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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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Would you ban a particular type of movie because it will have a bad influence on one person?

Let's say you were going to make a fictional movie about crime, a "crime thriller," something like the new "Jack Reacher" by Tom Cruise. Let's say you knew a million people would find the movie entertaining and somewhat stimulating. But you also knew the movie would influence one person to go out and commit a crime. Would you make the movie for the sake of entertaining the one million, or would you refrain in order to prevent the crime?

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  • Dec 24 2012: When you are making a movie you just can't know in advance how it will impact on society. However, while telling the story you should be aware of your own moral principals and presenting the characters according to those principals should be part of your working process. To tell the story of a criminal is very different from glorifying him/her, so it should be obvious to all movie makers that presenting a criminal as a hero is the unethical thing to do. Crimes happen all the time, but you won't solve the problem by not telling the story.

    The story itself is not the problem, the problem lies on the way it is told.
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      Jan 5 2013: George, you're right. In real life we can't know how what we make will impact on society.

      The situation I am presenting is more of a hypothetical one to explore values. If you really knew in advance that your movie would entertain a million, but hurt one, would you make it?

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