I’ve been critical of the lessons learned from the rampant franchise development  and blockbuster methodology of motion picture production that has come to dominate Hollywood for the past several decades.  I’ve voiced my concerns in the classroom and on our show. I was recently contacted to make some statements about franchise development over the years and happily agreed. The relationship between franchise and audience can be magical and life altering.  Conversely, it can degrade and debase craftsmanship and artistry.

The article, “Film Franchises: The Art Of The Long Game” can be found here. My contribution is below.

“The major, spectacle-driven franchises from the 1970s, ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘Star Wars’ (1977) and ‘Superman’ (1978), among others (certainly the ‘James Bond’ series from the previous decade), relied upon classical Hollywood approaches, but also mobilized an ever-growing and more sophisticated special effects apparatus,” Wayne State University film professor Nicholas G. Schlegel, PhD told Benzinga.

Dr. Schlegel continued, “Fantasy, sci-fi and horror experienced a major renaissance with the perfection of makeup effects (prosthetics, bladder, latex) and George Lucas’ pioneering special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), bravely broke new ground in the 1980s. ‘Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn’ (1982) marked the first CG sequence in a film and ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’ (1983), inaugurated the era of CG characters with its stained glass man. The ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Back to the Future’ franchises solidified the market’s appetite for fantasy, escapism and spectacle while crafting compelling narratives and retaining strong character development. Hollywood in the post-2000 era, however, has been heavily criticized for privileging spectacle over story and plot.”

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