What makes a great movie?

Aug 14, 2007
What makes a great movie?

A film that wins critical acclaim is likely to be an R-rated drama, adapted from a prize-winning play or book and based on a true story, with the original author or director involved in writing the screenplay.

It is unlikely to be a sequel or remake, a comedy or musical, a summer release, a big-budget project, have a PG-13 rating, open on numerous screens or do a big box office on the first weekend. It probably has an excellent score, but it may not have an award-winning song.

But box-office hits may have entirely different profiles.

Dean Simonton, a professor of psychology at UC Davis, has subjected thousands of feature-length, English-language, narrative films to a battery of statistical tests – including Pearson product-moment coefficients and hierarchical regression analyses – to get at the formula for cinematic creative triumph and box-office success.

He will summarize his research at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association on Friday, Aug. 17.

Simonton, an expert on human creativity, is the author of "Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity." He is at work on a new book, "Great Flicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics."

"Exceptional creativity is frequently viewed as a highly individualistic phenomenon," Simonton said. "But there is at least one type of artistic expression that is extremely prominent, often highly profitable and inherently collective in nature: the feature film. Motion pictures provide a valuable research site for investigating group artistic creativity under real-world conditions."

Source: UC Davis

Explore further: Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mars rover Curiosity's other mission: PR

Dec 04, 2012

NASA's Curiosity rover was designed to search Mars for places capable of supporting life. But the $2.5 billion mission has another, unofficial objective: To serve as a goodwill ambassador for the Jet Propulsion ...

Apple tablet could stir up video game business

Jan 27, 2010

(AP) -- When Apple introduced the iPhone, it shook up the cell phone business but it also changed the way people play video games. About a quarter of the 100,000 applications that you can download to the ...

Sony Unveils New Solid State Camcorders

Jan 07, 2010

Sony Electronics is expanding its line of solid state camcorders with two new models designed to broaden the shooting capabilities for professionals and consumers. The company is introducing its first professional ...

Recommended for you

Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies

Jan 23, 2015

People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we ...

Explainer: What is sexual fluidity?

Jan 23, 2015

Sexual preferences are not set in stone and can change over time, often depending on the immediate situation the individual is in. This has been described as sexual fluidity. For example, if someone identifies as heterosexual but th ...

Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?

Jan 23, 2015

It might be a lucky pair of socks, or a piece of jewelry; whatever the item, many people turn to a superstition or lucky charm to help achieve a goal. For instance, you used a specific avatar to win a game and now you see ...

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Jan 22, 2015

Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new findings from Duke University. In fact, the greater the economic gap between the boys and their neighbors, the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.