If you’ve been anywhere near a movie theater in recent years you’re all too aware of the fact that we’re living in an age of sequels and reboots. It’s no surprise that if a film makes halfway decent money those responsible will immediately start planning a follow up (often before the movie even leaves the big screen).
With that being said is it possible to still find original fresh ideas? I would say yes but sometimes not without a cost. Take for instance the recent film Blade Runner 2049. Wait…you say…that’s a sequel. Yes – that’s true. The original came out over thirty years ago in 1984. It set a standard for science fiction visuals and effects. Many film enthusiasts herald it today as a masterpiece. YET when it was released in 1984 it was panned by critics and audiences didn’t give it many of their dollars at the box office.
Now let’s return to Blade Runner 2049 which opened in theaters on Oct 9th, 2017. An interesting comparison arrises. It cost millions to make, critics love it which results in a high Rotten Tomatoes rating…but audiences weren’t keen on handing over their cash to see it. The film, I would offer, is actually an improvement over the original. I’ll cite better acting, superior plot and once-again ground breaking effects and cinematography as my reasoning. Instead of making a by-the-numbers sequel director Denis Villeneuve made an original piece of art that works as a standalone film or as a companion to the original movie. I imagine this will once again set the standard for future sci-fi projects and possibly finally earn the often nominated but never awarded cinematographer Roger Deakins his first Oscar.
What does all of this mean? Sometimes it might take the public awhile to catch up with your creative output but don’t fear. If you love your work, that’s gratification enough…and there’s always the hope that someone will pay you for a sequel eventually.