Sunday, 27 December 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #419: I'm King of the Assholes!

Welcome to the show folks...

You have probably figured that I'm loathe to link to gossip/paparazzi/schadenfreude site TMZ, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and this time they have a whopper, namely a video of James Cameron not only refusing a fan an autograph, and doing it rather rudely, but calling that same fan an "asshole" for calling him on it.

So the rest of this post is personally addressed to James Cameron, or Jimmy, as I like to call him.

Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy... what am I going to do with you.

Remember Jimmy you've been married how many times?


Don't you might stop for a second and think that there might be a scintilla of a possibility that
you could be the one with the interpersonal problems?

Probably not.

Because you've spent the past 12 years getting your own asshole kissed by Hollywood because you were the first filmmaker to break the $1.5 billion mark for
Titanic. I'm willing to bet dinars to donuts that the fan in question was the first person to ever speak in a contrary manner to you since 1997, because there's nothing Hollywood loves more than a really rich bully.

So what? That doesn't give you the right to be rude, especially to a fan.

Sure, they're a pain with their constant requests for autographs, but they are the people that pay your bills, and yeah, you're richer than Xenu right now, but a couple more divorces, and you might find yourself in desperate need of those fans and their money, money they are not going to spend on someone who calls them an "asshole."

Now you're not going to be able to fulfill every request for an autograph, that's normal, and there are going to be times when someone asks for one at a time when you're tired, cranky, and ready to tear into them the way I almost tore into a certain "express" checkout clerk, but you have to remember, these people pay the gas bills on your hobby submarine. Remember, folks are accusing you of pulling the trigger in the "death of storytelling" because face it, the plot from
Avatar isn't exactly original, or particularly clever. I guess it really misses the alleged input of Harlan Ellison.

Sure Avatar is making a lot of money now, but does it have the legs to be a real classic, or nothing more than a 3D amusement park ride soon to be outshone by the next big amusement park ride? You have to hit near Titanic levels of box office just to break even on this puppy, so you need to be at least a tad diplomatic.

Remember, you're supposed to be Canadian, and that comes with certain responsibilities, one of these responsibilities is being polite, even when you have to say no.

So since you love technical stuff, I will give you a technical solution.

First, sign a shitload of stuff. Headshots, posters, and other cheap otherwise disposable stuff.

Second, print a shitload of business size cards, with each card having a web address and a code number.

Fan asks for autograph, you say: "Sorry, I don't have time to sign your poster," then have a minion give them a card, with the web address and code number. They go to the web-site, enter the code, and they could get one of the autographed items for the cost of shipping and handling or a self addressed stamped envelope of the appropriate size.

The sensible fan can see this as a reasonable alternative that offers them a cool collectible and not think that you're an arrogant, obnoxious, Hollywood phony who looks down on anyone whose lifestyle doesn't resemble a cross between a 17th century French monarch and a James Bond villain.

Hell you can even do some short cuts, have your secretary, assistants, or Harlan Ellison sign the items for you, or use an auto-pen, I don't care, because I'm trying to keep you off TMZ.

You probably won't listen to this advice Jimmy, because I'm speaking some brutal truths, and money trumps truth in Hollywood. So unless everyone on the planet stops seeing
Avatar right this minute, you're going to keep getting worse and worse.

Why do I try?

It's cheap material really.

Now this is for my readers. What do you think about the whole James Cameron/Fan brouhaha?


  1. Blast Hardcheese28/12/09 7:27 am

    Welcome back, D.

    I am proud to say that I haven't seen Titanic, based on how hackneyed the love story seemed (and it had Leo D.). I have seen a couple of making-of documentaries (one for the Abyss, one for Titanic) that pretty much showed James C. as a world-class jerk.

    From what I've heard of Avatar, it's just more hacksauce. I don't care how pretty it is, I won't be seeing it. I refuse to subsidize any more crappy storytelling.

    My question is, does Avatar really need to do Titanic-level BO to be considered a success? I know the budget plus marketing is supposedly $500 million, so I would think a take in the $750M-$1B range would be considered 'solid'. Or am I being naive?

  2. My question is, does Avatar really need to do Titanic-level BO to be considered a success? I know the budget plus marketing is supposedly $500 million, so I would think a take in the $750M-$1B range would be considered 'solid'. Or am I being naive?

    Having read D enough, I think the answer is that box office still only goes partially to the film makers. He recommends a ratio roughly 50% to determine what the film maker actually receives from a movie (since you have execs, theaters, everyone else all skimming off the top). So Avatar would have to hit 1 bil to break even I'm guessing.

    Also, there's no way Avatar is going to. It's already getting beat by Alvin 2 and Sherlock Holmes (I recommend the latter btw). Compare how this is shaping up with how the Dark Knight ran during it's time (and that movie had staying power behind it) and there's no way. I predict it'll be gone by the end of Jan having been a pretty epic bomb.

    Or hey, enjoy this Avatar instead.

  3. Hmmmm.....

    Just for fun I went to IMDB and called up a list of the movies directed by Mr Cameron to see which ones I liked/disliked.

    Gotta give the man credit, from Terminator through Avatar he scored four movies that I liked (Terminator, Aliens, T2, and True Lies) vs three that I couldn't care less about. I thought The Abyss was boring and I've not seen Titanic or Avatar so I guess I'm not allowed to have an opinion on those two. That said, my opinion on those two is that I'm not interested in seeing them. :)

    To get back to the topic, Yes he's a jerk. There are polite ways to refuse an autograph and it's stupid to piss on the people who buy what you're selling.

    Back in the old days a jerk could get away with being a jerk because the only person who knew about it was the person being pissed on and whoever that person might personally tell. With the information age upon us that no longer holds. Be a jerk in public in this day and age and it will have 100,000 views on youtube before you get your car back from the valet.

  4. How long will it be before James Cameron gets smeared on South Park the same way the did with Mel Gibson.