Situation vacant: Lightning rod

At lunch today, the talk was on films. Someone asked why directors are so feted when it comes to films whereas in other media, the writer is king (or queen). The answer is that those who market films need a representative of the crew – all those people who make the film who do not act in the film.

The public have no need to understand how producers come up with the ideas for most films, how cinematographers come up with most of the shots, how production designers design most of the film. It is much easier to market the director as the author of a film. They can be portrayed as ‘artists’ and ‘visionaries’.

This even happens when the director is replaced during production. Visionary directors such as Terry Gilliam and Brad Bird have made films where they were brought in to save a production in trouble. Few journalists question the artistry that went towards the making of ‘Ratatouille’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’. They just don’t bother understanding the complex path that these and other films took to get to our screens.

Magazine and newspaper readers would rather hear about what wonderful lives directors have, with inspiring stories of how almost anyone can make it in Hollywood.

See you by the pool!

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