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An Open Letter to Hollywood

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Dear Hollywood, 

This weekend I watched “The Avengers.” Directed by and screenplay by Joss Whedon. I think we can all agree, it was a fantastic movie. The Internet has exploded with its praises, and the sales numbers speak for themselves.

That’s all well and good. But I want to discuss the importance of this movie.

Making the right choices.

“The Avengers” is an amalgamation of all the right choices. When everything comes together to form the perfect movie. And Marvel was able to do it because you couldn’t meddle.

Yep, that’s right. You screw things up.

Often.

With terrible results.

See, it is a funny thing when you allow artists to do what they’re good at. When you don’t put silly “marketing” research into it, things are allowed to flow naturally. You can’t assume to know what the Movie Going public wants. And I have a perfect example of this.

“The Last Airbender.”

This movie should have been a huge hit. An instant win. The entire story, design, tone — everything — was laid out before you. The ravenous fans were blistering for it. And the non-fans would be able to find out why it was so important to them. But you meddled. And it flopped. Some people would want to blame the director, M. Knight Not-going-to-bother-with-it. But that was your choice to tap him for the project.

On what earth was he a good choice? What movie has he done to warrant giving him that one? Not to mention his record.

Why do I bring this up?

Because Marvel knew their audience and their story. So who do you bring in for this project? How about someone that has written for you and is a director of many T.V. shows and a movie?

Bam! Joss Whedon. Which at this point, we can all agree he knocked Avengers out of the Earth’s atmosphere.

So I implore you Hollywood. Stop meddling. Allow the artist you hire to do their jobs. Get out of their way. You can’t “statistic” your way through making a movie. It is an organic process that must have room to grow.

It was nice talking to you. And I look forward to your response in the coming days.

I know you read this blog. Don’t deny it.

— Jeffrey N. Baker

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4 Comments

  1. Gregory Allen says:

    Dear Jeffrey,

    Read William Goldman’s “Adventures in the Screen Trade” for further insight.

    Hulk, Smash!

  2. My dearest, darling Hollywood:

    What Jeff said, squared. Seriously.

    Love and kisses,

    Me.

  3. I echo every bit of this.

    And here’s more on the sins of Hollywood in Airbender: http://occamsrazr.com/2010/07/02/bend-it-dont-break-it/

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