Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wordsmith Documentaries

Tales From the Script features various screenwriters/directors discussing their craft. Highly entertaining, this documentary left me wanting more. William Goldman (The Exorcist, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption), and others regaled the camera with tales of re-writes, stories about production meetings, and in general, the amount of time and effort they put into their art, often without success or a screen credit. I chuckled as one man said, "So, I can't walk into an operating room and tell the surgeon to chop more to the left. BUT, anybody and their uncle on the street corner feels they can comment on what's wrong with my screenplay." I laughed at loud at this ( too true) fact. Everybody has an opinion.

Documenting the advertising world, Art and Copy explores Madison Avenue and demonstrates that everything's an ad these days. We are bombarded with product placement, snazzy slogans, and artistic vision. Goodby, Silverstein and Partners' motto is "Art Serving Capitalism". They created the Got Milk? campaign. They were an interesting pair. Silverstein posts on his door "Brutal Simplicity." Goodby goes for the laughs and writes "Simple Brutality."

Weiden/Kenedy's Nike Just Do It advertising exceeded all expectations. They have signs on their desks like "Don't Feed the Creatives" and "Fail Harder".

Mary Wells, famous for Braniff's campaign, said, "Fear is a powerful depressive. Rejection is tough." She's been in the business a long time - smart, intriguing interview.

The participants in these two documentaries (available to stream on NetFlix) are talented wordsmiths. They are proud of their art and dismissive of people producing schlock that demeans their business. Over and over, I heard the same message - Rewrites, rewrites, and more rewrites.

No comments:

Post a Comment