So everyone knows about M.Night Shyamalan right? You know the director of The Last Airbender and After Earth. Well that's what everyone ever talks about in regards to Shyamalan's career, how he ended up directing classic films such as The Sixth Sense and Signs to After Earth. It's no secret that he's fallen real hard after The Village. The metaphor 'the bigger you are, the harder you fall', is perfect in describing Shyamalan because at one point he was quoted as being the next Steven Spielberg. He fell real hard in fact they're even comparing his fall to the fall of George Lucas. Now in this article I don't intend on just talking about how hard he's fallen but why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. I'm going to talk about how Shyamalan can pick himself up and essentially reboot his career.
1)Screenwriting 101: Good storytelling
Occam's Razor - The simplest solution is sometimes the best solution and in this case it's telling good stories. I believe that Shyamalan needs to stick back to basics and start to tell good stories. The difference between his best work and worst work is the level of storytelling. His best works contained really good storytelling and bad movies had bad storytelling. He needs to stop trying to make everything a masterpiece and stick to basics which is telling a good story. If he happens to experience a writers block then he should adapt a critically acclaimed book, that way he can adapt a screenplay and has a lower chance of not ruining anything.
2) Stay away from big budget films.
So when an independent filmmaker attempts to get mainstream attention by directing a large franchise it's either make or break. Some guys have made a successful transition (see Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg) but Shyamalan just failed miserably upsetting the fans with The Last Airbender. Now people theorize that Shyamalan's own ego got into the way and when it can to making The Last Airbender, after receiving his paycheck, then all creativity is lost. To be fair that it a theory I agree with because once you get paid then what is the purpose of doing something good when it's easier to fail? If Shyamalan is to attempt to get his creativity back then he needs to stay away from big budget films and do micro projects.
3) Make Unbreakable 2.
What a better way then to start gaining momentum then to go back to a film that you made during your peak. If Shyamalan can write and direct a successful sequel to Unbreakable 2 with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson reprising their roles then it can be a kick starter to his rise in being a great film maker.
4) Go back to his roots.
I know I made this point earlier on but I just wanted to extend them. His greatest films felt like big budget remakes of The Twilight Zone and if he sticks to the gimmick and it happens to be good then people will realise that he still knows how to make a good film.
5) If all hope is lost then turn to TV
If it happens to be the case of the movie industry not accepting anything he does because of his bad form then television wouldn't be such a bad idea. With television he'd be forced to focus on character development and storyline which would be a similarity in an indie film. There is also less pressure if he went into TV because of the fact that he's isn't risking it all like what a filmaker does in their projects. Maybe he can create and produce a show that could be similar to a Twilight Zone or even Breaking Bad. You know know what someone might do by making a simple transition to TV and it would be interesting of someone like M.Night's previous status in the TV industry and what he can bring to it due to his precise attention to detail shown in his best films.
What do you think M.Night Shyamalan needs to do? Comment below and let me know. Peace.