I’m a happy film fan these days.
More and more, there are films being released that I absolutely adore. These films are unique, original and incredibly entertaining.
The only problem is I can’t figure out what to call them.
Big concept/Character driven?
Low Budget cost with Big Budget looks?
Take your pick or suggest a better one by commenting below.
I’m a huge fan of the usual suspects like Scorsese, Spielberg, Jackson, Tarantino and more. Personally, you can add J.J Abrams to that list.
Yet, more and more I find myself drawn to some new filmmakers out there creating absolute masterpieces.
Some of them are even mentored by the titans of the industry. District 9 was produced by Peter Jackson while J.J Abrams seems to have a hand in every awesome movie being released. (Cloverfield, Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3 to name a few.)
This new trend of mixing independent style (and budget) with high concept stories is literally changing everything.
What started years ago with The Blair Witch Project has now gone mainstream and exploded into huge blockbusters.
District 9 was the first.
I think District 9 is responsible for bringing the independent feel to blockbuster films.
Thanks to these types of films, the line between studio and independent is disappearing. Pulling off an incredible movie no longer takes a gargantuan amount of cash. All it takes is an idea and the commitment to execute.
It was produced with a moderately small budget considering the subject matter and earned both financial and critical success.
District 9 relied on it’s amazingly original concept, well executed effects and the strength of the story and characters. Director Neill Blomkamp brought the story back to the forefront.
Audiences are smarter now and we demand good great stories. The summer’s biggest movies were packed with massive set pieces and effects sequences but many lacked the necessary amount of heart needed to connect to the story.
Things got even better when Cloverfield’s marketing campaign took over the internet.
J.J Abrams and Co. brought the mystery back to the movie trailer.
I remember sitting in the theater wondering…
What the hell is this?!
What is this movie called!?
Giant monster movie? Found footage? It started an amazing trend I feared would one day become overused but so far I’m not complaining.
Cloverfield completely reinvented the ‘Monster’ movie by creating a unique experience for movie goers.
We didn’t need to see the monster every 5 minutes. We needed to be engaged in the mystery and ride along with the main characters.
Monsters & Skyline
Not too mention The Troll Hunter and many more movies made on a smaller scale but with HUGE IDEAS.
NOTE: I’m not entirely sure about The Troll Hunter but it definitely looks like a crazy/weird ride.
Paranormal Activity came along and proved that with enough creativity and dedication, you can turn $15,000 into over 100 million.
Director Oren Peli created my favorite movie of 2009 by creating a horrific and completely gripping story. When it works it works.
Technically, it’s worked twice as 2010′s follow up was equally chilling. Read my full review here.
I for one cannot wait to see the Peli’s next film. The alien themed: Area 51.
Even big action directors like Roland Emmerich are jumping on board as the director is losing the big budget in order to direct The Zone. A ‘small’ alien invasion movie.
[UPDATE] It appears Mr. Emmerich has canceled the project.
J.J Abrams is even scheduled to return in what could be one of my most anticipated movies of all time.
Super 8 is being produced by Steven Spielberg and I fully expect this movie to be J.J Abrams E.T: The Extra Terrestrial.
The hype has begun.
The viral marketing machine is already going with mysterious websites and cryptic messages popping up everywhere.
I believe this type of marketing has changed the way movies will be released forever. By engaging your audience early on, you build a relationship with them. You build hype and keep the momentum going right up until the release.
There are times when films will fail to live up to the amazing amounts of hype they generate but so far, I have yet to be disappointed.
Following movies has never been more satisfying and fun.
These are all new and original franchises made by incredibly talented and imaginative people.
I want to do that!
Battle: Los Angeles
Whoa. This trailer came along and completely kicked my ass. It’s unfortunate that Skyline was so terrible but amazing that we still have another alien invasion movie to look forward to in 2011. Check out the trailer below and tell me it doesn’t look bad ass?