Thursday, August 7, 2014

An open letter to Sony regarding an all female Ghostbusters movie

Dear Sony,

Recently, there’s been talk of Paul Feig directing an all female remake of Ghostbusters. I’ve never thought this was the case before, but you have no idea what you are lucky enough to possess with the Ghostbusters franchise, do you?

Ghostbusters is the stuff of absolute boy wish-fulfillment fantasy. Everything—the mechanic-like jumpsuits, black elbow pads, and guns that shoot out wild, uncontrollable lasers—comes together to create an image and idea that boys love. Amazingly, this was all done by accident, but regardless of how it was created, the weird goggles, work boots, and heavy backpack all work together in an extraordinary way to create exactly what boys want to see in a hero.

Don’t take that away from them. Don’t take away that wonder and fantasy just to prove a point, or because you have no idea what to do with your franchise.

Now, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be female Ghostbusters. There absolutely should be. I love that idea. But there should be two female, and two male Ghostbusters. I have a daughter now, and I know more than ever how important it is for girls to have role models and heroes and something good to look up to. But that’s just my point—both boys and girls need heroes, and not just the ones that star in movies that feature 45 mindless minutes of cities and skyscrapers being blown up.

You think Ghostbusters is only a comedy franchise. It is, but it’s so much more than that. It is a great comedy—I think the best ever made—with terrific comedic performances and jokes and great chemistry between its actors, but it’s also a story about four heroes.  And, thanks to the movie and the cartoon, kids who grew up in the 80’s came to see Ghostbusters as more than just a comedy. It’s the reason we spent millions of dollars on action figures and playsuits and Ghostbusters juice boxes. We wanted to be these four guys who put on crazy backpacks and all kinds of heavy gear to fight ghosts. It wasn’t just a comedy film then, and it’s still not one now.

You have the power to give that fantasy and incredible imagination to both boys and girls now. You need to stop thinking about this as a grown-ups’ franchise. It’s not. It’s a movie about people who fight green blobs and marshmallow men with laser beams. That’s the insanely magical thing about Ghostbusters: it’s a movie that is somehow simultaneously a comedic film for adults and a superhero movie for children. Yes, it should appeal to grown-ups, and adults will love it, but it needs to also appeal to kids. Both boys and girls.  Making a movie for just half of them doesn’t make any sense. And it would a great shame if both of them couldn’t enjoy it.

Ghostbusters has brought more joy into my life than anything except my family and friends. That may sound strange to you, but that’s only because you have no idea what you have. Whether it was hours spent playing in my backyard with my best friend, or rediscovering the movie when I was in my teens and realizing what a comedy classic it really was, the film and its characters have filled my life with imagination, humor, and inspiration to create the same kind of stories. It makes me unbelievably sad to think that there’s another six-year-old boy out there who won’t have the same opportunity to have that joy brought into his life.

Don’t take that away from him just because you have an idea for a silly gimmick that will get a lot of attention online.

Charlie Wood

Monday, July 28, 2014

An open letter to Sony Pictures regarding the Spider-Man franchise

            Dear Sony,

            There’s a reason why your two most recent Spider-Man movies have failed to live up to expectations at the box office.
            You aren’t making Spider-Man movies. You’re manufacturing them.
            You are creating Spider-Man movies to retain your rights, and in the hopes that you can create a mega-franchise of movies that will cross over into each other. But this isn’t how you create a blockbuster that connects with people and becomes a cultural phenomenon. You create a blockbuster that connects with people and becomes a cultural phenomenon by telling a story that comes from somewhere deep and true. You don’t do it by making as many movies as you possibly can because you want your own Avengers-style franchise.
            Audiences are smart. They see right through this. And they can tell when a movie is made with a corporation’s bottom line in mind, not a great story. They know when a movie is being dictated to them, by dozens of people with a dozen different agendas, and not told to them by a small team of storytellers who simply want to tell a great story.
            All you need to do is look at other movies that connected with people, became cultural phenomenons, and eventually turned into enduring classics. Ghostbusters was a concept imagined by one person, Dan Aykroyd. Back to the Future was written by two screenwriters named Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale who had a good idea about a kid traveling back in time. Star Wars was born solely from the mind of George Lucas, who wrote it because he wanted to see a movie like that made.
            What did all these writers have in common? They wanted to tell a good story.
            They weren’t thinking about retaining their movie rights. They weren’t concerned about toy sales, or the international market, or their bottom line. They weren’t trying to make one movie, and then another movie, and then another movie, so they could then simply combine all those movies into one giant movie and make a billion dollars, because someone else did it. They simply had a story to tell, they wanted to tell it, and they did. With the help of a lot of other talented filmmakers, they went out, told their personal story, and hoped it connected with audiences the same way it connected to them. In these cases, it did. Because the audience knows when something is deep, personal, and true.
            Moviegoers know when something is false. They know when something is made because a studio hired a bunch of people to make something as quickly as possible, in the hopes of having a big opening weekend and possible sequels. They don’t connect to these movies, because there’s nothing to connect to. It’s been manufactured, the same way a car, a stereo, or a set of headphones is manufactured. You can’t connect with something that’s manufactured. There’s no life to it.
            If you want to know where to look for your next Spider-Man movie, find a writer or director who loves the character and his world. Ask him or her to pitch their story to you. If you like it, and it’s true to the character and his stories, hire that person. And then step away. Let that person make your movie. Chances are, they will create something that people love.
            Because it will connect to them. It will connect to something deep inside, to thoughts and dreams and fears they have always had, possibly their entire lives. Or maybe it will just entertain them and make them laugh, feel excitement, and feel good about going to the movies.
            Whatever it will do, it will make them feel. Something your recent Spider-Man movies cannot do, because they were not told because someone had a good story to tell. They were told because a product had to be manufactured.

        Charlie Wood

Saturday, February 15, 2014

STRIKE TRILOGY Collected Edition

You can now purchase the entire STRIKE TRILOGY in one handy volume for Kindle!


You can find it here:  STRIKE TRILOGY Collected Edition

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Three of the STRIKE Trilogy has been released!

The trilogy is complete!

STRIKE: THE RETURNING SUNRISE (Book 3 of the STRIKE Trilogy) is now available for Kindle and in paperback!

The Daybreaker is ruling over Boston. Rigel has won. The world thinks Strike is a monster.

It has all led to this.

Available on Kindle here!  STRIKE: THE RETURNING SUNRISE

And in paperback here:  STRIKE: THE RETURNING SUNRISE in paperback!

Let me know what you think of the third and final book of the STRIKE Trilogy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Here it is...the cover for STRIKE: THE RETURNING SUNRISE!

Here is the cover reveal for book three of the STRIKE trilogy, STRIKE: THE RETURNING SUNRISE!  (To be published this fall!)

Cover by KeithDrawsCoverArt!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Another sneak peek of the cover to book 3 of the STRIKE trilogy...

Sneak peek # 2 of book three of the STRIKE trilogy:
This is a trigulsaur.  There are more than one of them...

Monday, July 1, 2013

And now...a sneak peek of the cover for BOOK THREE of the STRIKE TRILOGY!

The cover for book 3 of the Strike Trilogy is currently being worked on (and the book is currently being written) but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to show a sneak peek of the cover!

Here it is:

I think it's pretty obvious what it is :)

But that's just a little piece of the cover...there's a whole lot more going on...including a character who made his debut at the end of book 2.  And maybe some new characters (or creatures.)

When the cover is finished, I'll post the whole thing in a cover reveal.  But before then, maybe I'll keep posting little snippets until it's done...

And who knows, maybe I'll even post a page or two of the actual book...