On January 23, 2018, at the symposium on the shooting of the movie “Chinese Women’s Volleyball” held by the State Sports General Administration, Zhao Yong, deputy director of the State Sports General Administration, pointed out, “Creating sports films and TV plays is an important measure to implement Xi Jinping’s sports thought, to promote the sports spirit, to develop sports culture and to unite China’s strength, and we should make concerted efforts to use the art of sports and sports, to tell sports stories and to build the spiritual palace of the people.” With the rapid development of social economy in our country, people’s demand for spiritual culture is also increasing and tends to be diversified. As a new type of industry, sports have received extensive attention and development, but as a subordinate sports film in the film and television industry, its development in China is not optimistic. The development of sports films has received much attention abroad and has become an important pillar of the film industry. Excellent sports films have also emerged one after another. Such as “Wrestling! Dad”, “Manchester United”, “Glory Road”, etc. However, there are few people touched in China, no screenwriters are willing to write, and no director is willing to shoot. People in the sports field can’t tell the story very well. The writers don’t understand the true essence of sports, and they don’t have a market. China’s sports films have always been in the same place in terms of theoretical research and realistic creation.
2. A Few Boards of Sports Movies
“Bucket Law” refers to the amount of water in a bucket, depending on the shortest board that makes up the bucket (Xu, 2016) . Wooden barrel law is not only applicable to traditional fields such as management economy, but also determines the level of development of the whole organization no matter which field in society, as long as it involves the various systems that make up the organization. From time to time, it can be seen that the core essence of the barrel law is to realize the balanced development between organizations and grasp the short board. In practice, the “wooden barrel law” can solve many social phenomena and apply it to the field of sports, aiming at finding short, eliminating short, complementing each other, preventing short, grasping short and protecting short, so as to provide theoretical guidance for the long-term development of sports films.
The optimality of each subsystem does not necessarily mean that the entire system is optimal. The weakness of the subsystems and the poor coordination of each other will restrict the capacity of the barrel. This is the system theory. Every system will have its own attributes and functions, but system elements cannot directly form the attributes and functions of the system, and need to be implemented through the form of “structure”. The interrelationship and interaction between elements are the basis of the system structure. In the sports film system, there are many factors that affect the development of sports films. Some of these factors have a “cross” relationship with each other, that is, a combination of roles can ensure the healthy development of sports films; some factors have “or” each other. The relationship, that is, alone or in a single role, can promote the positive development of sports films. Therefore, the combination of the various factors determines the development of the system, the various subsystems of the system must coordinate the movement around the overall goal, obey the general goal to determine the target and adjustment.
When a system reaches the target, it is the critical point or limit point of the system. Only when the critical point is crossed can the system reach the target or be at the development equilibrium point. This is the critical point effect. In the development of sports films, we may encounter many critical points and face many difficulties, but we must not be too self-denying. We should stick to our own characteristics and encourage our courage to come up with confidence and cross the boundaries of the sports film system. Point, unshakable aiming direction, and persevere to go on.
Some of the absolute factors that limit system development are called bottlenecks. The strength of a system often depends on some bottlenecks. The problem of sports film development seems to be the problem of the whole system. But in fact it may be caused by the invisible bottleneck of some subsystems. The development of sports films must take every step and make every step. Any system that wants to achieve sustainable development must break through these bottlenecks, as do sports movies.
Whether a wooden barrel can accommodate more water, if you ignore the weak link of the bottom plate, the water will leak from the bottom plate, paying attention to details, which is the bottom hole effect of the barrel law. Any overall success is made up of countless details. The rise of sports films is the perfection of the details that require detail. The appearance of the short board is very obvious, but the treatment of the details is also self-evident for the development of sports movies.
The capacity of a wooden barrel depends on the shortest plate and also on the fit between the boards, which is the bonding effect of the barrel law. If the whole system of sports film is a wooden barrel, then this theory can be extended. The capacity of a wooden barrel depends not only on the length of the board, but also on whether it can find the best fit between the boards. The development of sports films is composed of different elements. The elements are dead, but the people who control the elements are alive. The cooperation between people and people is not static. Only by cooperating with each other and with the same goal can they be closely integrated into a powerful sports film. Develop aggregates.
American politician Wilson and criminologist Kailin suggested that if a whole side is broken and not repaired in time, this will result in a disordered state, and the situation will get worse and worse. This is the window breaking effect. Looking at the development of sports Movies from the broken window effect, we can find that the development of anything can not be smooth sailing, and there will be a “broken window” in the system. The development of sports movies can only avoid these “broken windows” in order to avoid the catastrophe caused by small damage.
2.1. Body Aesthetics
Film aesthetics is a new subject based on film artistic beauty and aesthetic issues. Terry Eagleton believes that “aesthetics is based on body language (Zhang, 2003) .” Physical education is an educational process with physical exercise as its core, and sports movies are based on physical exercise to reflect and reproduce people’s lives and stories in the process of physical exercise. American scholar Schustermann Pin proposed that the body-centered aesthetic vision is called body aesthetics (Du, 2014) . Sports movies take the aesthetic configuration, intention aesthetics, spectacle aesthetics and meaning aesthetics of body movement as the natural interface to show and express the struggle, surpass oneself, pursue dreams and so on in sports, thus depicting personal fate, social culture and national spirit.
2.2. Sports Spirit
Film is a kind of reproduction of life and expression of art people often see films from their inner needs and spiritual sustenance, so the essence of the popular element of film is its spiritual nature. Balaz Bella is a famous Hungarian film theorist who believes that “culture is moving from abstract spirit to visible human body” (Zhou, 2016) . As a manifestation of the spirit of human consciousness, movies use different forms of expression to express the cultural concepts and national discourse of different countries and nations in different situations. Feinstenberg of the American Film Academy said, “When we are in adversity and depression, sports films can point out the direction for us. It gives us inspiration and helps us rediscover our mastery (Jiang, 2012) .” Sports spirit is an important intention to be expressed in sports films. Olympic spirit, love for the motherland, continuous self-improvement, team spirit, courage to fight and so on are the eternal spiritual intention of sports films.
2.3. Sports Story
From a global perspective, feature films are the largest production of all kinds of films. The reason why movies can become a subject is also laid down by feature films. According to famous film playwright Sid Field, “a movie script is a story (Cai, 2017) told from one screen to another.” Another film theorist, Max, said, “There is no drama, no fiction, no story, no film (Zhao, 2011) . Under the sports system, there are three subsystems: competitive sports, school sports and mass sports. The stories in sports films are all derived from these three systems, and sports films need to tell stories well, fully and truly. Taking sports stories as the main line, taking real cases as the background, and presenting stories under different subsystems in different ways. Competitive sports stories should be “competitive”, school sports stories should be “educational” and mass sports stories should be “involved”. There is no lack of good stories about sports movies in China, but sports themes have not taken root in this fertile land.
2.4. Sports Theme
Whether the film can produce an ideal social effect and artistic effect depends on whether the film itself has a distinctive theme. Film is a kind of cultural expression, with distinctive national color, and is the cultural carrier of national image, national spirit and ideological prospect (Wang & Liu, 2013) . Different countries have many different and enduring sports themes. The development of sports films should be clear about the distinctiveness of sports themes, grasp the theme narrative of sports films in China, conform to the background of the times, give full play to the inspirational theme advantages of sports films and follow the theme path of industrial programming. As former Soviet film director Pudovkin said, “Like other art forms, films have no restrictions on the choice of themes. But the only question is whether the audience thinks it is worth (Zhou, 2013) .” Simply speaking, it is a good movie, depending on whether its theme reflects the essence and laws of real life, whether it can answer major questions in life and clearly express the spirit of the times. The theme is the soul of a movie, especially a sports movie.
2.5. Narrative and Creation
The screenwriter plays a very important role in the film’s quality. The film’s creativity, theme and various elements of the script are all controlled by the screenwriter. Former Soviet Union movie master Du Fu Renke said, “The film is based on drama. To ensure the high quality of the film, it must first be based on a really good movie script.” Japan’s famous filmmaker Shinto Fujimori believes that “in any case, the script holds the key to the birth of a film, all the images of the film are represented by the script, and the script can represent all the problems in creation (Jin & Ge, 2017) .” At present, the biggest problem facing sports films in China is the narration and creation of sports films, that is, the screenplay. Screenwriters in the film industry do not understand sports and are not willing to “get close” to sports movies and write scripts for sports movies. People in the sports industry are unable to write attractive plays with “artistic conception” of film art. The core productivity of sports films and the awkward position of the screenplay are self-evident.
2.6. Film Market
In February 2018, the box office in China’s film market broke through 10 billion yuan, perhaps many people don’t know what this means. The Los Angeles Times may have given an answer: “The box office in a single day is 200 million US dollars, the box office in a week is 946 million US dollars, the number of people watching movies in a single day is over 30 million, and the box office in a single day is 85 million US dollars, all world records.” In this era of rapid development of the film market, if sports films want to develop, they must develop their core competitive power, and let the masses have a liking for the real high-quality sports films in the competition of domestic films with “experts gathered”. Learning from the excellent production process of other subjects and combining it with its unique advantages, sports films have their own place in the film market.
3. The Evolution of “Barrel Law” and the Development of Sports Films
The “wooden barrel law” in sports films should be composed of various factors that affect the production of sports films, the operation of the market, the presentation of ways and so on. The short board is the normal deduction of “barrel law”, and according to the evolution of “barrel law”, there can be some beneficial inspirations for sports movies. 1) The evolution of diameter. If we compare sports film to a wooden barrel, the volume of water in the wooden barrel depends not only on the length of different wooden boards, but also on the diameter of the wooden barrel. Therefore, sports film should lay a solid foundation for development. 2) The shape changes. Under the condition of the same circumference, the water capacity of round wooden barrel is the largest, so sports movies should grasp one or several core elements and plan and integrate development forces. 3) The usage status and mutual coordination evolution. Although the water capacity of the wooden barrel depends on the shortest board under normal conditions, the coordination among the boards can increase the water capacity, so sports movies should coordinate the coordination status among the various elements and coordinate with each other. 4) Dynamic evolution. Before we can hold water, we should make it clear whether there is water first or buckets first, whether there is more water than buckets, or buckets are too big and there is not much water, so sports movies should make a reasonable positioning, putting the existing water into controllable buckets first, and then continuously expanding according to the amount of water. 5) The use of evolution, no matter how big the barrel, must have two solid wood board handle, can easily lift. Therefore, sports films should have their own one or two core factors leading to development. 6) Thickness evolution. If the thickness of the wood board is not enough, the bigger the barrel diameter and the longer the wood board, the more dangerous the whole system will be. For sports films, we should strengthen each factor’s self-construction while mending the short board so as to be strong. 7) The area of the bottom surface changes. If the area of the bottom surface of the wooden barrel is not enough, there will not be enough platforms to accommodate the whole stage of sports film development.
3.1. Nationalization Road
Sports movies play an irreplaceable role in the whole country, society and cultural life. From a sports film can reflect a nation’s spirit, culture, attitude and strength, so the development of sports film must first be based on the will of the whole nation. First of all, under the guidance of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s theory, we must adhere to the advanced ideological road, adhere to the leadership of the Party, adhere to Marxism’s literary theory to keep pace with the times, carry forward the fine tradition of patriotism and realism, give full play to the guiding, promoting, regulating and guaranteeing functions of policies, and promote the healthy, coordinated and sustainable development of sports films. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed at the national ideological work conference that “we should improve the quality and level, grasp the degree, time and effect, enhance attraction and appeal, introduce works of thought, temperature and quality, and tell sports stories.” Chinese national sports films should maintain national characteristics, launch the national brand of Chinese sports films, carry forward the advanced socialist productive forces, maintain the characteristics of openness, tolerance and the masses, and focus on creating works that meet the needs of the masses and are aesthetic. Integrating the socialist forces, forming a joint force, innovating in an all-round way, and enhancing the vitality and vigor of sports films; Secondly, sports films should be based on national prosperity, and our economy has already achieved a certain position in the world. If one day all our sports films are occupied by foreign films and our own sports films have no market, what national will is there, so the development of sports films is virtually an expression of national self-confidence and national spirit. Our sports films should have our own Chinese style, Chinese spirit and Chinese style. We should create sports films with national spirit, national culture, national characteristics, national soul and national image. Seize the theme of the times, put people first, develop scientifically, and raise the responsibility consciousness of film workers; Then, we should strengthen the consciousness of national fine products and increase the number of fine products, while ensuring the quality, increase the output, absorb and learn from the excellent achievements of world sports films, stand in China and face the world, and enhance the attraction, appeal and competitiveness of China’s sports films. Coordinate the development mechanism of sports films, adhere to the correct orientation of “good and fast” creation, eulogize the melody of national times, sports stories in real life, and strengthen theme planning. Encourage diversified and multi-type theme creation; Finally, we should persist in leading sports film creation with the socialist core value system, deal with the relationship between the theme, nationalization, popularization and marketization, go deep into life, the masses and practice, highlight the artistic image of the masses and sports people of the times, create sports stories that people love to see, express the feelings of the story with broad feelings, rich images, true stories and dialectical thinking, reflect the value of life, reflect the value of sports stories, and grasp the relationship between reflecting the truth of sports stories, promoting national spirit and promoting social progress.
3.2. Cultural Road
As an audio-visual art, movies are the result of people’s appreciation of the world image in watching and listening. Sports film is a special culture that combines film and sports, reflecting the characteristics of sports and the charm of art. The cultural road of sports movies has many meanings. Physical aesthetics is a culture, national identity is a culture, and recording images is a culture. Film is both an art and a commodity. Culture is of particular importance to movies, especially Chinese sports movies. From the current situation and future development of Chinese sports films, the status of culture in sports films is more important. First of all, we should deeply understand and build the strategic significance of the excellent culture of Chinese sports films, and consciously shoulder the historical responsibility of sports films in building the excellent culture. What kind of cultural direction to stick to and what kind of culture to build is the banner of a nation’s ideology and spirit. Sports movies must actively advocate advanced culture and develop socialist culture oriented to modernization, modernization, the world and the future, national, scientific, advanced and popular. Sports movies have a unique and glorious mission in carrying forward the national spirit and flourishing and spreading the excellent culture of society. Secondly, sports films should deeply recognize the importance and urgency of building a harmonious socialist culture, serve the overall situation of building a harmonious society with a broad vision, and serve the major themes and fundamental requirements of social culture. Film is the carrier of mass culture, while sports film has more special significance. Sports movies should adhere to the system of conscious innovation and consciously follow the construction of spiritual civilization, the law of art and the law of acceptance. Then, how to make fine works and make “art” by art, we must carry out the task of fine works creation, build sports film literary creation team, flourish sports film literary creation, correctly evaluate the current situation of sports film literary team, and really raise the strengthening of sports film literary work and team building to a more prominent position. And now there is an idea that the script created has come out, and what is being filmed is the responsibility of directors, actors and so on. This idea should not be there. The fine sports film should be a perfect combination of profound ideological content and exquisite artistry, and this combination should be expressed in the form of film and television. Under the current development of sports film, we should implement a certain policy inclination, increase support for the construction of film literature, strengthen the cultivation of sports film literature personnel, rely on talents for development, and provide creative positions for sports film literature workers. And from the review of books, films and subject matter planning, checks are carried out everywhere to promote the overall prosperity of the development of the whole sports film. Finally, we should adhere to the cultural characteristics of sports films, such as body culture, competitive culture, team culture, national culture and so on. As the most popular, dynamic and vivid mass art in the contemporary era, movies are deeply loved by the public. Sports movies, as an important component of movies, have the important significance of spreading advanced culture and harmonious culture, and should promote the prosperity of culture and movies more consciously and initiatively.
3.3. Market-Oriented Road
The film can be said to be a popular product that is both refined and popular, suitable for both young and old, and can be copied, distributed and profitable on a large scale. Now in the contemporary economic society, the film industry is a content industry of great significance and a core component of the cultural industry. However, as an important form of film, the development of sports film is lagging behind. First of all, if we need to gain market recognition, we must produce excellent sports films, which involve how to solve the problem of the excellent source of sports films. Sports films with audience liking, audience demand, appreciation, artistry, branding and spirituality are excellent products. Therefore, in an age when excellent sports films are urgently needed, we should not act too hastily and should produce more excellent products to stop fake and shoddy films. A good sports film needs good publicity. We should learn from other forms of film propaganda methods, find out the potential connotation and social needs of each sports film, carefully plan and package sports film events, and give a certain inclination to the screening policy. Secondly, the countryside has always been a weak link in the film market, but the film market is very broad. The market-oriented road of sports films should seize the outside of the urban market, take into account the needs of the current rural market, take the initiative to seek breakthroughs in the rural market, meet the needs of the majority of rural people for sports films, establish a film team that understands business, manages well and manages well, give certain financial support to the rural sports films, and vigorously strengthen the construction of rural film and television bases, give full play to the leading position and role of government departments at all levels, play public service functions, adapt to local conditions, and ensure the availability of various measures and services. Then, sports films should enhance their characteristic self-confidence, unify their thinking, clarify the central task of sports film development, seize the opportunity and speed up the pace of development. We will continue to explore new models for the development of sports films, “standardize sales promotion, standardize management and standardize scale benefits” and establish a long-term mechanism for the development of sports films. Sports movies should promote the marketing strategy in an all-round way, establish a concept of “big movies, big sports, big markets and big industries”, give full play to the audio-visual advantages of movies and TV and sports characteristics, form a diversified business pattern, integrate the digital, networked and informational communication means of modern advantages, and bring good sports movies to the market as soon as possible, so that sports movies can continuously adapt to the market, develop the market, meet the market and occupy the market, improve the modern management level of sports movies and speed up the marketing level of sports movies. Finally, the development of sports films should take the initiative to learn from foreign excellent sports film production experience, adhere to market-oriented administration, speed up the transformation of government functions and management innovation, create a good market environment for the development of sports films, strengthen market awareness, establish perfect market planning, find a reasonable positioning for sports films, take the initiative to adhere to the combination of “importing and going out” and take an active part in film cooperation and competition at home and abroad. Walk out a market-oriented road to adapt to sports films with Chinese characteristics.
Any system will have its own “shortest board”, which may be a certain area, or an environment, or a concept. Looking for a short board may be “wooden board” to find for yourself, perhaps “wooden board” to find each other, perhaps the “wooden barrel” of the total system “wooden barrel”. However, no matter how you find it, you must identify a few key points:
1) How to determine the length and how to determine the short board, we should determine the length of the board defined by this system. For sports movies, it is first necessary to clarify how much influence the sub-boards have on sports movies, such as beautiful pictures, sci-fi plots, and horror feelings, which may be crucial for other film forms. However, the formation of sports films should have little impact, so when determining the short board, we should first define the length of each board of sports film.
2) Dare to reveal yourself, the problem will be any system. For sports movies, not only do not fear others to be short-listed, but also dare to reveal themselves. Different sub-boards should reveal their own shortcomings in the widest range while being clear about their “functions”, and be good at self-compensation. Sports films can only make the “short board” smaller and even disappearing in the constant self-disclosure.
3) Where is the short board? For a system, there is a short board. The system will continue to search for this or more short boards, but the short premise is that you know where the short board is. For sports movies, the short board may come mainly from the story itself, story presentation, market situation, viewing group, etc. We should be clear about where the short board may be, and then look for it from various parts.
4) Borrowing the outer brain, many times we will say a word, the authorities are fascinated, and the bystanders are clear. For sports movies, sometimes you can’t find your own shortcomings. We should “please” other related fields to diagnose and find the shortcomings of sports movies from another field of view.
5) System thinking, often the subsystems are thinking about the subsystem itself. The whole system thinking should be to position it in its living environment, to think about the relationship between the various parts, and to find the key shortcomings. For sports films, we should let them as a whole in this market survival environment, from the level of events, behavior changes, and structural hierarchy. System thinking is a very effective way to find problems and find shortcomings.
This paper uses the evolution of the “barrel law” in management science to provide a theoretical basis for the development of sports film, but most of the paper still stays at the theoretical level, and it involves less on the practical operation level. Future scholars can be further improved.
State sports general administration sports philosophy and social sciences research project (2190SS15077).