What Makes a Good Sci-Fi Movie?

Each year, a handful of movies are released bearing the sci-fi label in the hope that they will find their place among the best sci-fi films of all time. The problem that many of these films share, however, is their deep misunderstanding of what sci-fi really is and how it works to create a great movie. Although most movies that reach the distinction of being the best are older, classic films, several modern movies have made the leap as well. A closer look at these films can help to illustrate the criteria for a good sci-fi movie.

Easily Explained Technology

Despite the elaborate machines, ships or robots used in sci-fi films, an important element for a good sci-fi movie is how easily the technology can be explained. “Avatar” (2009), for example, took a ship full of people to a new planet and placed those people into alien bodies. Sounds complex, doesn’t it? The greatness and popularity of the film “Avatar” lies in the ease with which the technology can be explained. By the time the ship lands on Pandora and the main character (Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington) is thrust into the alien land in the body of an alien, the audience has fully understood how all of this technology works. In fact, the explanation comes so easily that it is fitted seamlessly into Jake’s training. The audience never has to face an information overload. Therefore, a good sci-fi movie must let the audience in on how the technology used works, no matter how complex it may be.

Characters to Care About

Technology, however, is not the sole focus of a movie. A good sci-fi flick still has to worry about character development and likeability. Having characters that the audience can care about is another way that filmmakers can help dole out the explanation of the technology. However, the characters and their part in the plot should always stand on their own merits.

A good example of a sci-fi movie with very likeable characters is “Independence Day” (1996). The film is full of stars, including Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman. From the drunken pilot who dries out long enough to protect the nation, to the President of the United States who straps into a jet to help save his country, there are several characters to love. By the time that the President, played by Pullman, gave his rallying speech to the public, audiences in theaters were thoroughly riveted and rooting for this world fighting against alien invaders.

A Compelling Story

The story is often the reason that audiences are drawn to the movie initially. The film may have cool graphics, slick technology and great actors, but if a sci-fi flick lacks a compelling story, it will surely fail. A good modern example of a film with a compelling story is “District 9” (2009). This film is built on the premise that aliens have landed on earth, but that instead of taking over, they have become a second class of citizen. This was a new concept that audiences flocked to the theaters to see. What was initially billed as an alien colonization story quickly became a tale of discrimination, set in the future of what is supposed to be a discrimination-free world.

Keeping with the Rules of Science

Keeping with scientific rules is also important. In some cases it is acceptable to break the rules of science, but the film must have an explanation for doing so, and must also share that explanation with the audience. Otherwise, breaking an essential rule could break the film before it is widely released. A film that went against this was “Red Planet” (2000), a film that had actors roaming around the planet Mars for much of the film before they realized that their own technology allowed for breathing the Martian air. The scientists in the film also botch basic DNA strand sequences. In addition, they often use the wrong scientific terms to describe basic scientific items. For example, the scientist in the film calls the beetle-like creatures nematodes, which is a term to describe worm-like creatures.

In order to make a film that sci-fi audiences will enjoy watching, filmmakers must keep in mind these basic tenets of the genre. Sci-fi is fraught with opportunities for fantasy, but there are also limitations. Several successful movies have been built within these limits without sacrificing cinematic quality. There are definitely several sci-fi contenders in the works for next year.

The Secret Behind The Hollywood Blockbuster Movies

Blockbuster movies are those, which are very popular or successful in terms of production. It even works for films, which are made on very low budget, but eventually succeed and exceed the expectation of the film of the particular genre. For example, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Rugrats Movie, The Blair Witch Project, Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon to name a few.

The period from 1975 to 1985 was a period of Blockbuster hits and major publicity campaign with new technologies and special effects. Jaw (1975) by Steven Spielberg is a concrete example of new type of filmmaking. George Jucas Star Wars (1977) was a mega hit, which used all the elements of traditional and modern elements. It was also an important phase of the American film history.

Hollywood Blockbusters essentially means the technique of the film. It is not the three-act type of structure that they want to see. This does not at all mean that a weak story can make a way. One of the most important techniques that makes a Hollywood film hit is the double track line. That means, it has a story line and an action line, which again simplified gives a personal story and a case to be solved. A character line is where we see a character developing or growing. Whereas, a case or an action line is something the plot develops into a complete story.

Blockbusters usually are round about stories, which have a theme of high concept. The simplest and the thumb rule for a blockbuster is, it should have stakes or consequences. It is the consequence, which has a lot of involvement of the protagonist. So is the case with Hollywood movies too. We can see such technicalities in the films like The Lion King, Forrest Gump, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the like.

One secret of Hollywood Blockbuster movies is that it uses Linux to produce their movies. The three reasons for using this operating system, other than Windows or Mackintosh is that, it is faster, cheaper and better. Even the big budget production houses, like Disney Pixar or Sony to create their visual effect or animation, they use Linux based operating system. The all time studio, Rhythm and Hues that brought out Scooby Doo was touched up by the Linux system. Other Blockbuster Movies like, The Matrix, Titanic, Gladiator, Superman Returns, Shrek, Men in Black, Hollow Man are a few to name which created by Linux software, such as Maya, RAYZ and Shake.

These movies began its journey from the very initial period of the Hollywood film industry. The trick for making blockbuster movies is hidden deep in the creation of good work along with analyzing the mass psychology. Though, frequently many directors and producers confess that there is no hard and fact rules for making such movies. The result for art works is totally unpredictable. But, the good work returns good profit most of the time. The huge records of films like Titanic, Jurassic Park is the real example of Hollywood blockbuster movies.

10 Reasons to Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie

Are you a fan of books as movies? If that’s the case, you understand that the inevitable question between book lovers in addition to cinema fans is if you should read the book or see the movie first.

I hope this list encourages you to read books that are movies before seeing the book on the big screen!

1. Imagine the people as you want
While reading the book the movie is based on initially one can bring the cast to life in whatever way you want. You are able to picture the characters in whatever way works optimally just for you.

2. Escape into a novel for a little while
While watching a movie you often can’t free yourself as easily as when reading a book. That means reading the book before with will provide you some time off from the difficulties within your everyday life.

3. Put together Possibilities and Opinions on the Story
Every time we see books as movies we are basically told what we should think. When reading a book it is more simple to keep the plot open for interpretation and take pleasure in the pondering a bit more.

4. There is usually some more to the history
When we watch movies that are books usually we miss out on a lot of world development. Through a book we obtain the entire back story on the characters, the world, and the story all around.

5. Fall within the Characters’ Minds
When we read the book the movie is based on, we will be able to read one or more of the main characters’ thoughts. This inner-dialogue we don’t hear in the movie typically allow us to sympathize with the characters easier.

6. No Worries Related to Arriving Below Cost and Duration
Production companies secure dedicated financial constraints and they need to squeeze the book into a movie that’s at most a few hours long. Now and then these type of things will certainly detract from the story we are expected to imagine.

7. Love the Tale Even More
A powerful novel will rein you in and keep you there. With books as movies you may be merely dedicated to it for a couple of hours at most. Jump into the book initially, then the film can make one all the more invested in the story.

8. Read Those things the Author Intended Us To
With movies based on the book we may be seeing half the story a lot of the time. Diving into the novel first will allow for us to realize the tale as the writer hoped us to.

9. Brag Liberties
You know those people who say “the novel was a great deal superior compared to the movie”. You can be that person if for no other rationale than to show them up first.

10. Use Your Creative imagination
One doesn’t need creative thinking to see a film, and in the event you watch the movie first, then you will be visualizing the film elements the whole book. Then you definitely won’t be able to workout that gorgeous mind of yours!