Hollywood Movies: “And the Award for Best Picture Goes to Talented You!”

Awards season has started and everyone wants a golden statue for their mantel. Hollywood has never been brighter, shinier and more glamorous, and I know you want a piece of that.

Everyone wants to make it, but very few do. They tell you that you have to think big and outside the box (to use a couple well-worn clichés)! But, then you ask yourself, why does every Hollywood movie seem the same if I’m supposed to create something new and different and cool?

That’s because in order to make it in Hollywood, you actually have to stay inside the box.  Production companies are only going to produce movies that they think will be a hit, so they stick with what they know. So, to write your Hollywood blockbuster, the first thing you need to do is think of what genre you want to get famous in. The rest is just a matter of filling in the blanks.

The Action Movie

To truly be a great action movie, you’re going to need an interesting and completely insane yet oddly plausible plot, a super-villain with the right amount of current menace and sympathetic background and A LOT of explosions. But the easiest thing to achieve on that list is the explosions, so if you’re feeling lazy, go for a plot with a generic superhero-type who has something like anger issues, going against the wishes of The U.S. Government, kicking butt against a villain with a maniacal laugh.  Throw in a car chase and a hot girl and you’re set. Gadgets and big guns are also really essential.

The Oscar Winner

Oh, so you’re one of those.  You want to work with DiCaprio, or Winslet or Clooney. Well here’s what you do: write a really serious story about struggle. Make it a period piece, or at the very least, set in another country, like India or Africa. Preferably, you should set it during a war (something about the Holocaust is a pretty solid choice). Make it a bittersweet ending, and if you want, kill off your hero/heroine. If your movie really seems to Mean Something in that vague, artistic way, the Academy is sure to eat it up!

The Raunchy Comedy

Everyone’s seen “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “The Hangover,” and you know these movies are what’s HOT right now. This one’s simple. Just get together a ragtag group of guys, throw them in an awkward situation with girls, write a few profanity-filled jokes and give it a sappy ending. If you’re too lazy to write in the jokes, just hire actors who like to improvise. Make sure they aren’t shy about nudity.

The Romantic Comedy

Heroine enters stage right in a colorful dress and long flowy hair, cue cutesy music from the 1960s, and set up a chance encounter with a scruffy, tall, dark, sexy man hunk.  But wait! They HATE each other!  Conflict! Make up some convenient excuse for making them spend time together (e.g. pretend couple to impress ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/parents, eccentric judge sentences them to act as husband and wife, or they keep running into each other at Starbucks, etc.), and by the end, it’s inevitable that they fall in love. Aw, isn’t it romantic? The girl must have a cynical, less-pretty best friend to play off her dreamy romanticism, and the guy must have a funny, single best friend to try to talk him out of falling in love.

The Science Fiction/ Fantasy

This is the easiest, yet hardest category to produce. All you have to do is find a science fiction or fantasy book already published and turn it into a movie. The problem lies in trying to make it good. Here’s a hint: make it not stupid. Fill in those plot holes because nothing’s more annoying than a cheesy movie — Swiss cheese, that is.

So there you have it! I’m sure there are many other types of movies you can try to make, but why try so hard when these are the genres that have hundreds of movies already made? Don’t think you’re going to revolutionize Hollywood with your wit and originality; it’s been done before. Just feel lucky that you live in the age of computers and can pretty much just add CG to hide anything you lack story-wise. What you can dream, you can do! Good luck future Hollywood stars!