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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is the Internet to blame for the glut of remakes, reboots, and sequels? (John Carpenter says so)

John Carpenter

Director John Carpenter made an, um, interesting observation recently about why we’re being bombarded with unoriginal movies: remakes, reboots, sequels, and other known quantities. From The Independent:

The problem is that all this cable TV, iPad use and social networking has taken attention away from movies, and it’s hard to punch through all that clutter. So studios bring back titles that people recognise, because it’s such a big risk these days doing something new.

On the surface, it’s the same old excuse we’ve heard before: audiences want something they’re already familiar with; it’s easier to sell something if you’re not starting from a place of zero knowledge; existing stories and characters have built-in fans who are almost guaranteed to come out.
But blaming the Net for this is sort of odd. Yes, there are other entertaining draws on our attention these days. But it seems to me that blamng the Net and social networking is peculiar. If anything, the new peer-to-peer communications options should make marketing new original stories that don’t have ready-made audiences even easier, because it’s far easier to get the word out about them (if they’re good, of course). Sure, it’s tough to bust through the morass of information and get heard, but it’s not impossible.

What do you think? Is the Internet to blame for the glut of remakes, reboots, and sequels? Could the Internet be better harnessed to spread the word of nonfranchise films (and TV)?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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