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Old 09-05-2018, 10:02 AM   #1
pedramyz
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The balance between business and creativity

When you have an idea for a movie or a tv show and you absolutely love that idea, to what extent should you compromise to create it in the industry? Most famous filmmakers suggest that you should always be loyal to your original idea, on the other hand there is the matter of keeping it interesting for the audience. Where exactly should the line be drawn? Should you stick to your idea even if many people won't like it? or should you compromise everything ( even deviating from your original idea) to make it look appealing for the audience?

This is frankly a really hard, controversial question. Every day new aspects of the audience's taste get revealed to filmmakers. Subjects that seemed completely out of line or boring 20 years ago, are now used as the basic standards of an interesting movie.

The history of cinema has shown that we can't for sure know what the audience wants. Every standard you name, there is a completely different movie out there with reverse standards which is appealing to the audience. It's like there is no definitive answer to what the audience wants exactly.

So with all these in mind, to what extent should filmmakers compromise in order to make their movie or Tv show happen?
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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compromise where you can and choose your battles.
i'm not going to make something that i would be ashamed to be part of... at least i'm not going to make something like that on purpose
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:13 AM   #3
directorik
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It's a difficult question but not controversial if one allows for
differing opinions. The answer only becomes controversial when
we do not accept that others have different goals.

My goal has always been to earn a living doing what I love. I happen
to love writing and creating. Of course I went through the “don't
touch my words” phase; everyone must go there.

But I soon understood that entertainment is a business first. Yes,
there are many people who can keep their creative vision despite
the business side opposing them. Many fail; they make movies the
public doesn't like and the powers-that-be are proven right. Many
succeed; they make a movie the powers-that-be are sure will fail
and the people love it.

But the bottom line is the bottom line. Most working entertainment
folks are not the “star” names we admire and cite as examples. Most
are just working stiffs whose names are not known outside of the
insiders. After several years of hoping and trying to be the writer/director
(or writer) who everyone knows I decided to be the writer who works.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
Where exactly should the line be drawn?
Should you stick to your idea even if many people won't like it? or should you compromise everything ( even deviating from your original idea) to make it look appealing for the audience?
I can't answer for you. My choice of those options is to compromise
and get the paycheck and the next job.

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Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
So with all these in mind, to what extent should filmmakers compromise in order to make their movie or Tv show happen?
Compromise and make it happen. Do that until you are successful
enough to be sitting in a meeting with a producer who says, “I want
to be in business with you. What have you got?” and you can say,
“I've got this but you can't touch my words or my creative vision.”

I never got there. But I have been making my sole living in entertainment
since I was 15. I have written (and directed) stuff I am not proud of and
stuff I am downright ashamed of, but I make a living doing what I
love and that's what I really wanted from the beginning.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. As you point out: "It's like there
is no definitive answer to what the audience wants exactly." So sometimes
the producer think they know and sometimes the writer things they know.

Maybe you know best. Maybe the producer knows best.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #4
pedramyz
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directorik, your answers are always honest and detailed in my threads! Thank you for being passionate about the issues I point out.

I myself love cinema cause it's the best tool in the world to translate ideas and you can share them . I want to become a filmmaker cause that's the only way I can explicitly talk about my feelings and share them with the world. I've always had the problem of finding sympathy from those around me ( not that the people aren't trying, but that the nature of the conceptions or certain emotions I have are sometimes hard to relate with).

So yeah, cinema for me is a way of connecting with and being sympathized by people.

The ironic part is that my greatest inspiration is not even a filmmaker, but a 17th century philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau. His book " Confessions" changed my life.

Last edited by pedramyz; 09-05-2018 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:32 PM   #5
directorik
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For anyone whose primary goal is to express themselves then compromise
is not an option. Make only the movies you want to make the way you want
them made.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:51 PM   #6
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What really happens is that those who go way out on a ledge by creating something "different" have - most of the time - already proven that they can make something that has "mass appeal." And there are a rare few who somehow manage to get their "different" produced - despite the system - by sheer talent, ambition, hutzpah and unrelenting dogged determination.

The usual successful "different" is, in actuality, something quite familiar with a unique twist. The original "Star Wars" film was the usual chosen one story; nothing new there. The unique twist was to make it a Western set "In a galaxy far, far away" using groundbreaking (at the time) CGI and other effects. Yes, there was a lot of luck involved. There was also a cast that clicked, a producer and production designer who crammed an incredible amount into a small budget, a visual effects supervisor who produced something really new, a composer who created an iconic score and a sound designer who went bravely in a new direction. And, of course, a director who held true to his vision, who knew where and when to compromise, and who relied upon his team to follow his vision with gusto and creativity.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:28 PM   #7
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And it didn't hurt that the writer/director of Star Wars had the number
three box office hit and an Oscar nomination for best director and original
screenplay under his belt.

That can open doors; that "I want to be in business with you. What have you got?"
scenario I mentioned.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:51 PM   #8
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subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:11 AM   #9
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Most Directors start in the underground. Darren Aronofsky made the movie PI for $60,000. David lynch first movie Erazorhead costed him $20,000. There is definitely a market for art house movies.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
And it didn't hurt that the writer/director of Star Wars had the number three box office hit and an Oscar nomination for best director and original screenplay under his belt.
Which is exactly what I had pointed out……..

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proven that they can make something that has "mass appeal."
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
And it didn't hurt that the writer/director of Star Wars had the number
three box office hit and an Oscar nomination for best director and original
screenplay under his belt.

That can open doors; that "I want to be in business with you. What have you got?"
scenario I mentioned.
That is indeed the best way to go given that this scenario happens. Does this "I want to be in business with you. What have you got?" really happen? isn't each new project a new challenge to sell? even if you are already famous?
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedramyz View Post
That is indeed the best way to go given that this scenario happens. Does this "I want to be in business with you. What have you got?" really happen? isn't each new project a new challenge to sell? even if you are already famous?
The persons "presence" in any industry will determine if someone says to them "I want to be in business with you." If someone asked you if you wanted to be involved with Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Joel & Ethan Coen, what would you say? My answer would be "are you frigging kidding me? Of course I would." The reverse applies; if one of those luminaries had a "different" type of project in the works wouldn't anyone want to become involved? People of that stature don't have trouble attracting great talent in front of and behind the camera or getting funding; they have proven track records of making profits for their investors, so it is a calculated gamble/risk based upon their previous performance.
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