So lately I’ve been trying to think of good, original ideas for a high concept film and I’ve come to the realisation that it’s a lot harder than I’d imagined it to be.
Spending so much time trying to come up with an idea got me thinking about what a high concept even is. I’ve spent a little time looking it up online and from what I’ve read it is probably best described as being a story that can be described in one sentence and that wouldn’t need big name actors to sell it’s appeal, but, it’s worth pointing out that opinions on this differ wildly and that does not seem to be a set definition for what a high concept is.
Despite all that I have actually managed to come up with a few good ideas that I’ve managed to map out first draft plans for and I finished the first draft of another last week. Also had an idea for a new short which I’ll write more about when I do a blog update on my current film projects.
I think the best way to come up with a high concept is to just simply think of an idea and then make it as extreme as possible. A good example of this is Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton apparently wanted to write a story about cloning as at the time there were a lot of stories about the possibility of cloning sheep. So all he did was take the idea of cloning and stretch it out to the biggest extreme he could imagine, dinosaurs. Simply by making things bigger, harder and more exotic you make the concept higher, of course this is just my opinion and I think that makes it sound easier than it actually is!
This is a response to the few negative reviews of Looper I have seen as I thought Looper was great and that the negative reviews seem to be based on people needing everything explained to them (Spoiler Warning!!!!!!).
Looper was a fantastic, sleek, smart Sci-Fi/Action film with an amazing premise. I mean could you kill your future self?! The thing I loved most was that there was no Inception like 30 minute intro explaining everything (don’t get me wrong I loved Inception) and when any character asks about time travel the subject is dismissed with a “it will fry your brain” response.
This was a film about story and character not about the mechanics of time travel.
The reason I decided to review Looper is because a few reviews have reminded me that I’m fed up of this culture where people want a film to explain everything to them, I think it’s fine when a film leaves certain things up in the air. It’s never said, but, it’s quite obvious the Rainmaker is closing the loops because he has no need for Loopers. He’s taken over the mob and is capable of disposing of the bodies himself (by destroying them on a molecular level) so why would he have to send them back in time? I’ve already pointed out that I actually thought it was GOOD that they didn’t go into detail about how time travel works. I’d rather a film focused it’s attention on story and character as well as giving us the occasional mind blowing action set piece!
I loved all the stuff on the farm, Rian Johnson has a habit of slowing things down in the second act, watch Brick and Brothers Bloom and you’ll see it there as well.
Sometimes filmmakers want you to fill in a few dots yourself, which I’m more than fine with, I understand why some people want to go to a film and not have to do any work, but to those people I say, just because a film doesn’t spell it all out for you doesn’t mean it’s a BAD film it just means the filmmaker is treating you like an equal rather than an idiot, which is what most blockbuster films seem to think we are these days.
All in all I’d say it’s the best action/blockbuster film of the year by quite a distance and I cannot wait for Rian Johnson’s future work.