Posted by Dave Gerry on April 26, 2000 at 01:56:04:
In Reply to: Re: We don't need no stinkin politics. AMEN! posted by Dave Brewster on April 26, 2000 at 00:32:31:
Thanks for the clarification of certain points, Dave. Do not misconstrue those words as anything remotely close to character assasination; It was a general statement applying to anyone working at Dreamworks and other large studios. You were the most vocal (and sole?)representative, so I addressed my observation to you, since you seem to be everyone else's target, too! (How ironically sheepish of me...)
I haven't seen El Dorado yet, but from the look of the trailers you and the rest of the animators are to be credited for work well done. My views on Dreamworks (the ivory tower of which I speak)were in regards to this particular project, a quote from the cover story in the April 2000 copy of Animation magazine, pg 21, par. 3:
Here's what I'm talking about:
"As executive producer, Katzenberg had the final word on what gags made the cut...according to Eric Bergeron"If he laughed, it was a green light. If he was scratching his chin, uh-uh.""
In light of recent trends (the last 15 years)in feature production, this may seem perfectly O.K.. However, we're ultimately in the business of telling stories, and when a guy who's fundamental concern is keeping the boat together within a budget is suddenly making directorial/editorial decisions regarding content(in other words - micromanaging production), AS THE FINAL AUTHORITY, you end up with a shift away from the expression of the original vision. Bottom line - the director tells the story, the producer enables the story to be told. Shifting these responsibilties can be damaging to the production values and how well the film flows according to the demands of the script, which the director must honor. Allowing an executive producer to tweez bits of dialogue is suspect.
This kind of responsibility shift does not occur regularly in web animation (my current field) because often times the producer and the director are the same guy.
Not to say that it's a bad thing to have the director consult a producer for an opinion on content every once in a while. On the contrary; if the producer is truly integrated into the creative team his or her opinion may be completely valid. BUT, a director that gives up final cut is almost always left with his or her hands tied, which usually means the story suffers from tackiness and gets dated very quickly.
Regardless of whether my interpretation of the El Dorado production report is askew or not(Heck, maybe I'm completely wacked and Katzenberg is a creative storytelling expert - I tried to find his bio on the web with no luck), I would like to say to all who read: Remember to ask yourself frequently, WHAT ARE YOU MAKING. What are you doing for your community in particular, and culture in general? How does your production format affect the ability of the storytelling to shine through? The great advantage the independents ultimately have over the establishment is creative control, and the ability to avoid meddling by marketers and budget-minded finger waggers. Just like to illuminate the distinction.
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