Friday, 18 January 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On... #27: Author/Auteur

The Director's Guild of America has beaten the odds and inked a tentative deal with the AMPTP. Read all about it here, here, or here (h/t-Libertas)

I was predicting that the AMPTP would repeat the same bad-faith stunts
they pulled during the negotiations with the WGA and storm away.

I was wrong.

But I can admit a mistake, especially when it proves my larger point.

Now some are saying that this is part of some Machiavellian ploy by the AMPTP to split the WGA rank and file and force them into accepting a bad deal.

I don't think they're that clever.

So allow me to explain.

I've said in the past that Hollywood is essentially High School with money and in this High School the Moguls are the hyper-active keeners who ran Student Council, the Directors are the Jocks, the Actors are the cheerleaders and the Writers are the nerds who do everybody else's homework in order to avoid daily wedgies, noogies, and the dread Rear Admiral.

Do you see where I'm going here?

Directing a film is a glamorous job. It's the only job where being an anal retentive, abusive jerk can get you praised as a genius, an artist, an auteur.

Like I said, the moguls are the student council kids, with pretencions to braininess, and a certain amount of political, if not business savvy. They'd love to have the acceptance of the film world's equivalent of jocks (Directors) and of the Cheerleaders (Actors) because it makes them feel like they're part of the creative process.

Directors and actors have to be collaborative in nature. You cannot direct a film, or act in a film completely alone. They have to do their jobs in front of others, and in the case of directors, they have to command those people in order to get the film made.

That creates an element of glamour that people remember.

We all know Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho, but who wrote the screenplay? Those who know their film history know it was Joseph Stefano, but Hitchcock is the household word.

So why are writers the nerds of Hollywood High?

Writers mostly work alone (sometimes in pairs) in dank little rooms, lit only by their computer screens and their collection of glow in the dark Star Wars memorabilia.

Sure their work is necessary, but it sure isn't glamorous and it isn't going to get much glory from the press, or respect from the moguls.

So writers become the nerds. Necessary, but not wanted.

I guess the question is, will the writer's use the DGA deal to get the AMPTP back to the table.

Logic would dictate a speedy settlement, with the Oscars on countdown to destruction, and at least one, and possibly two TV seasons being completely scotched.

But the moguls haven't exactly acted logically in the past.

Especially when you're blinded by glamour.

No comments:

Post a Comment