Nostalgia As A Selling Point In Film

Nostalgia As A Selling Point In Film

George Lucas, wya?
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Nostalgia, one of life's truly incredible feelings that can be so gratifying. Triggered by something that draws you back to a better, simpler time in your life. Film, in modern society, is one of the major vessels in which nostalgia is delivered to the masses. No bigger series of films is known for this than Star Wars. The original three were a cultural phenomenon that fully impacted and altered the entertainment industry for the next 40 or so years.

I mean an incredible artistic collaboration that is a unique take on the hero’s journey that was fun and inspiring for every age, which no doubt was created with some ambitions for monetary gain, but on a base level was a passionately done product of truly magical inspiration. Some sixteen years later, the next three were, from an artistic standpoint, an absolute and utter failure. Why?

Why take this beloved film series and completely half-ass it? I mean the story being bad is one thing, but the characters are awful.

The answer is nostalgia, well, more so the exploitation of it in the name of collecting your money. Film is an incredible medium where writers, actors, directors, photographers, and many other artists come together to showcase their incredible abilities in beautiful new ways. Now there are many ways in which to bastardize the medium for selfish fiscal reasons. Nostalgia is time and time again the most effective tactic used by production companies to coax us out of our money.

Indiana Jones, for example, is another George Lucas collaboration. It is also another franchise whose overall quality has diminished and the lazy sequel was a sadder piss-poor copy of the original films. These reboots of classic films are just awful toss out ideas to help these major film companies make a quick, easy, thoughtless win. No true risks are being taken on young or unique artists who have new innovative takes on the classic genres of film.

More importantly, it's an insidious ploy to trick bored, overstimulated people who need something comforting just to get them through the week. If you’re going to exploit people’s love for nostalgic comforts, do it the right way: be exciting and make an interesting new take on it.

The most recent Star Wars film is a good example of this, or even better, is the Netflix series "Stranger Things." The series fully immerses the viewer in nostalgia and brings you back to that original feeling where it really feels like you're watching something truly unique. "Stranger Things" is a fantastic example of old art being used in new art. It isn’t insulting to anyone's intelligence watching the show. It keeps the original idea alive by being original in its own right.

Two years ago, "The Force Awakens" did an incredible job of not absolutely destroying the original love we all had for the first three films. Let's hope for this Christmas season, it doesn't pan out to be a massive monetary success and an emotional disaster. I bought my tickets the minute they went on sale. I mean the only reason I’m this angry about it is that they get me every time.

Cover Image Credit: That Moment In

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57 Things You Think When You're Debating Whether To Miss A Deadline In College

Wait... for real, though, did I finish that assignment?
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Deadline. It's a great thing, it teaches us how important it is to do things by, well, a deadline. BUT when you have like a million other things to do because you're about to graduate and the semester is coming to an end, well, you fear you may miss it.

Never fear, though, here are 57 things you are thinking about when debating on whether or not to miss this said deadline.

1. Did I do all of my work for that class?

2. Am I going to pass said class?

3. C's get degrees, right?

4. Well, I hope so because that's what it's going to be.

5. Wait... for real, though, did I finish that assignment?

6. I literally have assignments on assignments.

7. Don't I have an article due, too?

8. Welllllll...

9. OK, OK, five minutes on Facebook won't hurt.

10. LOOK AT THAT DOG!

11. I'm so buying that dog.

12. I wonder how much they cost?

13. Let me Google it.

14. Wait... how many zeroes is that?

15. Oh... that many zeroes.

16. Well, what if I adopt one?

17. OH MY GOSH WHY DID THIS GUY JUST ABANDON HIS 10-YEAR-OLD DOG ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD?!

18. I want to adopt you.

19. But, sorry, you're a Great Dane and I barely live in an apartment big enough for one.

20. Maybe my parents would buy him?

21. Let me tag my mom in a Facebook post about Great Danes and see what she says back.

22. Success! She didn't hate him.

23. Maybe I should text her and ask her if we can get a Great Dane.

24. OK, maybe not then...

25. Wait... don't I have a deadline?

26. Oh, not for another hour, I'm good.

27. I wonder what is on Netflix.

28. WAIT, they just uploaded a new season of my favorite show.

29. Let me find some popcorn because it's going to be a binge fest tonight!

30. Gosh, I just love this character. That's so me.

31. I'm hungry.

32. Do I have any food here?

33. Well, there's popcorn.

34. But, I need real food.

35. Do I have any money in my bank account?

36. Score! Enough for some real food.

37. OK, I'll be right back, Netflix, I just need to feed myself.

38. Why didn't I wear a heavier jacket?

39. Why do I live so far away from this restaurant?

40. What do I even want?

41. Do I even like this place?

42. What do you mean you're out of chicken?

43. Fine, that's fine. I'll take whatever.

44. Here I come, Netflix!

45. Bye-bye pause button.

46. Play next episode?

47. YES

48. Play next episode?

49. What time is it?

50. Oh, I'm still good.

51. Wait...

52. I think deadline was at 5...

53. Welp, it's 8 now, I might as well fully embrace this missing deadline thing.

54. AGH, NO

55. OK OK OK, regroup

56. This article is going to be amazing.

57. Who cares if I was late? This article is going viral.

Actual note though: don't be late for deadline. Seriously, Just don't do it, not even for the dog photo.

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact
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Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Writer%27s_Block_I.jpg

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