11 June 2013

Remaking Hollywood - Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm happy to feature the guest post, cover reveal, and giveaway of writer Joshua Silverman's book.

This weekend, I was on a panel at Denver Comic-con with some other distinguished writers like Kevin J. Anderson, co-author of the Dune prequels, Star Wars Expanded Universe, and The Saga of the Seven Suns. The panel was about the current trend in Hollywood of remaking movies and what we, as writers, thought about it. In case you couldn’t attend, I’ll share some of the insights developed during our hour-long discussion.

1. It’s a business, stupid. Writers become writers because we love our story, love our characters, and love writing. We don’t become writers to “make a million dollars” (most of us don’t, anyway, or you’re under some delusion about the writing industry). That being said, big Hollywood is not about the “art” or “craft” of movie making—they’re in it to make money. They have investors, and investors want a return on investment (ROI). This means if something is successful once, they’ll keep repeating the formula so long as they keep making money. Much to the chagrin of the writing community, we have to accept that there is a business component to our work.

2. Upgrades in technology. In every new generation, technology improves. I know my ten-year-old nieces and nephews won’t watch a movie that was made pre-2000 because it “looks cheesy.” As our technology improves, so must our movies. For example, nobody would believe Adam West’s Batman of the 1960’s would survive sixty seconds on the streets of Gotham/Manhattan today. But Christian Bale’s Batman? With his tank of a Batmobile and seriously awesome armor…now that is a superhero.

3. People get old. They say that the average age of a movie attendee is 19 years old. That means every 19 years Hollywood is going to produce a remake of a film because they want to tap into a new generation of youth. Wait long enough, and people don’t even know that Jim Carrey’s Fun with Dick and Jane was a remake of Jane Fonda’s version in 1977 or that Nicholas Cage’s Gone in Sixty Seconds was originally made in 1974.

4. Classic stories always rule. How many times have they remade the classic tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? How many Robin Hoods have we seen? Movies focused on classic mythology, legends, and folklore which speaks to all of us are always relatable and endearing. These stories stand the test of time. These characters will always touch our hearts and souls. Therefore, they get remade, a lot.

5. Sometimes, it’s about a contract. Want to know the real reason Universal remade Spider-Man so soon after Sam Raimi’s disastrous Spider-Man 3? Legal contracts. Marvel’s licensing arrangement with Universal is that if they don’t put out a new Spider-Man movie every two years, all of the intellectual property rights of the Spider-Man character revert back to Marvel. And we’ve seen how awesome they can do with Thor, Hulk, Iron-Man, Captain America, and the Avengers. So you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be seeing a lot of Spider-Man; bad or good, you’ll see him because Universal won’t want to lose out on billions of dollars.

There you have it: money, age, classic stories, and relatable characters. Pick your poison, but those are the reasons you see so many remakes and reboots in Hollywood these days. It’s not about a lack of “ideas.” It’s that you don’t fix what’s not broken in any industry.

About the Author and Book

The Emerald Tablet

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Leoros doesn't have many friends. The son of a scientist and archeologist, he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, Leoros' world is turned upside down.

Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good…or for evil?

When an archaeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world.

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together by forces neither understands.

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed.

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming.

Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it?

There is darkness in everyone.

Purchase the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Joshua SilvermanJoshua Silverman

Joshua Silverman was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Orange County, California.

While attending California State University, Fullerton and studying Criminal Justice, Joshua was introduced to a creative writing class where he wrote a series of paranormal stories. As a child, he has always been an amateur historian, focusing on ancient Egypt, Greece, and Roman civilizations.

Since working in the legal environment, he has combined his passion for creative writing with his love of ancient history by penning his debut novel, The Emerald Tablet, the first of seven in the Legends of Amun Ra series.

Follow Joshua Silverman:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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1 comment:

  1. I have never considered writing specifically for profit or as a career path and had no intent beyond the first two books.

    The post does bring home something I have thought about though. I am wondering about the feasibility of writing something solely for the purpose of film or television i.e. something I would never normally read or write but would enjoy on the screen.

    As you quite rightly state, writing is from the heart with most people and not for material gain but if I go into it with no expectations and no outlay it sounds like a bit of fun.


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