Do Test Screenings Ruin Film Integrity

I understand that films, in the end, are big business. Hence the giant figures these film studios and sometimes actors make.

But with films, these are products that are trying to cater to peoples’ particular tastes, and so there is a certain amount of risk involved. So what’s the main thing Hollywood in particular does? A number of things:

1) Make it to the tune of a formula that has been proven to work (i.e. the Bond movies formula, which I’m thinking of writing about later)

2) Test screenings!

Test screenings are critical, and if the movie doesn’t rate well with the select preview audience then BY JOVE it’s going to be changed.

The question is: does this ruin the integrity of the movie? Was it going to be a much better movie critically if the changes weren’t made, rather than appealing to the mass economic reason or social/political landscape of the time (to illustrate the latter, movies such as Spiderman and Lilo and Stitch had to have their endings changed because they corresponded too much with the September 11 attacks. And now an entire movie has been made about it. Logical, no; cash-in, oh yes). Besides, it’s not like the whole world is seated at these test screenings, so the future of this movie is resting on the decision of these highly-prized individuals who scored tickets to a free movie.

I also saw on the news a while ago this program that let people edit movies so to make them more suitable for their kids or whatever. But that’s someone butchering a movie. Why not wait until they’re older – that’s what ratings are therefore. Or, gosh, let them watch the whole thing. For some movies they might end up being 15 mins long and quite boring without some of the more involving scenes. Can you imagine watching the new Star Wars without the action? The dialogue is painful enough as it is.

OK, that’s that finished, but I just wanted to point out a little formula here that I’m sure people already know.

A main idea for something is to be unpredictable (or, if you read above, seem unpredictable but reliant very much on the opposite). So in the case of a ‘plan’, if it is described early on in the plot, it will ALWAYS fail to execute properly. However, if you see them discuss the plan but it’s more like whispers, then there will be this awesome plan that’s crazy-as-cool and it will execute flawlessly.

I just wanted to add that thing in anyway.

Anyway, that is all, for now…


  1. Posted 14 June 2006 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Big business controls the film industry.

    If a film can’t make money it’s not going to be made.

    Luckily there’s still great independent film makers out there making films outside the grasp of the big studios.

  2. Alex
    Posted 15 June 2006 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Like Middle of Nowhere? ;)

  3. Posted 15 June 2006 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Our films are outside our grasp!