Years ago I wanted to be a screenwriter so I did what aspiring screenwriters do. I wrote a bad screenplay. The screenplay has many flaws, but there are a few things that aren't flaws. While you can't see it in the HTML formatted version, it's worth noting that the margins are correct, the indenting is correct, superfluous stage directions do not exist except where necessary, etc. (Much of that was handled with the excellent ScriptThing software.)
Other things that weren't flawed in the script were the scenes moving the plot forward and the timing of the scenes were set up in the traditional beginning/middle/end (roughly 30, 60 and 30 pages each -- but mine's a tad short) format that Hollywood generally expects. However, when I took a screenwriting class, I was surprised at how the students were complaining strongly about this. As far as they were concerned, the strict formatting was hampering their artistic freedom. Well of course it hampers artistic freedom. Everyone knows how rigid the sonnet structure is and what miserable failures Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnets were, right?
You see, what these aspiring writers failed to realize is that these were not arbitrary rules. Having the margins and formatting meet an exacting standard guarantees that someone reading the script can assume one minute of screentime per page. Thus, counting the pages ensures that everyone knows roughly how long the movie is. This translates to dollars!
The 30,60,30 rule is a bit subtler. Foreign films are often subsidized by government agencies or filmed on a very low budget. As a result, these movies can earn less money and still be profitable. While this does allow for great films to be produced, it also allows for some very strange things to get out there. Let's face it, The Pillow Book was a magnificent film, but it also grossed less than 3 million in the US. I don't know the budget for the film, but a gross that low in the US is frequently a financial disaster (Gigli made more than twice what "The Pillow Book" made.)
Hollywood movies are generally not subsidized by the government. Instead, they have to succeed or fail on their audience appeal. Directors such as Michael Cimino who forget that are quickly out of a job. Hollywood movies have to show a profit (well, no they don't. Oversimplification is necessary here.) That's what these aspiring screenwriters keep forgetting. Yes, they can write their art-house movies and have five people say what a great film it was, but if they want to "make it big," they probably have to bow to reality (at this point, the writers yell about how Quentin Tarantino didn't have to follow the rules, but few writers have Tarantino's ability.)
Many Perl programmers seem to have the same attitude. Frameworks? That limits my style. Certification? Why should I bow to the corporate machine? Everybody knows that MCSEs are all idiots, right? Many programmers (myself included) don't have that much of a problem with those ideas. Let's face it, when a company only hires J2EE certified programmers, they know that the programmer already has a darned good idea of how to use their framework and that rogue programmer off in the corner can't just open up a socket connection and kill the system security. Sure, the companies have to spend more on development time, but they also buy themselves some peace of mind. This isn't to argue that this is always the best course of action, but for Perl programmers to argue that it's never the best course of action is silly, yet I hear this argument all the time (hint: words like "never" and "always" frequently imply that the author of those words didn't think things through.)
Sure, we can unleash our artistic expression by creating yet another proprietary in-house enterprise-class buzzword-compliant doo-dah, but why? Now everyone who comes in has to be trained on the "meta" aspects of the system instead of being able to focus on the business rules. Frankly, I want to Perl to be seen as a viable option for enterprise class architectures. Sure, the Perl community knows it can be done, but others don't. If they even know about the widespread use of Perl at Amazon and Yahoo!, they think of this as an exception rather than the rule. Without standards -- TIMTOWTDI is often viewed as being the antithesis standards -- it's tough to hire programmers who can follow them. And sorry, but Mason, TT, mod_perl, Class::DBI and other tools are not enterprise class frameworks. If anything, they would be components of said frameworks.
You may now commence the flaming.