But, in my opinion, he’s putting the blame in the wrong place.As a former studio executive with MGM who has worked on lots of movies, some which turned out better than expected and some which turned out worse, I understand where Suderman is coming from.It’s the reason most TV and most novels suck donkey balls. Suderman characterizes Snyder’s work as “essentially a minute-to-minute movie formula.” And he admits that “Snyder would almost certainly dispute this characterization, [saying] that [the ] beat sheet is a structure, not a formula, one based in time-tested screen-story principles.It’s a way of making a product that’s likely to work—not a fill-in-the-blanks method of screenwriting.” Then Suderman goes on to state his own theme, namely: Maybe that’s what Snyder intended. In practice, Snyder’s beat sheet has taken over Hollywood screenwriting.For that matter, it isn’t that different from the hero’s journey as described by the comparative mythology expert Joseph Campbell.What’s different isn’t what he says—it’s the way he says it.
Story didn’t die when cave paintings were replaced by cuneiform, though Suderman’s argument would remain largely the same: Is overreliance on the new text-based cuneiform killing our ability to tell stories in pictures?is just another way of looking at the same underlying story structure that the psychologist Carl Jung would say is in everyone’s unconscious, that Campbell would say is in every culture’s stories, that Field and Mc Kee described in a less formulaic, more intellectual way.In my opinion, that issue of Snyder’s less intellectual, straightforward style is the argument within Suderman’s argument, and why a lot of smart people—screenwriters included—agree with Suderman.This structure has made it easier for many new writers to understand how to write a screenplay.It has also has helped many executives learn how to speak a dialect of “writer.” Now, let’s talk about why Hollywood makes bad movies – and if it is Blake Snyder’s fault.Because Suderman’s argument could also be viewed like this: Of course, the problem is that no one knows how to make a hit movie or even a good movie.If people in Hollywood knew how to make excellent movies, that’s all anyone would make.Now a plan has to go on paper before anyone can do anything.Is this new “business plan formula” killing business?A buffalo used to be painted by hand and every buffalo was subtly different.Now “buffalo” is just something anyone can stamp into clay. structure, his formula, isn’t that different from the three-act structure touted by story-gurus like Robert Mc Kee and Syd Field.