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Why is good sci-fi so hard to make!? (movies, tv series, etc)

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posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 03:42 PM
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Ok....

I just watched Riddick.

And I promise there will be no spoiler here by me but WTH!!!!

Did I just watch a cartoon?

I am a huge sci-fi addict and love gritty space sci-fi movies. I call them "hard" sci-fi.

Films like:
Alien, Aliens
Star Wars, Empire
Wrath of Khan, Star Trek (2008)
Pitch Black, Chronicles
T1, T2 (yes I know they aren't space but...)
Event Horizon
Serenity

and many more....are all well done and "gritty" sci-fi movies.

why are they so far and few between?

Back to Riddick....this is a good character and interesting story (at least I think). The stories can be kept simple and the movies should be able to be made fairly inexpensive....Pitch Black only cost $23 million to make. Chronicles budget was $105 million and Riddick they dropped it back down to $38 million. But I can't figure out why they used so much CGI...or at least really bad CGI.

If you look at movies like Equilibrium ... with a production cost of only $20 million....the movie is held up by good characters, great story and great character building. Again...I know that particular movie isn't a space movie but Riddick really isn't either as the movie takes place on a planet.

I know some will say that Vin Diesel sucks as an actor or the trilogy sucks.....and I get that. But I thought the first two were pretty good and was looking forward to the next installment. And boy was I disappointed!!

I was just needing to vent and wondered if other sci-fi addicts are frustrated with the newer movies coming out?




posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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Popular movies and music gear more toward the unintelligent. Think about all those famous songs and movies that make a huge amount of cash. Most really good shows get cancelled if they are too thought provoking. The average citizen doesn't want to think, they just want to be entertained.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 


Simple. $$$. It takes a ton of money to just get a film made. Go get a few million $$$ and try making one. And we've seen small budget great ones...and huge budget disasters.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 03:58 PM
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I thought Riddick was much better than Chronicles.
Yes, it is a cartoon/superhero movie where he can kick tons of ass and be so manly he can convert a lesbian.
At least in this one he showed himself to be defeatable, which I thought made him much more interesting than he was in the other 2 flicks.
Having a cool dog goes a long way too.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:03 PM
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I just had this huge disscussion on this topic with some friends, its my view the trouble comes from the very nature of Sci-fi.

For the sake of argument, lets say their are two extreme ends of the Scifi scale, Hard sci and soft, or

Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, I like to call it the Star Trek vs Star Wars problem.

Star Wars, Is clearly Science Fantasy, and appeals to a certain group.

Star Trek, Is Science Fiction, and again appeals to another group.

Sci-fi fans are fickle, they will sometimes cross the bounds between these two groups of "sci-fi",

The problems with sci-fi, come into play when people who don't understand the Genre try to appeal across both type of fan bases.

They often miss, from an inherent miss understanding on what appeals to these two very similar yet fundamentally different fan groups.

For arguments sake again, We will say the "sci-fiction" Group or Star Trek group, likes more "cerebral" sci-fi, that fits known aspects of technology.

Where the Starwars Fan, may like the over all Adventure and swash buckling.

Both tend to deal with larger philosophical and political concepts inherent in technology but address them in different ways and hence appeal to different group.


Some one who is not cognizant of this dichotomy inherent in the fan bases, gets an idea, and than butchers the out come, trying to appeal to the broader SCI FI with out taking in the nuances.

Now when Sci-fi is at its best is I feel when the author can combine both aspects in a manner that can appeal to both groups, and some do.

I would say Phillip K Dick is an example of one such, but there are others.

ETA: And yes, Im horrified by the level of Sci-fi being produced, both in print and in film, so much so it has led to a group of my friends discussing various writing projects we can start to meet this gap. I mean, as a fan, I can complain, or try to do better, so I guess Ill try.


Also, during the course of the aforementioned discussion my friends and I had, WE also feel it is the general Dumbing down of the populace and anti-intellecutal attitude many take that is also hurting SCI FI.
edit on 20-2-2014 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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demonhauntedworld
I thought Riddick was much better than Chronicles.
Yes, it is a cartoon/superhero movie where he can kick tons of ass and be so manly he can convert a lesbian.
At least in this one he showed himself to be defeatable, which I thought made him much more interesting than he was in the other 2 flicks.
Having a cool dog goes a long way too.


I meant cartoonish in the way it looked (CGI)...instead of like how Pitch Black looked. I mean come on....the "hogs" they were riding around on!!! Horrible!!
edit on 20-2-2014 by UxoriousMagnus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:08 PM
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Good thread.

For me I don't know that you can get much better than the first two seasons (2004-2006) of the Battlestar Galactica re-imaging.
While the show ran for 5 seasons total I don't necessarily think that last two were anywhere near as good as the first two. Still to me though those first two seasons of this version of the series are the very definition of gritty space drama.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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UxoriousMagnus

demonhauntedworld
I thought Riddick was much better than Chronicles.
Yes, it is a cartoon/superhero movie where he can kick tons of ass and be so manly he can convert a lesbian.
At least in this one he showed himself to be defeatable, which I thought made him much more interesting than he was in the other 2 flicks.
Having a cool dog goes a long way too.


I meant catoonish in the way it looked (CGI)...instead of like how Pitch Black looked. I mean come on....the "hogs" they were riding around on!!! Horrible!!


This is one reason I have hope for Abrams Star Wars, Hes using models, real film, basically bucking everything Lucas did with the prequels.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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I enjoyed Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick too, but also thought the most recent one was pretty bad.

I'm currently writing a Sci-Fi novel which is set 1,000,000 years in the future where their type III civilization of biological androids is on the brink of becoming a type IV civilization. However, another type III civilization is determined to stop them achieving this at all costs.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:22 PM
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benrl
I just had this huge disscussion on this topic with some friends, its my view the trouble comes from the very nature of Sci-fi.

For the sake of argument, lets say their are two extreme ends of the Scifi scale, Hard sci and soft, or

Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, I like to call it the Star Trek vs Star Wars problem.

Star Wars, Is clearly Science Fantasy, and appeals to a certain group.

Star Trek, Is Science Fiction, and again appeals to another group.

Sci-fi fans are fickle, they will sometimes cross the bounds between these two groups of "sci-fi",

The problems with sci-fi, come into play when people who don't understand the Genre try to appeal across both type of fan bases.

They often miss, from an inherent miss understanding on what appeals to these two very similar yet fundamentally different fan groups.

For arguments sake again, We will say the "sci-fiction" Group or Star Trek group, likes more "cerebral" sci-fi, that fits known aspects of technology.

Where the Starwars Fan, may like the over all Adventure and swash buckling.

Both tend to deal with larger philosophical and political concepts inherent in technology but address them in different ways and hence appeal to different group.


Some one who is not cognizant of this dichotomy inherent in the fan bases, gets an idea, and than butchers the out come, trying to appeal to the broader SCI FI with out taking in the nuances.

Now when Sci-fi is at its best is I feel when the author can combine both aspects in a manner that can appeal to both groups, and some do.

I would say Phillip K Dick is an example of one such, but there are others.

ETA: And yes, Im horrified by the level of Sci-fi being produced, both in print and in film, so much so it has led to a group of my friends discussing various writing projects we can start to meet this gap. I mean, as a fan, I can complain, or try to do better, so I guess Ill try.


Also, during the course of the aforementioned discussion my friends and I had, WE also feel it is the general Dumbing down of the populace and anti-intellecutal attitude many take that is also hurting SCI FI.
edit on 20-2-2014 by benrl because: (no reason given)


That is a great explanation of the issue ....

wow...thanks benrl



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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benrl

UxoriousMagnus

demonhauntedworld
I thought Riddick was much better than Chronicles.
Yes, it is a cartoon/superhero movie where he can kick tons of ass and be so manly he can convert a lesbian.
At least in this one he showed himself to be defeatable, which I thought made him much more interesting than he was in the other 2 flicks.
Having a cool dog goes a long way too.


I meant catoonish in the way it looked (CGI)...instead of like how Pitch Black looked. I mean come on....the "hogs" they were riding around on!!! Horrible!!


This is one reason I have hope for Abrams Star Wars, Hes using models, real film, basically bucking everything Lucas did with the prequels.


I have high hopes too



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:24 PM
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opethPA
Good thread.

For me I don't know that you can get much better than the first two seasons (2004-2006) of the Battlestar Galactica re-imaging.
While the show ran for 5 seasons total I don't necessarily think that last two were anywhere near as good as the first two. Still to me though those first two seasons of this version of the series are the very definition of gritty space drama.


exactly...thanks for mentioning this....perfect example!!



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:25 PM
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Coagula
I enjoyed Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick too, but also thought the most recent one was pretty bad.

I'm currently writing a Sci-Fi novel which is set 1,000,000 years in the future where their type III civilization of biological androids is on the brink of becoming a type IV civilization. However, another type III civilization is determined to stop them achieving this at all costs.


sounds awesome....hope you get that sucker done



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by UxoriousMagnus
 



As I said, recently a small group of friends have been making collaborative efforts, that post is the culmination of three people discussing what they feel is the Problem with modern sci-fi.

Its still fresh because this discussion happened 2 days ago, and was part of a collaborative writing effort to build a story outline, so I can't take full credit.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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District 9.

Neil Blomkamp perfected the art of shooting sic fi on a budget with the former.

James Cameron perfected the art of shooting on a big budget with Avatar.

Moon, perfected the art of story telling and character driven scifi (only one actor the whole movie.)

That's all I could think of off the top of my head.





Big studio productions for the sake of producing are just lame. Cargo, a German scifi movie I recommend. It's really good. Not so good you will say "Damn this is a really good movie." while watching it… But very interesting and leaves a lingering impression.
edit on 20-2-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:34 PM
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Good sci if doesn't sell. People only want to see cgi crap like avatar and transformers. All fi no sci.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:37 PM
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Hoosierdaddy71
Good sci if doesn't sell. People only want to see cgi crap like avatar and transformers. All fi no sci.


Well, Id aruge its been a while since we even seen an attempt at some good sci-fi.

It could be argued Gravity could be considered (as aspects where not technical accurate, and its science)

Id say it wasn't, as its modern tech.


Moon did mediocre, and that was definitely hard sci-fi, character driven and excellent.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:44 PM
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benrl

Hoosierdaddy71
Good sci if doesn't sell. People only want to see cgi crap like avatar and transformers. All fi no sci.


Well, Id aruge its been a while since we even seen an attempt at some good sci-fi.

It could be argued Gravity could be considered (as aspects where not technical accurate, and its science)

Id say it wasn't, as its modern tech.


Moon did mediocre, and that was definitely hard sci-fi, character driven and excellent.


Gravity was all action with big stars. Ha stars... Anyway it was all about the drama really and not much new science wise.
Now moon was great sci fi, but it only made 9million box office. That's not good enough for money driven Hollywood.
Movies like john carter don't help make new sci fi either. That was terrible and a bomb.



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:48 PM
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Typical sci-fi to me is rather boring and reminds me of those guys in the 90's that speak klingon to each other whilst watching Lord of the Rings.

There are some great atypical sci fi movies though. Such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, kitsch but iconic. Avatar was pretty good. Gravity was excellent. One I watched again last night and my favourite sort, with a decent story that induces thinking, The Adjustment Bureau, can't complain about Matt Damon starring either.


edit on 20-2-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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UxoriousMagnus


I was just needing to vent and wondered if other sci-fi addicts are frustrated with the newer movies coming out?
[/quote


Are you a film maker? Your Avy say's you might be.

Be the change you seek and forget the big production companies. If you have a compelling story and engaging characters you could get funding to make your own movie. Some fantastic features are now being made with technology readily available to everyone.

Start here....

www.celtx.com...



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