May 29, 2020

Summer Movies, a Requiem in the Time of Corona

This is a different summer for movies, but summer movies should still be celebrated. 

There's no doubt that this is a hard time of the year for many. The summer season is when we all can be outside, enjoying one another and having a blast. For many of us in Hollywood, it's the most prosperous time. 

We're shooting, we're releasing big titles, and things are usually selling. 

This year is different. It's hard. Many of us have had to make some huge sacrifices. We're not going to the movies, we're mostly staying indoors, and we have to deal with watching whatever is streaming. Sometimes that's been great, but other times we're watching The Office for the umpteenth time. 

The summer season is sacred for movies. 

As a Gemini, my birthday has always been underscored with a trip to the cinemas to see a huge release. This year, I rewatched Season 1 of True Detective to research a project I am working on. 

In this video, our friends at the Royal Ocean Film Society highlight what's special about those releases. Check it out and then let's talk about how we can still have a summer movie season after the jump.

Summer Movies, a Requiem in the Time of Corona 

What's the best memory you have going to see a summer movie in theaters? For me, it was 1997's Men in Black. The movie came out on July 2nd and signaled one of the biggest weekends. I went with my brother and my Dad and remember the cool AC and the slurp of Cherry Coke hitting right at the perfect moments. 

Will Smith was the summer movie champion of the 90s and 2000s. 

Bad Boys, Independence Day, iRobot, Hancock, and a ton of others. 

Jaws ushered in the summer movie season in the 70s, inventing the blockbuster that would only be solidified a few years later when Star Wars was released. 

Nowadays, the summer movie season feels like it starts sooner and sooner, but May usually brings the most anticipated and hugest titles. 

August usually ends up being the place studios dump movies they lack confidence in or the ones that didn't turn out the way they wanted. 

And it's not just blockbusters, but also important movies. Films like Do The Right Thing and American Graffiti also made their debuts during the hotter months. 

Summer has also been a great setting for stories. With films like Pointe Break, Adventureland, and Endless Summer really capturing the essence of the season. What's summer's personality? 

Is it carefree? Outdoorsy? 

Just like locations place a character, seasons can as well. 

They can inform the film stock you use, the actors, locations, and set pieces. Think about how they also track universal experiences. The summer job movie, the summer camp, the group of friends like The Goonies, The Sandlot, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Clueless

It's a time rich for storytelling. 

What are some of your favorite summer films and movie-going experiences? 

Let us know in the comments. 

What's next? Get our free screenwriting eBook

So much of what we're talking about on No Film School when it comes to screenwriting is summarized in our new eBook. It also helps guide you through a 10-week writing plan that will get your script actually finished. 

Keep reading.      

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June 1, 2020 at 4:40AM

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