Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie (4)

September 4th, 2011 by | No comments

Let’s say that, through a miracle, you managed to make the third Monkey Island Movie a huge success. Everybody loves it, nobody thinks it’s similar to Pirates of the Caribbean and we’re happy. Hooray.

Good, but, the fans ask for more! They want Escape from Monkey Island: The Movie! So what are you going to do?

Well, besides bringing back the same actors (who, by now, should be filthy rich), you’re suddenly facing a problem: You have more extras than ever before. Well, not exactly extras, more like very unimportant roles but vital to the atmosphere of the movie (for example, the waitress in the LUA Bar).

Ok, let’ say you casted everyone, found an old man willing to play Ozzie Mandrill and Herman Toothrot’s actor is still alive. Good. Also, don’t worry about the old Teacher, Miss Rivers, I can talk with my old math teacher. That woman is a copy/paste phenomenon of Miss Rivers herself. At least, she was when I played the game. Don’t know if she’s still alive though, but we’ll think of something. Moving on!

But what about the scenery? We’re not talking about building a few cottages for the cannibals or renting a hotel for the Goodsoup family scenes… nonono, we’re talking about Planet Threepwood! We’re talking about having a big schoolhouse right on the beach! Did I mention that the same beach should be covered in boulders?

Well, if you had a choice so far, now it’s not a choice anymore: you must go CGI. Just thinking about building all that would cost you more than you could imagine and I honestly don’t see how you could rent yourself the Second Biggest Monkeyhead you’ve Ever Seen. Yes, okay, maybe some of those scenes were used in previous Monkey Island movies but, as a counter-argument, you DO need to make it all look fresh again. Otherwise, the public will be like: “Oh, they ran out of ideas and started re-using sets… boooring!”.

Music, you know what to do… Costumes, you can figure stuff out by now… But you are facing a lot of new effects here, from LeChuck’s constant transformations to the Giant robot Fight at the End! CGI again… I’m starting to understand George Lucas, honestly. CGI is faster and cheaper!

But it still doesn’t make up for bad story-telling.

Overall, you still need the same amount of work (if not even more) as you did for Curse of Monkey Island. Financially speaking, this is starting to look pretty grim, even with all the optimism in the world. The story itself may work in a video game, but as a movie… heh, you will lose money.

Giant Monkey Robot? …hm…yeah, you will lose money.

No worries, after you go bankrupt you still have to make Tales of Monkey Island! Fortunately, the situation is simpler here.

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