Thursday, August 6, 2015

Problem Thoughts

One thing to remember about all films and books, there's a certain amount of control that most pieces of media have. In today's world creative teams only have so much power over the product that they are in-charge of, though take on all the blame for its failure or success. With most animation productions the storyboard team become the writers of the film or TV series, though approval goes through many channels, as does anything live-action. Meaning that either the outline wasn't written well for the storyboard artists to understand the points to hit, the revisionist can't make a story out of the mess, the director is professionally immature, or some last minute detail had to be shoehorned into the idea to make things fit a demographic. It's a common thing that happens with most shows, time, budget, and approval / politics get in the way of what gets presented to the masses.

For those familiar with Kevin Smith, he mentioned in "An Evening with Kevin Smith" that he was paid to write a story for a Superman film. And what person (that's been reading comics) doesn't want to be able to involve comics into their life. He wrote a script (which I'd love to read sometime) though was asked to put one specific thing into the film, a giant spider. I don't think there was a moment in any Superman comic that he fought a spider, let alone a giant spider, nor a mechanical spider. The closest thing was Spder-Man, it was a special in 1981 and again there was a whole crossover thing in the 90's, I'll get into that with a review later. I'm getting off topic, in the lecture series Kevin Smith mentions that he was commissioned to have Superman duke it out with a giant spider, well like he thought the company passed on the script. Now he left it open ended if it was or wasn't what the studio was looking for as a Superman film or if it was the giant spider. Since later that year (by the same producer [Jon Peters] that suggested the idea to him) there was a giant mechanical spider in the film "Wild Wild West".

This is the hardest part about making something in entertainment, studios / creators have an idea of what they want, so in the long and short of things it's all about the pitch. So the idea might be amazing, though the execution doesn't always match the details on paper. What all this means is we, as viewers, have to take everything with a grain of salt. I'm not saying we should look away on something that doesn't fit the world that was created, though we shouldn't throw total blame on one party member. As one of the best episodes (The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show) of "The Simpsons" series shows, characters and plots are sometimes inspired or pressured by individuals for better or worse. Fans forget the power they have over the movement of what is popular or what they want to see, more or less these pleasures are created, not always the intent that was wanted.

We need to take our ego out of what we expect and try to live within the world of the entertainment we're enjoying. It's sometimes hard, since characters can be close to us, though this is why we converse about all these different forms of media and have websites dedicated to pointing out these problems or congratulating those that made something excessively well. I hope this clears up some of my opinion points for media that tried to take on something ambitious and didn't quite succeed. Taking one's personal bias out of things sometimes help the enjoyment, though I will point out problems that should have been seen nonetheless.

In short, a lot of heart and vitality went into a lot of entertainment media, this is a review blog, but I'm not going to be crushing, just critical. There's a lot of books and movies and cartoons to just about replace every person in North America, so let's explore these multitudes of forms and probe the unknown with a positive mind.

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