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The Formula for Indie Success

By gabe | Gabe's Declaration of Principles August 19, 2007 at 6:38AM

The Formula for Indie Success
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UC Davis psych professor presented a paper on what makes an indie hit at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association on Friday.

"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."

In other words: Anyone looking for critical success should scrap the idea for High School Musical 3.