a happy medium. Have a good idea of what the core fans like before making changes.


Morgan McKinnon said...

"Most people aren’t receptive to genre stuff and it’s next to impossible to win them over -- unless it’s a big budget spectacle."

Are you saying,
"don't waste time with rom/coms?
That it would be better to write suspense/thriller/action adventure?"

wcdixon said...

nice post

screamwriter said...

My point was that some material has more commercial appeal than others. It's okay to try and broaden the appeal of a script, but don't take the core audience for granted. It's like when Kevin Smith was working on "Superman" and one of the studio execs didn't want Superman flying in the movie!

Just my crazy ramblings.


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