John Hughes Response Post (3.7.17 due)

john-hughes-heroResponse Post due by March 7 (6pm): John Hughes

Read the article on our website “John Hughes: Forever Young” and watch the 7 minute interview with John Hughes from the Texas Archive: The Roy Faires Collection. Then address two (2) of the following questions. Everyone should try to address a question that hasn’t already been answered first.

  1. Compare John Hughes approach to writing with that of another filmmaker we’ve johnhughesmovies-quiz-origexplored. Offer examples.
  2. Compare John Hughes approach to music with that of another filmmaker we’ve explored. Offer examples.
  3. Based on the reading and the interview, why do you feel that John Hughes is more interested in character than in the overall visual appeal of filmmaking?
  4. Compare John Hughes to Cameron Crowe and explore their similarities.
  5. How does John Hughes approach to character study and casting compare to other filmmakers we’ve explored?
  6. Why do you feel that Hughes was able to find such success? Give examples.8e1be4748b328cfe924ec7ef471f4eae
  7. What was most interesting to you about John Hughes and his path to success? Why?
  8. No one who understood filmmaking and the teen experience was more connected to both in the 80s like John Hughes. Why was it so important for him (and his stories) to shine during that time in history? And even now?
  9. Compare John Hughes overall filmmaking style/approach to any other filmmaker we’ve explored this semester.
  10. Why is dialogue so important to John Hughes? And how do you feel he was able to master it?
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20 thoughts on “John Hughes Response Post (3.7.17 due)

  1. Mallory Moore
    3. Based on the reading and the interview, why do you feel that John Hughes is more interested in character than in the overall visual appeal of filmmaking?

    The reading mentioned that Hughes remembers his own high school experience really well, and he recognized that everyone has similar experiences of being a teenager and worrying about things that might seem trivial to adults. Knowing that many people undergo similar experiences in life, I think Hughes might feel that it’s futile to try and come up with an original story. Instead, he recognizes that people are the most unique thing on earth, and he can be more creative in coming up with a personality and background for a person. I think that, in order to communicate with his audiences, Hughes focuses on the most immediate factor that humans can relate to- other humans- rather than trying to communicate through story or “visual appeal.”

    9. Compare John Hughes overall filmmaking style/approach to any other filmmaker we’ve explored this semester.

    John Hughes likes to focus on awkward and embarrassing experiences and how people get through them, as well as what makes characters “tick” overall. As he said in the interview, The Breakfast Club especially is about getting to know the characters that might be misunderstood. This reminded me a little of Tim Burton’s approach to filmmaking. Burton is also very interested in characters and exposing the stereotypes behind misunderstood people. However, the two directors take a very different approach to exploring the characters. While Burton has a specific visual style that helps to expose the “darkness” of his characters, Hughes really focuses on dialogue. Burton is less concerned with dialogue- the title character of Edward Scissorhands says hardly anything throughout the whole movie! Yet Burton is able to explore the complexities of that character through the story and style.

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  2. Sthefany Flores

    3. I would definitely say that character is what is most important to Hughes. From the films that I have watched by him, I was never particularly awed by an innovative method he used to film or an effect but what always stays behind is the character. The way that they interact with one another or the way they grow or just simply their liveliness. The way they talk, their weird quirks, and their goals are always center stage. To Hughes that is what is important, their life and their story.
    6. I would say that Hughes found success because his films are so relatable. We have all been in a clique or group in high school like in The Breakfast Club. We have all fantasized at one point of skipping school and having a grand adventure like in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The thing about Hughes films is that he brings these minutia of life and puts them center stage. He gives us characters and we see ourselves in at least one of them. Whether it’s the anxious accomplice or the squabbling sibling, we have all been there. The characters he gives us are fully developed, relatable, and unique which is what gives the audience the push to keep watching. To see where they will end up.

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  3. 3. Based on the reading and the interview, why do you feel that John Hughes is more interested in character than in the overall visual appeal of filmmaking?

    I think Hughes feels that the character, like their life, is more important to the story in order to make such a great film especially through their uniqueness. It says in the article that, “Many times viewers will find his characters stepping outside of their comfort zones, or being thrown (sometimes literally) into the mix of a chaos that could kill the ordinary human (or sometimes the characters may wish to be dead).” A character’s story is what makes the film like for example in one of Hughes most successful movies, “Home Alone”, We learn more about Kevin McCallister, the middle child of the big family, and how he is the one that gets picked on and bullied by his siblings and he interacts with his parents differently. However, we also learn that he is one smart little devil like the traps he built to stop burglars Marv and Harry. Clark Griswold from the National Lampoon’s movies is another good example of Hughes character development.

    6. Why do you feel that Hughes was able to find such success? Give examples.

    He was a unique director that used new styles than other directors at the time. The character dialogue that is the standout in his films. “The exchanges and interactions between different characters are so natural and so brilliant that the dialogue becomes an element that keeps his films fresh” which is what audiences like fresh ideas instead of the same ones over and over again. Like for example, in the movie, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, the two businessmen played by Steve Martin and John Candy, the dialogue between the two throughout the movie was humorous, but they shared their humor differently. Another reason for his success is because he was able to relate the movies to teenager experience, but the challenges of adulthood as well. The movie, “Sixteen Candles” is a perfect representation of this with Samantha Baker, the main character in this film, goes through boy trouble, unpopularity, and trouble finding out where she fits in which captures teen trouble perfectly. He was unique which gave him his successful edge.

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  4. 1.Compare John Hughes approach to writing with that of another filmmaker we’ve explored. Offer examples

    After reading more about John Hughes and his approach to writing the one filmmaker that came to my mind was Judd Apatow. Although we haven’t studied Apatow, he is my filmmaker I chose for my final project. In all of Judd Apatow’s comedies he doesn’t necessarily think of jokes to include in the movie, he develops the plot of the movie around a realistic life situation that includes humor. Apatow views life’s struggles and awkward encounters as humorous, and in a way, a lot of John Hughes writing plays on this same idea. Interesting that at one time both of them actually wrote jokes for other comedians. This shows that both of these writers know how to turn life’s awkward and uncomfortable situations into comedy. Hughes is inspired by his own experience to write these films and in a lot of ways Apatow is also inspired by his own experiences and struggles when he is directing these films, which makes them extremely similar in style of writing. An example of Hughe’s writing is in the movie “The Breakfast Club” where he adds humor into a group of high schooler’s life. An example similar in style of Judd Apatow is the movie “This is 40” where he writes about the struggle and humor of making it to the age of 40. These are two completely different movies but to me, they have similarities in style of humor.

    7. What was most interesting to you about John Hughes and his path to success? Why?

    The thing I found most interesting about John Hughes after reading this article and watching the video was the fact that he dropped out of University of Arizona and never had any formal film training yet still found huge success in the industry. He worked as a copywriting agent at an advertising agency and got his foot in the door with working right next door to the National Lampoon magazine offices. He kicked off his career with “Vacation 58” talking about his childhood vacations and this earned him a spot for his story in the magazine. He was a phenomenal writer and this really gave him the success in the film industry because he was so good at writing a screenplay. I just find this so interesting because he technically has no film experience and he used his strength of writing to really shoot his success forward in his career.
    -Kacy O’Connor

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    1. Excellent observation in comparing to your final project – spot on. Manu of our filmmakers discovered a talent for writing (outside of the Hollywood mainstream) but found a way to make it in the film biz.

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  5. Rachel Gann

    6. I think Hughes was able to find success because of how relatable his characters are. Movies like The Breakfast Club would have probably been a major crash had it not been for the characters. He focuses on teens and their lives and what they go through and that is what teen’s want, they want a character to relate to and through his movies, parents probably gain a better understanding of their teenager. I think he was so successful because the audience could relate on a personal level to the characters on the screen.

    10. In real life, the first thing you do when you meet someone is introduce yourself, you start a dialogue and discover what you have in common and what is different. I think dialogue was important to Hughes because that is a tool that he used to make his characters more relatable, he got two characters talking about their lives and as the audience continues to watch they realize that “hey that character and I have a lot in common”. The dialogue is also natural, it’s not forced like in other movies and there are times when you forget that it is even scripted. Hughes focused on dialogue as a way to begin to build that connection between the character and the audience and he kept it natural and unforced which made the connection stronger.

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  6. Haley Walker
    Based on the reading and the interview, why do you feel that John Hughes is more interested in character than in the overall visual appeal of filmmaking?

    I think that for Hughes, character development is most important. He wants the character to learn a life lesson at the end and come out out of it with a new perspective, so I think he does that through character development. He often thrusts his characters into crazy predicaments that they learn lessons from.

    Why do you feel that Hughes was able to find such success? Give examples.

    Hughes used dialogue in a way that many directors at his time did not. He was able to use his dialogue as a story backdrop. I think he was also successful because he made characters that everyone could relate to. He made movies that geared towards teenagers and he had movies that explored problems in adulthood. He explored stereotypes and tried to break them down in his films. He was able to create movies that anyone could relate to, whether you were a sulky teenager who hated high school, or an adult who faced problems in the adult world.

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  7. 1. I compare John Hughes to Woody Allen in a few ways. For instance, the article said that he knew was high school was like, however the same thing was said for Woody Allen. As a matter of fact, we all know what high school was like. Also, there was the time where he would write jokes and sell them to comedians, somewhat like Woody Allen did. However, I believe one of the major differences is that John Hughes dropped out of college while Woody Allen stayed in college.

    6. In my opinion, John Hughes was able to find success through writing comedy. After dropping out of college, he sold jokes to comedians. Although that would seem like a decent way to make money, it’s actually harder to write the jokes instead. You would have a hard time figuring out a proper joke to tell a certain group of people in order to make them laugh. And with the amount of movies he wrote like Breakfast Club and Home Alone, he made people of all generations laugh.

    -Will Braunlich

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  8. Tyra Long

    Compare John Hughes approach to music with that of another filmmaker we’ve explored. Offer examples.
    – When I think of all the filmakers we have gone over and talked about, the first person that comes to my mind is Martin Scorsese. Although I can’t compare he use of silence to Hughes, I can say that when it comes to music, this is not something they take lightly. Both Filmakers beileve that music is what makes a film. Even though I think as filmakers they are two completly different people who have different approaches in their films, I can say that when it comes to music they have many similarities. They both believe that understand a character and knwoing their journey comes with great sound and music. I think that has became even more of an important factor today. Many great movies that are successful in theaters have great sound tracks. For example, we all remeber La La Land because everyone fell in love with the soundtrack.

    Why do you think Hughes was able to find such success? Give examples.
    – Like every filmaker we go over, I am always saying that they are good at what they do because they are passionate but, I think the difference with Hughes is that no matter what the age, he writes based off experience. He is so successfuk because everyone can relate to his movies. No matter what time and age it is one thing will not change, the awkard cringe-worthy moments of high school. The reason I think John Hughes is so great is because his film all relate to what your average 14-18 year old goes through, and this may be why his films are still successful decades later.

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  9. Kate Lamar:
    8. With the filmmaking and the teen experience, he tries to connect back to the teenagers. With Hughes, he can still remember instead of the “getting ready for college”, but the awkward times. With him being able to go back in time, he made movies that helped out the teenagers like ” The Breakfast Club”, “Sixteen candles”, etc. He wanted to give a good representation of what the teenager life is like in the movies.
    10. With the dialogue that Hughes does, he takes it very seriously. With his writing, he can make people laugh, through dialogue that they go through on a daily basis. Along with making people laugh, he can make a story where the characters and the dialogue connect like nothing before. One thing that he wants his audience to get out of this is “How would I react if that happened to me?” I think being able to relate to all different ages, helps him. With all the stereotypes, I think he helps people pick those out, and tries to get rid of them the best way he can. I think it is great for him to teach lessons, through humor, or sadness.

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  10. 7. Something that really interested me was he up and left filmmaking. He felt that it was others time to shine and he needed to leave. After making Curly Sue Hughes disappeared from filmmaking and it wasn’t because the movie was unsuccessful. He left because he felt it was time for him to leave. To have this mentality of just up and leaving something you’ve been doing is mind blowing to me. Hughes was a very successful director and made many classic throughout his years in the film industry. So the fact that he up and left with no true reason, will always be insane to me but still respected.

    4. The similarities between both Hughes and Crowe is their appreciation for music. They both made sure that the music they put their movies were going to be powerful and have meaning. Music meant a lot to the both of them throughout their time behind the screen.

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