Friday, June 23, 2006

No Twist In The Tale

Arun at Cre8iveIgnition points me to this story in the LA Times about a new book that discusses M. Night Shyamalan's "divorce" from Disney. I am not a fan of Shyamalan's films, but the fact that one of the most commercially successful directors in Hollywood also has to fight for his creative right is a minor revelation of sorts.

The story behind this split is an age-old one: the "suits" versus the artist. One party takes the financial risk and the other, an artistic one. Whose risk is greater?

What I find really interesting about this subject is that both the suits and the artist often forget their symbiotic bond. Without the money, there is no film. That is one of the most severe limitations of this medium. A movie is not a 3-minute pop song that can be recorded on a laptop. It is also not like a novel, which is usually written on the author's time and dime (I am not talking about publishing, marketing and distribution costs here.) But without the film-maker's vision, can there really be a successful film? (Answer: Maybe. How else does one explain the market for sequels and remakes?)

Speaking of bitter artist-management relations, Messrs. Jagger, Richards and Co. once found themselves in a similar fight with their then record label, Decca Records (yes, the same company that famously rejected The Beatles and The Yardbirds.) So, as a farewell gift to the label, they recorded a legendary single which shall remain unnamed lest the obscenity filters at your workplace start melting down.