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    FAQ by LunarRyou

    Updated: 11/28/05 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    The Movies Guide
    Started: 11/24/2005
    By: Ryou
    Contents				Search Key
    1. FAQ Introduction			intro
    	-Contact Info			intro-contact
    2. Frequently Asked Questions		faq-01
    3. Hints & Tips & Guides		hints-01
    	-Basic Hints & Tips		hints-02
    	 -Full Keyboard Controls	hints-02a
    	-Guide to Studio Star Ratings	hints-03
    	-Guide to Star's Star Ratings	hints-04
    4. Cheats/Codes				codes-01
    	-Unlocking.ini Code		codes-02
    	-MODs				codes-03
    	-Hex Editing			codes-04
    5. Links				links-01
    6. Credits				credit-01
    1.FAQ Introduction			intro
    \\\\\\\\\\\\NOVEMBER 24th, 2005////////////
    All right! This is the first guide I've written, so, be nice.
    I'm not going to include the bulk of the Game Guide or the Advanced Movie 
    Making Guide included with the game, since, you...really should read that 
    on your own. I will include SOME information from them however.
    If anyone has good tips that aren't in here, I'd be happy to post them, so,
    if you do, look at the Contact section below.
    Okay, that's it. Thanks a lot for reading this ^.^ that's pretty much it 
    right here for now.
    -Contact Info				intro-contact
    // Conditions to Contact Me:
    I'd appreciate it if you only contacted me for these reasons. Just a
    warning, if you e-mail me without reading these conditions through, 
    and you violate one of them, I will probably be very very angry. I know 
    sometimes people just make honest mistakes, but read this through! Okay? 
    Okay ^.^ thank you very much.
    You have a valuable tip or information in the game that will definitely 
    help other people. You must be sure that the tip is  not already in the guide,
    however. Please try to read any section that might have the tip, or do a
    search for a keyword.
    Do NOT e-mail me for every single question you have in your head. Search 
    through this guide, go to the links section and search those boards/sites. I'll
    try to include every single FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION I find, but, if there's
    really one I've missed I'd appreciate a heads up.
    One more thing, most of the questions I've seen are answered in the guides
    that are included in the game, so, PLEASE read those!
    If you have a legitimate one you can't find the answer for though, I will try
    to answer it.
     NO! Nonononono. I don't wanna hear it. I like the game, you're having a
    problem, read the guide. I am not paid for this, I need money to put up with 
    moaning and whining, so, nonono. I also REALLY do NOT want to hear how you 
    don't like the game, I mean no offense, but, I do not care. Sorry ^.^;
    GOOGLE! Seriously, I can't tell you whether or not you should. I don't know 
    your or your parent's bank balance or your game preference. Go on 
    WWWW.GAMESPOT.COM, WWW.IGN.COM or any other game review site. Or you could just
    go into a search engine and type the game's name in. Do your own research, 
    everyone's opinions and preferences are different. Sorry, this is just...such 
    an annoying question, especially on message boards.
    That's it. Okay, I'm on YAHOO, my name is LunarRyou. I'm not typing in
    my entire e-mail address in the usual format (Name@Domain.com)...I figure this
    might weed out mass e-mailers/spammers...as well as just...rude and dumb people
     ^.^; 'kay then.
    2. Frequently Asked Questions		faq-01
    Credit: markbond, Ryou
    A.	Post it on the board. Something like, "For Guide: How do I...?"
    	I'll try my hardest to answer it, or find an answer for that.
    A. Pick up a builder. Bring them to the building in question and hover them 
    over the bomb to delete or the multi-arrow icon to move. After a second or two,
    the icon will turn green. 
     To move:	Simply place it where you want.
     To delete:	Click and the building will be gone. Actually, it'll be sold, 
                    you'll get some money as well.
       After moving or deleting the building, there will be a lot of trash and 
    absolutely no grass left where it stood. This will bring your studio's 
    attractiveness down, and perhaps your studio's overall rating, so I recommend 
    having some janitors handy to clean up. Lay down some grass soon as well.
    A. Hover your cursor over the object in question, wait until it's highlighted, 
    then click and drag the object. You can move it, or right click and delete it.
    A. You can hit F6, which will take you directly to the Salaries screen. Be 
    careful, you have to watch the other Stars' moods after raising a salary as 
    they can get very jealous. Also, decreasing a salary will understandably anger
    your Star, so, I wouldn't do that unless it's necessary.
     If you don't like the F1-9 keys, there are three other ways.
    1. Click and drag your star until they're in the Finance room in the 
       Production Office.
    2. Click on your available money on the top right of the screen, then press the
       '>' button to go to the Salaries screen.
    3. Click and drag the information icon (the big i) to the finances room in the 
       Production Office, this will bring up the same salary screen.
    A. You can't. You must cast your movie before either viewing it in Post 
       Production or the 'Movie-Player' option inside the Production Office.
     Post Production is a building that must be unlocked in Story Mode. You unlock 
     it by fulfilling certain objectives set forward after the first award 
     ceremony. Hover your cursor over the little Award icon on the timeline to see 
     the objectives you have to fulfill (Post Production won't be available for 
     unlocking right away, you have to unlock several other buildings first.)
    A. In Post Production, for info on the production office look above. You must 
       first shoot your movie. Place the shot movie in Post Production. After doing
       this maximize the bottom toolbar. Click on the section that has the "Abc" 
       written to the left of it. Type what you want in the box that pops up and 
       click the tick. Move the box to place it where you want, you can change the 
       length of time in which it'll be displayed by moving the little bar on the 
       right side of your subtitle.
    A. Please look in the GUIDE TO STUDIO STAR RATINGS (search key: hints-03). It 
       has a very thorough explanation.
    A. Please look in the GUIDE TO STAR'S STAR RATINGS (search key: hints-04). It 
       has a very thorough explanation.
    A. It's best to ask this question at http://www.activision.com/support
            You can also look on the Lionhead Boards, there's a link to it in 
            the Links section (search key: links-01).
    A. There are limits to how many people you can hire in each job. To get more 
       wannabes you can fire or sell current stars or extras.
       Or, you can use the Employee MOD, look in the Cheats/Codes section 
       (search key: codes-03). It changes the number of people you can hire.
    3. Hints & Tips				hints-01
    -Basic Hints & Tips			hints-02
    . Relationships:
            Don't underestimate the usefulness of friendships. Especially between 
            your Stars. The better they get along, the better your movies will be.
    	Keep that in mind when you're casting a movie. It's not only great for 
            Romance movies, it's useful in all genres.
    . Cash:
            I have made SO much money. In the 1940s, I already made a million 
            dollars and counting. Always by buying into the popular genres.
            It IS a good idea to follow the community's advice and decide on 
            two main genres, but my tip, is in the beginning, produce the popular
            genres. Cash in on the crazes, then, start having your Stars practice 
            your chosen two genres.
            This way, they will have a good balance of experience in quite a few 
            genres, and, you'll have earned a good chunk of change. While, still
            being able to concentrate on your two favorite Genres later on in the
    . The Two Genres:
            Since I already dipped into this a little, I'll try explaining WHY this
            is such	a popular piece of advice. Later on in the game, when you're
            unlocking more and more sets, you're going to start running out of room.
    	Your Stars will probably have various nervous breakdowns if you try and
            have them practice all the different Genres constantly. Even if you do
            try to have them practice everything, they'll never be able to film a
            movie they'll be so stressed.
             So it's a good idea to have already chosen two Genres to have them 
            spend the most time practicing. You'll then be able to fully take 
            advantage of the Brain Washing Bonus you'll be able to get in the 
            Award Ceremonies a bit later on.
    . Star Maker:
    	Do NOT underestimate this utterly handy little program. I have yet to 
            take a Star that's been produced in game. This way, you can tweak it so
            you have the best Stars. Also, it's important to make it so they can 
            handle Stress, and just have an overall pleasant demeanor. Remember, 
            you can always have them practice the Genres, but you can't send them 
            to a therapist to get rid of that nasty Stress Pot title.
            Personally, I've made two sets of my favorite Stars. The first is a not
            entirely pleasant group, they're extremely experienced though. The 
            second is the nicest group of people you could ever meet, but not 
            completely experienced.
            My general plan is to use the first group in the beginning years to
            rake in cash with the popular genres. Then when my studio is running 
            well, and my first batch of Stars are growing older and older, I'll 
            bring in the second generation. I'll have them practice while the first
            Generation is still filming movies. Then, when the First Generation is 
            off to retirement, the Second Generation will be there and ready to 
            take over.
            Always think about the older years for your current Stars. Plan for 
            them. Despite calling it the "Silver Screen", audiences seem to rarely 
            like silver hair on it.
            You can download Star Maker on The Movies Official Site! IT's 138 MB, 
            very long download time, but it's extremely useful. There's a link to 
            the official site in the Links section (search key: links-01).
    . Lot Layout:
            Be careful when laying down your sets. It's a good idea to plot out the
            layout for related sets so your Stars don't have to run across the 
            entire length of your Lot to get to their next scene.
            Also, I find it useful to have the Casting Office among or near the 
            sets, since as soon as they're done rehearsing they will bolt out of 
            the Casting Office and off to the Sets.
    . Timeline:
            Watch that lil bugger on the top of the screen. Above all else, PLAN
            for the Award Ceremonies, keep in mind what it takes to grab the most 
            Awards. The real world events will also have big effects on the popular
            genres, so if you want to make a profit watch for those small globe 
            icons. To see how the real-world event effects the Genres, hover your 
            cursor over the Globe to see what's what. You can also right click on 
            your Scriptwriting Office to find out what's the most popular Genre at
            the moment.
    . Publicity, Public Relations and Photographers:
            Extremely useful as well. The PR Building will not be unlocked until
            later in the game so make use of those Photographers that hang out at 
            your Studio Gate. Be careful what you let them photograph, as it can 
            have either good or bad effects on your Star's mood. I let them
            photograph two of my Star's getting cozy in a restaraunt and the Star
            that got the headline was none too pleased her romantic life was 
            splashed on the front pages.
    . Reviews Room:
            Drop a finished film into the Movie Player Room of the Production 
            Office to get a sneak peek at your new film. Depending on how it is, 
            you can adjust the marketing budget for your movie. If it sucks, no 
            real reason to spend a bundle singing on marketing. If it's good, all 
            the more reason to release it with a big bang, and a big budget.
    . Almighty SHIFT Key:
            I love that little bugger, fly across the lot or decorate with accuracy
            & more control. By holding the Shift key while moving across your lot,
            or, any movement around your lot, it will greatly speed up the process 
            and allow you to get that Photographer to those two conversing Stars, 
            or that Stress Pot Director to the Bar all the faster. Also, holding it
            down while placing Ornaments, it allows you to spin it completely
            around and go outside the little boxes it's confined to normally. Makes
            for a much prettier lot.
     -Full Keyboard Controls		hints-02a
     I know this is right in the game guide, but it's useful information. For some 
     reason, the game guide is not terribly people-friendly.
    Keyboard		Action
    Up Arrow or W		Scroll Camera Forward
    Down Arrow or S		Scroll Camera Back
    Left Arrow or A		Scroll Camera Left
    Right Arrow or D	Scroll Camera Right
    	Shortcut Keys
    Keyboard	Action
    1		Go to Script Writing Office/Next Script Writing Office (cycle 
                    through all these)
    2		Go to Casting Office
    3		Go to Active Set (set with a shoot taking place)/Next Active
                    Set (cycle through all these)
    4		Go to Production Office
    5		Go to Post Production (if built)
    6		Go to Advanced Movie Maker (if built)
    7		Go to Staff Office/Stage School/Crew Office
    8		Go to Set (active & inactive sets)/Next Set
    9		Go to Trailer/Next Trailer (cycle through all trailers)
    0		Go to Research/Post Production/Advanced Movie Maker
    TAB		Go to End of Highest Priority Sparkling Stream
    F1		Open Facilities Menu
    F2		Open Sets Menu
    F3		Open Landscaping (paths as default)
    F5		Open Finance Screen (graphs)
    F6		Open Finance Screen (salaries)
    F7		Open Charts
    F9		Quick Save
    F10		Load
    E		Staff Finder Menu - Scroll Right
    Q		Staff Finder Menu - Scroll Left
    Spacebar	Center Camera on the Studio Gates
    L		View Studio Attractiveness
    M		Toggle Overhead Camera On/Off
    P		Pause/Unpause
    -Guide to Studio Star Ratings		hints-03
    Created by: swordless_ninja at Lionhead Boards
    Here is what I have been doing in my game which appeared to do the trick.
    This is one of the most important factors and is quite simply dependant on the 
    amount of money that you have in the bank. As long as you are making fairly 
    high ranking movies you should find that you are making a profit off of them 
    so it is only really a matter of time before this stat gets maximised. If you 
    are able to get the award that halves the amount your stars are paid then so 
    much the better.
    This is the other most important factor and is determined by the quality of
    your most recent releases. If you have your scriptwriters working in the best
    facilities that you have available churning out 3 – 4 star scripts as long as 
    your stars are somewhat experienced in that scripts genre it shouldn’t be too 
    difficult to produce films above a 4 star quality. I generally have 2 sets of 
    stars working on 2 movies at once. The first set is made up of a director and 
    3 actors all are proficient in 2 genre types (I chose Action and Sci-Fi) and 
    they were set to work on scripts from the top scriptwriting office I had 
    available. The second set (again 1 director and 3 actors) all specialised in 
    one genre (I chose Horror) and worked constantly on scripts produced in the 
    second best facility available to me. I also ensured that each movie had the PR
     rating maxed out (by PR’ing their next script while they were shooting and 
    PR’ing any free actors during shooting). This generally meant that I had two 4–
    5 star films released at all times and kept this rating high.
    This is based on the number and quality of your stars. If you refer to the 
    Star’s Star guide you will see how to get them to be a high rating which will 
    them impact on your studios rating as a whole. You do not need to get stars to 
    the 5 star level to get the studios rating up. I had around 8 stars all most of
    whom had 3 or 4 stars or possibly less when I got my studio to it’s 5 star 
    This is itself dependant on many factors as evidenced in this screenshot.
    This information can be found out by right-clicking on the “I” (I only just 
    found that out by looking in the manual now and never actually made use of it).
    Cleanliness and Maintenance are dependant mainly on how many people you have 
    employed in those roles. The more the better but it could probably be helped by
    good lot planning. Deleting any unused buildings or sets will give your workers
    less to maintain and placing them close together will mean it will take less 
    time to move between them and give the janitors a smaller area to clean. I did 
    neither of these things so this is probably why they are not as good as they 
    could be.
    Connectedness just means that you need to connect all your buildings to a path.
    It is the flashing path tiles that you need to connect.
    Catering is, I assume, based on the quality of your eating / drinking 
    facilities. Simply build the best and keep them maintained.
    Sanitation is, again I assume, based on the number of toilets available. I only
    had one of the large facilities and 2 or 3 VIP restrooms dotted about.
    Attractiveness and Ornament rating go hand in hand. Attractiveness is due to 
    the number and placement of your ornaments and the other is based on the 
    quality. Ornament quality will improve overtime as you research new ornament 
    packs. Delete old ornaments and replace them with newer ones to keep this 
    rating high. To get a high attractiveness rating I did the following things. 
    First I covered the whole lot with grass and re-did the odd area as the grass 
    seems to deteriorate in areas where a lot of people walk on it e.g. around 
    sets. Next I lined my paths with the most expensive flower boxes available 
    putting in as many as I possibly could. You should see that any areas where 
    there are red dots (showing a low attractiveness area) along the path will 
    disappear. Next I put in a hell of a lot of trees in every single piece of free
     land between buildings. I found that as I placed more and more the 
    attractiveness boost for that type of tree dropped so I would suggest starting 
    with the most expensive placing around 10 – 15 trees in an area then moving 
    down to the next most expensive and repeating in another area until the lot is 
    practically covered in green. It was this that pushed me over the edge and got 
    me the 5 star studio ranking. Expensive objects like cars and pinball machines 
    are also good but these I kept limited to around my stars trailers to boost 
    there rating’s. A gym with expensive equipment will probably also help.
    To boost this you need to be winning awards. If you have good stars in good 
    movies that you will need to boost your capital and movies ranking then you 
    should be able to win a few awards along the way. Each award has it’s own 
    criteria to win so check what you need to do at the award ceremony and try to 
    achieve it. With some highly trained stars and good scripts I found it quite 
    easy to walk away with at least the highest ranking movie, star, best 
    performance, best direction and highest rated studio each year.
    -Guide to Star's Star Ratings		hints-04
    Created by: swordless_ninja at Lionhead Boards
    Here is an explanation of what each factor is and a few hints on how to 
    maximise them.
    This is the most important factor when rating a star. This rating is dependant 
    on the star quality of the most recent film(s) the star has been involved in. 
    There are a lot of factors involved in determining the star rating of movies 
    but if you have a good scriptwriting office and your stars are somewhat 
    experienced in the films genre it shouldn’t be too difficult to build this up. 
    Obviously as the timeline progresses and better scriptwriting offices become 
    available and more technologies there are the easier it becomes to build this 
    rating up.
    This is probably the most obvious one. Bigger stars need bigger payments so 
    make sure you give it to them by adjusting there salaries (how to do this has 
    already been covered in this thread). I think someone has said that this rating
    maxes out at $100,000 but big stars will probably demand more than this to keep
    them happy anyway.
    This is how well the star has performed on their last film(s). This is 
    dependant on their mood, genre experience and genre fit. Make sure to keep 
    stars de-stressed during filming and put them in films they are experienced in 
    to get this high. Genre fit is dependant mainly on their image and age (or at 
    least how old they appear). Young and slim works best for most genres although 
    old and fat is supposedly good for comedies.
    From what I can gather 3 factors affect image. The first is what they are 
    wearing. Give them makeovers and put them in the clothes they rate highest to 
    improve this. Update their clothes as you research each new decades costume 
    packs to keep them in fashion. The next factor is their age. The younger the 
    better but if you are trying to achieve a 5 star ranking it is going to take a 
    while so a nip/tuck is definitely in order. The last factor is physique. Either
    get them to work out when they are free or send them in for liposuction when it
    becomes available to boost this.
    The more assistants a star has the happier they are. They need to be assigned 
    from people waiting in line for employment (although wannabe stars don’t seem 
    to be able to take this role). I found to get it to max for my star it needed 
    6 assistants.
    The bigger the trailer the happier the star. Make sure that trailers are placed
    a good distance away from each other to maximise the potential green box 
    footprint when placing. Then fill the surrounding area with the most expensive 
    objects and plants available. The most modern car is a good boost, as is a nice
    fountain and a pinball machine. Also make sure they are connected to paths, the
    area is covered in grass and it is in a good state of repair.
    The only worse than being talked about is not being talked about so make good 
    use of the photographers at the gates or make your stars give the odd PR press 
    conference to boost this. PR can also help improve the rating of the film they 
    are in so this has multiple benefits.
    This is the area that I focused on the least for most of the time but it has to
    be done. Get your stars to talk to fellow stars as much as possible to boost 
    this. Begin with talking in the streets, then move on to the bar, the VIP bar, 
    the restaurant and then the VIP restaurant in that order to help the 
    relationship grow. I also think that the maintenance value of the 
    bar / restaurant helps it grow faster.
    They will need to have achieve an award or two to reach 5 star status but if 
    you have been putting them in your best films and they have been giving good 
    performances in order to achieve high ratings in those categories they should 
    have win awards quite frequently.
    4. Cheats/Codes				codes-01
      For the most part, all the "codes" as of now are mostly just editing 
      the game. They're not actually in game. As with editing any program, care 
      must be taken. You MUST read the steps carefully, do NOT fool around outside 
      those steps. You could screw up your game pretty badly.
    CHEATS RUIN   :   To anyone who has this opinion, for you it may ruin the game,
    A GAME OPINION:   yes, but for some people it only makes it better. So please 
                      respect their opinion and their own choice, as you want yours
                      respected. :) Let's all be nice, okay? Thank you soo much.
    -Unlocking.ini Code			codes-02
    Created by: HZ_MonorailMan at the Lionhead Boards
    Effect: Unlock everything in Sandbox Mode.
    Tested: Works just fine as long as you follow the instructions.
    Here's full instructions:
    1. Turn on "Show Hidden Files and Folders" in Tools > Folder Options of 
       any Folder window.
    2. Navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[Your User Name]\Application Data\
       Lionhead Studios\The Movies\Unlocking.ini
       (Where [Your User Name] is, is the name you use to login to the computer)
    3. Look for the Unlocking.ini file. If it's not there, jump to step A.
       (It's a good idea to create a backup of the original file, right click, 
       click copy, then paste)
    4. Double click the file, to edit. Change the file so it looks exactly like 
    highest_decade = 2000
    5. Save the file.
    6. Now start a sandbox mode game. If you start it in the year 2000, you 
       will have everything unlocked, and available for play.
    If you do not have an unlocking.ini file:
    a. Open notepad, by clicking Start > (All) Programs > Accessories > Notepad
    b. Once it's open, save the file to 
    "C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Lionhead Studios\
        The Movies\" 
       (Where [Your User Name] is the name you use to login to the computer).
    c. In the "File Name:" box, type (with quotes) "unlocking.ini"
    d. Follow steps 4 - 6 above.
    -MODs					codes-03
    MODs are files you can download that'll change the game. It's wise to be wary 
    of the MODs you download, but if you find a good MOD, they can be VERY useful.
    The Movies Employee MOD:
    Credit: CyberOps at Lionhead Boards
     Tested: Had a slight problem in the beginning, the game would load up, and 
     then crash onto the desktop, this was fixed by just restarting my computer. 
     It's worked perfectly since.
      A GREAT MOD. It changes the number of employees you can hire.
      Builders/Janitors:  50 People (up to 50, eg.-25 Janitors & 25 Builders)
      Movie Crew:         30 People
      Script Writers:     15 People
      Stage School:       30 People
      Researchers:        15 People 
    If you're already playing a game you have to rebuild the building you want them
    to line up at. It may slow your PC down for a moment, but be patient, as it has
    to render all the new applicants.
    -Hex Editing				codes-04
    Generally you have to download a program, and, while the program you want to 
    edit is running, boot up the hex editor. You'll need instructions from someone 
    who's already done it, so you know what to search for. You can change how much 
    money you have, the limits of the attributes in Star Maker. 
    If I ever find thorough and reliable instructions I will post them here.
    Note: I have since used hex editing to change the values in Star Maker, I want
    to hammer out a reliable, easy and clear way to do it each time so eventually
    I will be posting instructions for it.
    5. Links				links-01
    Official The Movies Site:
    Just the basic official site. Some fun stuff. 
    IMPORTANT: You can download Star Maker in the Official Game site. Go to
    Downloads, then click on Star Maker. I warn you though, it's 138 MB. If you 
    have the connection, it's well worth the time.
    Official The Movies Community Site:
    A GREAT site. View community movies, go to the Prop Shop or the best yet, The 
    Forums! Very helpful, a good deal of the info from this FAQ is originally from 
    that site.
    Official Technical Support for The Movies:
    Rather obvious, you go here when your game is crashing or having other types 
    of technical errors.
    The Movies Workshop:
    An upcoming site that's developing MODs for the game.
    The Movies Resource:
    Another upcoming site, it'll eventually have tips and guides for this game.
    	That's all I've found as of yet.
    6. Credits				credits-01
    A LOT of information from the guide comes from the ever-handy Lionhead Boards.
    A few users in specific have been utterly helpful and very knowledgable. Here's
    a list of them and what they contributed:
    HZ_MonorailMan:   Created the Unlocking.ini method.
    CyberOps:         Created the Employee MOD
    swordless_ninja:  Created the Guides to Studio Star Ratings & Star's 
                      Star Ratings.
    markbond:         Contributed LOTS of information to the FAQ section.
    I tried my hardest to contact everyone but I missed a few. If you don't want
    me to have your information here, PLEASE tell me and I will take it down right 
    away. It's just I wanted to post this as soon as possible and I probably didn't
    know how to get in contact with you, or, I tried and you never responded.

    FAQ Display Options: Printable Version