The Hunger Games: silver screen beyond special effects, bringing the STORIES back to Hollywood #amwriting #WW

I know, I know. I haven’t posted in a very long time. Winter was crazy busy for me. After Sara Lee temp job ended sooner than expected, my time was dedicated to my YA story (which I re-named to Time and Heart series) and I’ve been very busy job hunting (still am lol).

I was going to wait until next week to post a proper #WW entry (as in, during the morning when I usually do), but this article inspired me so much to blog about it. Shocking, right?

First, a big thank you to all my Twitter followers! I reached 2,000 this week so am thrilled. Thanks to all who follow me! If I don’t follow you back, poke me and I will!

This past winter, not only have I been obsessed with writing and job hunting, but also discovering.

I’ve been discovering WHY we love and hate the stories we do.

I’ve been obsessed with analyzing TV shows and movies and why they do or don’t work (video games would work too, there are a lot of cool story lines for games out there!). I’ve been correlating similar aspects to all stories (including books) and what they have in common with each other. But most importantly, I’ve been obsessed with reviews.

When people used to either complain or gush why they hate or love a story, I always, especially for the hate, took it as complaining and drowned them out. But now I focus in when people complain about a TV, movie or book they’ve read or watched. Because I want to make sure I avoid that in my own writing and give them what they want.

It’s been great because my friends and I have been doing marathon running of The Game of Thrones Season 1 (HBO). I didn’t really get into the books. I don’t know why, I couldn’t get though the first chapter of the first book. I know, I’m the only person on Earth right? But it’s been fun watching the series with my friends. Mostly for their reactions. I listen in what they say about the dialogue and such, and soak up their reactions for later. If they hate something, I’ll be sure try to not use it in my story. Not copy the Game of Thrones of course, or any story I’m researching, but there are certain universal story elements that can be used across genres that you can fit into your own writings. Such as when or when not to use wit, humor, character dynamics, etc. and if you want to get your WIP turned into an HBO production, add lots of sex  and boobies and gore lol.

This CNN article here: http://bit.ly/HlOxQk reminded me of my research and I encourage all of you to check it out.  Even if you’re not a fan of the Hunger Games, it brings up good points about this generation of Teens loving to root for Katniss and why it’s a good story that needs little special effects to make it rule the box office. I found this fascinating because the last few years seemed to be a battle of who can have the coolest effects, that they take out the story part of it. Like, the third Pirates of the Caribbean. Which is one of my favorite franchises of all time. But a lot of the third POTC was just about adding cool stuff because they can rather than being clever about it. I thought the 4th one they toned down a lot more but some of the jokes seemed recycled and I don’t know, it just didn’t have the same spunk that the first two had.

Maybe the CNN article you can use it’s advice in your writings, maybe not. But it’s always worth a look into what’s hot and not, even if you think it’s not. That was my mistake before. If I didn’t like it (like Twilight) I ignored what was being said about it. Never doing that again 🙂

I think what made this article truly excite me was what I said in the subject line of this post. Hollywood is so dried up of good, fresh material that we have been bombarded with sequels and pointless special effects. Now I’m a big fan of both sequels and special effects.  Wow the audience, sure, but wow for a reason and they will love you for it. This article was saying that Hunger Games is proof that story matters more than effects.

So if you’re writing an action-y story, don’t forget about the heart of the story in midst of all that heart-stopping, sweaty palm suspenseful action. And to me, being able to care about the characters is what makes or breaks a story. With the Hunger Games, for me, I think it was the fact that Katniss sacrificed herself for her sister that made me truly care about the character. If that scene never happened, if it was her name drawn instead of Prim’s, I don’t think I would have liked Katniss at all. Because she is a little on the bitchy side (but my power-to-women side loves her independence and strength, she’s not just waiting for a man to save or notice her). Because we understand why she’s in the games, and how wrong the world of Panam is, it helps us root for her.

This all might seem like common sense for us writers. But somehow, that’s been lost to team Hollywood. I’m hoping that the Hunger Games will spark a new generation of movies with exciting plots, strong female leads and interesting plot twists with a side of romance. Not just cardboard characters we’ve all seen and read a million times. So love or hate the Hunger Games, I predict that it will bring good things to the silver screen if they can learn a lesson from the $155 million bucks that it made in opening weekend alone.  I’m hoping it stays strong through-out it’s run in the movie theaters, so that Hollywood will take a huge hint. We want stories, not just special effects!

The last couple of years, with a slim few exceptions, I haven’t been very excited to go to the theaters and drop down $20-30 bucks including treats and tax. Usually there’s only been one or two movies a year I’ve wanted to see in theater. I can recall in middle school back in the late 90’s, we’d be wanting to spend our allowance every week on the movies. Now we’re just like ‘eh’ and are always out of the loop of what’s playing because not much sparks our interest. The last movie I was excited to see was Sherlock Holmes 2 and that movie was a let down because they over-used the stop and play effect thing that they do when Sherlock is predicting movements. And even the plot was a little spread thin.  I am excited about the Hunger Games and the Avengers that’ll be out in the summer.

What do you guys think of the Hunger Games? Are  you a fan of Katniss? How about the books? The movie? Are you going to see it in theater – why or why not? What movies are you excited to see this spring and summer, if any? What trends in Hollywood are you noticing?

Hopefully this post made sense 🙂 I’m out of practice lol.

Anyway, hope you guys are all doing well. I’m going to try to start blogging again so if there’s a topic you’re particularly interested in that you’d like me to post, feel free to request! I’m also going to start back up Ask the Reader and Celebrity Saturday, because, heck, I missed you guys ^_^

It feels like summer in Chicago, it’s been messing up my days! So once again, sorry about the early #WW lol never done that before hehe. Today totally feels like Thursday. I wish it was, ‘cuz that’s when my friends and I are seeing the Hunger Games!! I haven’t read book 2 and 3 and I won’t until I polish some books off my TBR list first, but I’m excited for this movie, it looks truly epic!!!

Hope you guys are writing! Missed you!

❤ Claire

5 thoughts on “The Hunger Games: silver screen beyond special effects, bringing the STORIES back to Hollywood #amwriting #WW

  1. I think it was said best by Tina Fey when she said that Hollywood finds something that everyone likes and keeps doing it until the audience gets sick of it. We like stories because they speak to us, but when the same story gets recycled because of one element that we all latched on to, we start to feel manipulated or talked down to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Feminista,

      Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love your blog too, so pretty 🙂

      I agree with you! I was disappointed in the “big budget” feel of Catching Fire. That said, I loved Catching Fire movie too lol

      I’ve kind of gotten tired of the X-Men movies because they do feel so recycled. But the nice thing about Hollywood, while I agree with Ms. Fey, is there is something for everyone!

      What movies have you been into lately?

      Like

      • In regards to sequels and action I’ve really been impressed with the Marvel movies (Thor, Iron Man, etc.) and the way they’ve made rather 2-D characters so layered and real. It’s one of those times I don’t feel as though I’ve been force fed something trendy. But I know what you mean about the X-Men movies…the thread gets lost too often.

        Liked by 1 person

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