I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but here goes… Hollywood (and the silver screen) is getting pummelled into oblivion by television. That’s right, I said it — TV is besting Hollywood. And although the spectre of reality TV still poisons the pudding, television is riding a wave of intelligent, provocative programming while Hollywood is fading fast.
I can tell you, in a single word, why this is happening — books. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen of the Dark Hayride, the reason television is besting Hollywood is because of its source material.
Let’s examine this more closely. If you view some of the best shows on television, a very clear pattern bubbles to the top:
- Game of Thrones
- Walking Dead
- House of Cards (I know — it’s Netflix, but still)
- The Killing
- Sherlock (and Elementary)
- True Blood
- Parades End
- The Vampire Diaries
- Boardwalk Empire
- Friday Night Lights
And that’s not a complete list! But what you see is someone (cough, cough Television) is doing something right — getting material from untapped sources. As opposed to Hollywood who is currently intent on doing little more than reboot, prequel, and steal. And guess what — audiences are growing tired of it. We want originality, we want quality story telling not lame re-tellings. And you know what, I have a few books that would make perfect films (or even film franchises). Let me lay them out for you:
The I Zombie series: You’re guaranteed ten books in this series and a spin off series after that. You can’t keep beating the dead horse known as Resident Evil; because, quite frankly, that series jumped the shark a while ago. On top of that — the genre NEEDS an intelligent, strong female role model! NOW!
Hell’s Muse: You want an original piece of horror that’s not just a gore-fest, but has an intelligent backbone the likes of Stephen King or Clive Barker? There ya go. You’ll get layer upon layer of glorious, thought-provoking horror and some characters that people will want more of.
Screampark: Think about this — a horror franchise that has a pseudo reality TV layer built in. How perfect is that for today’s audience?
Shero: Need I say more? No, I don’t.
Klockwerk Kabaret: This is my current work in progress that will add a dash of darkness to the Steampunk genre, but retain the sex appeal and the wonderful visuals.
Of course there’s always the Fringe Killer series — but those would fit much better alongside the likes of Bones.
I know this might seem a bit self-serving, but honestly, Hollywood is missing out on some seriously amazing plot lines. There are millions of books being published all the time — from that mad rush of plot lines, stories, and amazing worlds I can almost promise you a number of promising plots will be revealed.
Of course, I get it; Hollywood can’t take the same risks that television does. The cost of producing a film is far greater than a television show. But it doesn’t have to be. Indie film makers manage quite nicely on budgets far lower than the average blockbuster. With that in mind, you have no excuse, Hollywood.
In fact — I’d say your get out of jail free card expired quite some time ago and you are now on borrowed time. So as you see your box office continue to fall, you might want to open your minds up to giving a read to the endless supply of material coming out of the minds of indie authors.
We’re pretty damned fantastic at conjuring up a good tale.
Otherwise, I hope you’re content watching television keep viewers seated in front of their televisions and not your fading screens.