Friday, December 4, 2015

We shouldn't take the audience for granted.

Some days ago I read a blog where some film business insider wrote that it doesn't matter that much whether the writers do their jobs well. As long as you have the audience flocking to see the movie, everything's just fine.

It's not like he was really against good stuff being released, but he wasn't really bothered by the lack of quality scripts that much. What matters is the bottom line, that they make as much money as possible, as fast as possible.

I was honestly pretty bothered and annoyed by what he had said. It wasn't fun to read stuff that was morally questionable at best. Whether the writers care or not, it seems that too many times they can take their audiences for granted.

So after that I felt pretty annoyed and decided to go to another (well known) site, where a film person was reviewing a freshly released feature film. It had gotten good reviews and he had apparently liked the movie quite a bit.

This seemed much better than what I had just managed to read. For a change we had some insider guy who actually appreciates movies and seems to demand quality stuff. It didn't look like he was going to commit those same sins as the guy before.

So things looked pretty good until I got to his last paragraph, where he too said something awful. He said - perhaps accidentally - that 'the best movies are the ones where the writers also care - and not just the audience'.

I mean - as unfortunate as it is - he too was implying that the audience members are going to pay for the tickets no matter what. They will show up and see these films and it doesn't matter much how good or bad they turn out to be.

But what's worse, he was also implying that as a writer you don't have to always care about your work.  Most of the time you can still be 'good enough' if you just phone it in. Apparently only the very best stuff requires that you actually care about your work.

I mean, maybe it's just me, but I have always thought that it's absolutely essential that writers care about their craft. It's super important that you always try your best so that you won't take your audience for granted.

As far as I'm concerned, if you don't care about your craft enough as a scribe and if you're not willing to make sure that your scripts are as good and as entertaining as possible, you really, really shouldn't be a screenwriter.

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