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Can I buy a plot?

Posted on | October 23, 2007 | No Comments

Ever hear a meta joke? Here’s one :

A person enters a drinking establishment and says something incredibly mindless to the bartender. The bartender replies with an extremely sarcastic comment, resulting in the ridicule of the mindless patron.

That little meta joke encompasses (nearly) 10,000 jokes. I won’t go into knock knock meta, I don’t want to put you to sleep.

In Asia, HBO is very different. Most HBO programming in Asia is from the early 1990′s, some even mid 1980′s. This is for two reasons, the first being that 1980′s American culture is extremely popular in Asia. The second being HBO reading the sign that says “Please don’t feed the pirates.” I’m not complaining, I like 80′s and 90′s movies. While on a HBO inspired boredom binge, I began to wonder, just how many meta movie plots could possibly exist?

Very common meta movie plots would be :

  • Boy meets girl, boy must experience personal growth to get girl back.
  • Deranged un-dead zombie re-animates and kills everyone until teen-age girl kills him.
  • Family crumbles due to financial pressure and (maybe) comes back together in the end.
  • Big corrupt company picks on average person and loses.
  • Machines go crazy and kill everyone.

There are many I have not mentioned, my point in thinking was to figure out just how many I have left out, so that we could figure out if there were any yet un-used movie plots and make new movies.

I’m pretty sure that we’ve used all available movie plots, many have been recycled many times, however I’m not giving up hope that ONE plot remains undiscovered!

I tried to find a comprehensive list of meta movie plots, no luck. I guess the world will never know that we’ve exhausted our plot resources until its too late. I was really hoping to make a site that kept count of available movie plots and alerted everyone when they ran dangerously low.

I thought about starting a plot conservation movement to urge movie makers to re-cycle existing plots whenever possible, it seems that someone else already had that idea :)

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