Snakes on a Plane: power to the people
Yes, with the power of the internet we can all of us make a hollywood movie! Or, in other words, how a film with a kick-ass name took the power back to the people…
Don’t worry, this isn’t a big movie theory one man joy splurgle piece… but I think the entire Snakes on a Plane phenomenon constitutes an important shift in emphasis when it comes to how a certain kind of movie is made. It may change the rules around silly cultish films forever.
We can but hope.
Today in the papers much is being made of the fact that the producers refused to show the movie Snakes on a Plane to critics before it was shown to the public, a state of affairs which in the past has indicated that a film with a lot of hype is going to be a dog.
But this time the big guys say they don’t want or need the critics, and they sound kind of serious.
With this film, admittedly helped along by the fact Sam Jackson got involved a long time ago, the hype has gone haywire over the past twelve months. As soon as movie fans and bloggers got wind of what New Line were making, an instant internet community grew around the whole process, helped by one of the writers on the project writing about the decision-making process online and adding to the buzz.
The people making the film then started to watch and listen what the online community was doing, and a dialogue sprang up as to what people wanted to see happen. Someone even got to write a line for Jackson which got totally included in the final cut. And it’s a great line! How incredible is that?
This is a far cry from the didactic preaching New York Film School style of movie-making (think Coppola and Scorsese). The method acting and the hand-wringing which made these directors so great is out of the window with a film like Snakes, so why wait til it’s cut to do a mid-edit screening and have to re-shoot the ending to please the public? Why not ask the little f*ckers what they want in the first place and then just give it to them?
There will always be serious directors making serious films (can you imagine Ken Loach being told what to do by a fourteen year old geek from Idaho?) and how right that is. We need people like Loach being serious and doing it well. We all need an injection of serious filmage every now and then. But for the silly, entertaining, fun films, why not let the kids have their say? It’s the twenty-something geek freaks like me, who’ve been slavering with anticipation over this film for months, who really need to be stopped in their tracks.
This film may yet be a dog and a letdown with the title being the best thing about it (as with so many cheesy cult films) but in a summer which has produced some of the worst summer releases ever, I mean, how bad can it be?
In related news: If you could write a line for any actor what would it be? Would you have Robert de Niro cringing from arachnophobia? Or Paris Hilton coming onto Steve Buchemi? Let us know – we know you’re twisted enough…