AGMacdonald

AGMacdonald

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics

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    Exploring Hollywood's Obession with the Prequel

    Filmmaking is a business. Hollywood knows that, and so does the general population. For a long time, Hollywood has been ensuring guaranteed hits by extending already existing popular franchises. This would traditionally take the form of a sequel like Die Hard 2; Mad Max 2; Terminator 2 (you get where I am going with this), but in recent years there has been a number of prequels cropping up: Fantastic Beasts, Star Wars, Terminator, Star Trek (both the new films and the upcoming television series). This article would explore the idea of why Hollywood thinks prequels are such a marketable storytelling device? Is it because people love throwbacks and little Easter eggs? Do we love a good origin story? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Yes! I'm very excited for this topic. Part of me wonders if prequels aren't the new sequels. Perhaps the film industry is counting on our nostalgia for popular franchises to make more money. Or perhaps people feel like the original film starting in the wrong place. Maybe we simply have unanswered questions that could only be remedied by a prequel. I'm curious to see what people think! – ReidaBookman 4 days ago
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    Making a Case for Remaking Old Games

    While Hollywood remakes are rampant at the moment, we have been inundated with a spate of soulless cash-ins; but do video games have to share the same fate? The mechanics of video games are much more complex, and as such can do with a gamelpay and graphics overhaul every decade or two to keep the game alive.
    It would be interesting for someone to put forward the case that there is actually a need for remakes within the video game market.

    • This is an interesting article. There are a lot of games that get remade or might get remade in the future.For example: the crash bandicoot collection, FF IIV, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight PrincessI think you also need to define what a remake is? Is that different than a rerelease or the same? – Sean Gadus 2 weeks ago
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    • A comparison between the successful Assassins Creed game franchise and the failure to translate it to film would be interesting – bethlauren 2 weeks ago
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    Is Creativity Dead Within the Film Industry?

    Over the last couple of years, we have entered a new era of filmmaking. Studios only make safe bets, some of which pay off (The Force Awakens, Mad Max, Star Trek), but many of them bomb (Baywatch, Ghostbusters and King Arthur). Is this due to the death of creativity in these fields? Is looking for the safe bet, sticking to a formula and attaching people with no care for the source material, responsible for abysmal sales?

    • Remakes have become a common since Hollywood may have trouble coming up with original concepts. – BMartin43 3 weeks ago
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    • I would compare/contrast mainstream Hollywood and Indie films. You often find new and creative ideas in the indie movies because the monetary risk isn't as high and the success of those can often shape what risks Hollywood will take – BreannaWaldrop 2 weeks ago
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    • I think this is actually a misleading question as the film titles listed are all Hollywood productions. No, creativity is not dead within the film industry, we just need to broaden our horizon and acknowledge that original and creative films are being made outside of Hollywood, both within American independent cinema and in many countries around the world. Hollywood makes product and product must sell, hence the remakes and reboots, ostensibly made to introduce a younger, upcoming generation to an old popular story or series, because all that really matters to the Hollywood executives is how the latest product performs over the next financial quarter, therefore risks are rarely taken. My taste in films is admittedly biased as I prefer European and Oriental films (although I also have Russian, Polish, Iranian, Turkish and Indian films in my collection, to list just a few) so I tend to ignore the latest mega-hyped Hollywood blockbuster because I find independent film making and 'World' cinema far more rewarding in terms of its style, content and storytelling. True creativity doesn't have a price tag attached and Hollywood has long forgotten this point. – Amyus 2 weeks ago
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    Latest Comments

    AGMacdonald

    Timeless horror is about ideas. The more you think about it, Norman Bates carrying his embalmed mother down the stairs while talking in her voice is downright terrifying! (even though the movie isn’t anymore)

    Fear in Fiction: The good, the bad, and the Downright Scary
    AGMacdonald

    The horror genre has stagnated over the years. They have been filled with tropes and gore-porn (with the exception of Green Room, which while gory, maintained its tension). Hopefully, with films like the new It remake, we might see a true horror renaissance on the horizon.

    Fear in Fiction: The good, the bad, and the Downright Scary
    AGMacdonald

    Thanks for an amazing article! It’s still hard to believe she is gone.

    The Legacy of Princess Carrie
    AGMacdonald

    There needs to be a balance, and since The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road were released with their practical effects, the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. CGI definitely has a place. It should be used to enhance the practical.

    Also, utilise your budgets, Hollywood! It still baffles me that Mad Max: Fury Road and Ghostbusters (2016) had the same budget.

    Does CGI Benefit Special Effects or Detract From Them?
    AGMacdonald

    I cannot wait to see what Stuio Ponoc come up with, although I think it’s going to be a long wait for Miyazaki’s final work.

    The Magic and Artistry of Studio Ghibli's Films
    AGMacdonald

    I think remakes have more of a place in video games than the current epidemic within the film industry (and even books if you include rehashing the same idea over and over because it is profitable). If you are watching an 80s film like The Empire Strikes Back of The Dark Crystal, you can forgive their visual shortcomings, but the movie watching experience hasn’t really changed. If you were to play a video game from that era, like the original Mario Brothers of Final Fantasy, the mechanics and technical restrictions make the game drastically different.

    That being said, I am still hoping that there is still enough originality and creativity left in the industry to produce at least a couple of interesting new games per year.

    An Abundance of Remasters: Originality in the Gaming Industry
    AGMacdonald

    Just when we all thought that the Ghibli era was over! Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement to make one more ‘last’ film. We’ve also got Studio Ponoc, founded by ex-Ghibli staff, which will be releasing メアリと魔女の花 (Mary and the Witch’s Flower) this year. Still an exciting time to be a Ghibli fan.

    The Magic and Artistry of Studio Ghibli's Films
    AGMacdonald

    I didn’t like the idea of Rey being a clone, to begin with, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. As you pointed out, she was overpowered for a person just discovering she can wield the force (considering Luke’s journey). I also understand that there is practically no chance that Disney will pursue this route, but it’s an interesting theory.

    Star Wars: Who is Rey (And Why Do We Care)?