Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) is a classic game that most of us have played for fun, as children, or during our pastime. It’s a game that requires no equipment, no electronic gadgets or anything else besides your hands and, of course, an opponent’s hand. It’s a game that is simple to play, but as it turns out, it can make for an entertaining and successful movie, too.
The RPS game has been the subject of numerous films that have been well-received by audiences worldwide. There’s 2007’s “Shoot, Punch, Maim” – a violent, post-apocalyptic picture, followed by 2011’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Die” – a gory horror comedy. There’s also 2016’s “The Rock, The Paper, and The Scissors” – a heart-warming drama about three friends with vastly different lives but are bound together by the childhood game they play.
No matter what their genre – horror, action or drama – all RPS films have different takes on what is essentially a game that’s known for being so simple. So, what made this game of chance so appealing to filmmakers, and how did they approach it?
Steve, the writer-director of the 2011’s RPS horror movie, “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Die” explained that the ‘simplicity of the game is what makes it so fascinating.’ “In addition to the fact that the game is so simple, it’s also universal,” he added. “Nearly every culture in the world has a version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, so that alone makes it something that has the potential to appeal globally.”
Many directors approached the game from different angles, but all of them had the idea of telling a unique story through this game. Jason, the director of 2016’s RPS drama “The Rock, The Paper, and The Scissors”, said that he used the game to explore the dynamic between the three main characters: “I saw the game as a way to represent the characters in the story. The rock, the paper, and the scissors all represent something different – strength, vulnerability, and flexibility – and that’s what I wanted to explore.”
For 2007’s RPS action movie, “Shoot, Punch, Maim,” director Mike saw the game as an opportunity to create a new world. “The game was the basis for the whole movie,” he said. “We created a new universe where the game is no longer just a game, but it’s a battle for survival. It allowed us to create something fresh and exciting, and I think the audience really responded to that.”
But with RPS being so simple, how do you make a movie out of it?
Carl, the writer of “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Die” said that the key to making an RPS film work is to make sure that the game is only part of the story: “The game is just the glue that brings the story together,” he explained. “You can’t rely on the game alone to create a story that people will care about.”
In conclusion, while it may sound odd to some that a simple game like RPS could inspire so many films, it’s the simplicity of the game that offers endless possibilities. Each film offers a new take on the classic game and the genre it’s explored in, proving that even the simplest things can be adapted into something new and entertaining. It will be exciting to see what else the RPS game will inspire in the future.