We've all heard the calls for something original to come out of Hollywood. Yet, time after time what we see is Hollywood relying on sequels or trying to rehash old movies from decades ago. You would think that if the public was fed up and clamoring for something new, that Hollywood would see it as an opportunity. So why isn't Hollywood giving people what they want? Why do they rely on stale stories and material that we've already seen a hundred times?
It's actually a very simple answer as to why Hollywood is addicted to unoriginal content. The problem isn't Hollywood itself. The problem is us. Yes, you heard me right. We are the reason Hollywood is stuck on sequels and remakes. We're also the reason Hollywood uses the same actors and same storylines over and over again. It's not a Hollywood problem, but a problem with what we say versus what we do.
We can cry, complain, and curse all we want about how unoriginal Hollywood is, but until we stop paying to see these rehashes of movies and their sequels, and instead start spending our money on the original content we claim we want, then there is no reason for Hollywood to change its tune. Hollywood is a business after all, and their goal is to film and produce content that people are going to pay to see. Except for the odd, lottery winning indies with big budgets that sometimes make it, most original content never gains traction or produces a profit that is worth the blood, sweat, and tears put into making it.
That's not to say that all original films, or even low budget films, are worthy of being watched. Especially with the introduction of Netflix and other streaming services, it's become easy for anyone to shoot a film and throw it out for people to see. Obviously some of these people have no business making a film. But with that plethora of bad content there are some real gems, movies that were shot on low budgets with no name actors, that you'll likely never see.
Which also leads us to why we see the same actors over and over again. How many of us skim the movie listings or go through Netflix, clicking here and there on films that look interesting. We read the names of the actors and actresses, and when we realize we don't recognize any of them we click away to find something else. Hollywood knows this. They know we look for films with actors we know. They also know we usually watch films that remind us of other films we've seen and enjoyed. As a result they produce exactly that over and over again.
Sure there are some minor changes based on the time of year, or what's in at the moment, but everything goes in cycles and Hollywood has mastered following these cycles. When they have to consider that the movies that get the most attention are those with certain actors and similar storylines they will keep producing those until the public decides they're willing to take the time and spend the money to see unknown actors and something different. As much as the public claims they want these different things, they really haven't shown it with their viewing and spending habits.
So the next time you want to complain about Hollywood producing the same old thing with slightly different spins, ask yourself if you're guilty of promoting it. Do you skip movies because you've never heard of an actor, or choose movies with the same old storylines over and over again? If you're spending money on the tried and true instead of checking out the risky and new, then you're likely the reason nothing's changing. You're the reason for Hollywood's addiction. It might be time to check out some indie films, share the one's you enjoy with as many others as you can, and cross your fingers that others have made the same choice. With enough people staying true to what they say, maybe Hollywood's addiction will come to an end. And what a great reason to support indie films or the new actors we'd like to see.