This weekend, my husband and daughter went to see "Antman", and came home raving about the movie. Part of what they liked was the originality of it - no one has made an Antman movie before. This isn't a reboot of a franchise, a prequel, a sequel, or a even simple remake.
That's the problem - a scary majority of films in the theater are either remakes or sequels. "Minions", "Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation", "Jurassic World", "Terminator Genisys", "Magic Mike XXL", "Ted 2", ... The list goes on and on. Last week, I read an article listing all of Disney's older cartoon movies, such as "The Sword in the Stone" and "The Little Mermaid", that will be remade as live action flicks.
What ever happened to original material?
In the days of YouTube and Twitch, small and/or amateur filmmakers are showing up the Big Guys with amazing short films on every subject possible. From the award-winning "Devils, Angels, & Dating" (shown above) to "Big Buck Bunny" (shown below), these films show creativity, attention to detail, excellent cinematography, wonderful musical scores, and insights into human nature (even if the characters aren't human).
As for cost, "Devils, Angels, & Dating" was made basically for free. Some of these projects use Blender - free, open-source 3D animation software - which requires a bit of time to learn, but does the heavy lifting for you during production. You could theoretically pay for all the short films on YouTube with the budget of one Hollywood blockbuster, and still have leftover money.
What surprises me the most is how some of these movies get under my skin, draw me in emotionally, so much more than standard Hollywood films. "Story of R32" is around 2 minutes, yet I cried at the end. And for the record, I generally don't cry at movies because I don't feel attached. But this time, I wanted a happy ending for R32.
When was the last time you felt attached to a character in a movie after less than two minutes?
So I ask you, why can't Hollywood come up with better movies? Even "Antman" existed previously in a different media. Netflix creates original programming; YouTube sponsors original programming. What will it take for a major studio to stop spending millions on a "sure thing" and begin to explore new territory?