The entertainment industries can become very repetitious — indeed some might characterize their willingness to borrow and steal plot devices, cinematography techniques, and entire story lines in both Television and Movies as one big incestuous circle jerk, but me, I would never do that…
There are some of these things that audiences have grown tired of from repetition and this is a list, a vent, a rant against the tired and the trite and the dying of the Hollywood light – these things have all been overdone and it’s time to find something new. We are at the dawn of a new era in technology it’s time to stretch new bounds, to find new things, and to expressively create new art without retreading and carrying over the bad cliches.
Without further ado, here’s the list of what not to do:
Let’s start the list with some exceptions to that “new technology” direction: with the advent of HD those close up macro shots of nostrils, tonsils, and dark mustaches on women are already getting old, obnoxious, and off putting. If there aren’t nanobots that you must show to advance the storyline don’t micro focus full screen on those nose hairs anymore. On the other hand focusing on that beautiful or dire looking individual eyeball has always been a cool way to personalize the character and place the audience firmly in scene: from the first use of inky dinks, to that opening scene in Apocalypse Now, to the present it’s ok.
We’ve already seen the CGI destruction of all of our national landmarks, cities, and scenic vistas twice over, there’s no need to continue doing that.
Post apocalyptic SF stories: unless you’ve got a really brand new twist, they’ve all been done, I don’t care how cheap it is to shoot at the junkyard and abandoned factory. Yes, the Zombpocalypse is making a big splash on AMC right now, but don’t expect that to continue a long time. Instead why not try for something entirely different: a positive future world that’s not dystopic/apocalyptic/or ancient Greece in tights with ray guns. There are tons of classic SF books that have never been done because they just weren’t possible to film well – with CGI etc. now they are…
If you think shooting the scene where the character uses the restroom is somehow revolutionary please give it up – the audience already knows that the characters have bodily functions and showing it is already old. We saw it in Brotherhood with a corrupt, constipated cop – there it actually was essential to character and plot, but if going to the bathroom doesn’t drive your story then don’t go poddy on screen.
That Television episode or whole movie where the entire cast and crew finds a reason to go to a Vegas or Atlantic city casino? Ugh. Don’t do it – because no matter how much the Casino wants to pay you for a 30, 60, or even cinematic 90 minute product placement it sure as hell isn’t art, it isn’t entertaining, and it isn’t new.
One person slowly clapping from back of room ten seconds after the end of an excruciating adolescent whine/soliloquy/revelation/confession/ St. Crispin’s day speech: this one’s so awfully tired and unreal that I don’t even have to explain it to anyone reading this. Don’t. No. Nyet. Non. Iye! Quit it. Stop it. I’m getting out the mace. NO really does mean NO.
Gritty C0p Show Sitcoms: if you must do these remember to not overweight one end or the other of the balancing pole as you cross the razor wire tightrope.
If the plot casts an elderly woman or man please go to the local actor’s retirement village and get a normal elderly actor rather than those freakish aliens you put on screen. You know that I’m talking about: that ancient soap or sitcom actor /actress who’s had so much bad plastic surgery over the past 30 years that they look like they’ve crawled out of some Cthulian crypt on another planet. You really don’t see people like that very often outside of LA, and when someone does it always evinces horrified looks after they pass; one of these freaks in your entertainment vehicle destroys the scene and instantly evaporates the audience’s suspension of disbelief. Save the plastic surgery freaks for the Carnival since they are so distracting that the audience doesn’t care how well they read their lines.
Grainy/filmy looking HD effects? Cut that shit out. It’s HD, we want full 1920X1080P and not pretend grain and scratches.
Those night helicopter flyover intro scenes are great, but… they are beginning to become dated. Consider hiring the guy who made the Sandpit for your regional city series intro montage instead.
This the beginning, there are other things too overdone and I am certain that you can think of a few yourself.