How Important is the Right Screenplay to a Movie?
My friends and I are very big into movies, just how big? Well, we would have ridiculous debates often coming close trading punches regarding movie production. Now, a lot of people get in violent discussions about politics. I guess I could say that's perfectly understandable because politics can get emotional very quickly. Political figures like Donald Trump that do get under the skin of a lot of people. The same applies to people who think Donald Trump is the best thing in slice bread. It doesn't take much for them to get trigger either.
Whatever the case may be, it's easy to have a very heated conversation when it comes to political or even religious topics but when it comes to movies, not so much. Well, that's not the case with me and my friends. We take our movies very seriously and one of the most classic questions that provoke a tremendous amount of disagreement, debate, and downright acrimony boils down to, what makes a successful movie? Put it another way, how important are the different production inputs to a movie? What kind of input compared to others has the biggest role to play, as far as the overall quality of the finished product? There are many schools who have thought regarding this.
Some of my friends are convince that the right acting is what will make a movie amazing. They point to a lot of movies from the 1950's that feature really great actors. They analyze the script. They pay attention to the direction. They pay attention to the cinematography and they say that all these different factors simply fall short; they fall flat; they're nothing to write home about.
But what makes these movies so worth remembering? What enables them to withstand the test of time. Well, according to their theory it's the acting. If you took out the actors the movie would have suck. The most commonly mention that supposedly prove this theory is Giant. If you took out Dennis Hopper and James Dean among others from the movie, according to my friends who subscribe to this theory, Giant would have suck. It wasn't the story, setting, or historical period. It's the people in it. That's what defined it. It is the sum of its parts.
I can see why people feel this way. It is because James Dean is a good actor. He was very big into method acting and brought a lot of authenticity, sincerity and real human emotional range to the silver screen. Even if you took an actor who wasn't a method actor and gave in the same lines that James Dean that had to memorize, I would wager that the movie Giant would still have been a quality movie.
The story speaks to certain deep profound and psychological truths that people who did not live in the 50's can still relate to. These were valid then as they are now and I strongly suspect this would continue to be valid longer in the future. After all, human being are fairly new creatures. We haven't been around all that long. Our brains haven't really adopted in change over thousands of years, much less 50 years.
The other factor that people should consider is the screenplay. This is the crappie subscript. Screenplay is the DNA of the movie. You can play around with looks, sound, camera angles, and technology but at the end of the day if you screw around with the DNA of the movie it's gone. I'm not saying that it is the bad thing, maybe you could have improved it and take it into the max level.
Whatever the case may be, if you mess around with the premise of the simulated reality that you're supposed to be observing on the large screen in front of you, you are going to be watching a completely different movie. That's how crucial it is. That's how central the screenplay is, because if you were to look in the situation from a completely different perspective or look at it from the other hand, it doesn't really make any sense. If you take out the screenplay, you just plugged in a different screenplay but you have the same actors, it would be a different movie. They would be acting from in different movies. They would have different dramatic ranges. It would be a completely different experience.