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Just read your article about the film business and was very impressed. It was a good read apart from anything else. I agreed with almost everything and was enlightened several times. At the end of the article you invited comment so here is mine. I hope it's welcome. The only thing I disagreed with was the description of Executives. The one thing I've noticed about all film executives is that they are film fanatics, often film school or Arts (Majoring in Film Studies) graduates. These are people who are passionate about the history and art of film. They are generally not practitioners but are somehow in awe of the people who do the actual work. Sometimes they are misguided but generally that's out of over enthusiasm. If it's out of incompetence then generally they don't last. It's interesting when you look at bullfighting; an essential part of that particular art (if you can call it that) is the aficionado i.e. the person who is an expert theorist or outsider who rates the matadors performance. This is an essential part of the whole process. In film, a skilled overseer is neither a producer or director but a creative and financial overseer who, when they are good, provide absolutely valuable feedback particularly during the final stages of scripting, the casting and the then the last stages of cutting...
Peter Weir said the hardest thing about being successful is finding people who will give their honest opinion about your work. It is so easy to surround oneself with "yes" men... I think one of the most important processes in the life of a film is in associating with good smart executives whose judgement you trust. The relationship between director and executives is key.
The Photographic Process is at the heart of Cinema, and it is this process that may be about to change, and with this change Cinema is about to turn into a different medium from the one that has existed for the last Hundred Years. This is because the "fix it afterwards" mentality is invading the filming process because of Digital Post Production. When you transfer a photo of your sister on to the body of a donkey on your home PC, you are performing a manipulation that only 5 years ago was only able to be executed by a skilled artist/photofinisher. Computers have put an end to this skill: the skill is transferred to the programmer and computer technician. When George Lucas makes Star Wars Prequel 6, he probably won't bother to go to any location as he will be able to make the whole movie right there on Skywalker Ranch. He'll pay a license fee to the actor, haul them in for a couple of days to do a computer model of their face and body and that's that. Actor goes home. This process will only exist at the expensive end of cinema for the next few years, but after that the technology will become cheaper and cheaper to the "crossover" point where it will be cheaper to make a film on a computer, than go on Location. At this point "Real Cinema" will only apply to films made on location, and "Real Cinema" will be a minority thing for aficionados. The main reason, apart from economics, that this will come about is that it gives the Hollywood Moguls more control over their films, as they will be made right there in the office, and subject to endless Previews, meetings, marketing and all the committee forces that are the antithesis of creative film making. Studio Executives right now are sidelined by the technical and logistical nature of filmmaking. When they visit the set, they are the outsiders - only granted access to the rushes the day after (until circa 2008). Once the on-set process is digital, or film has disappeared altogether, then the Executive will assume more powers and have more influence. The non-filmmakers will become the filmmakers. Scary. Why is this? Because the FilmMaking Process right now is so technical in nature that it takes years of training and experience for Directors, Cinematographers and Editors to learn their craft. But once the process is on a computer then the following catastrophes are " No Problem".
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