|Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
"Good" and Film Industry Ignorance
I don't know why, but I felt the need to vent for five minutes on this site because there's really no other place to vent when you have something on your mind. Especially when it's about wanting to educate people about something on top of venting about it.
Yesterday I was perusing facebook for some unknown reason. Probably to see the next funny meme because, truth be told, I couldn't care less about the things most people put in their status updates. That sounds bad, I know, but people either update with useless information, things they think are funny that aren't and, especially, a lot of drama that may or may not involve song lyrics. Love to see your vacation and baby pics and info about your new job, lay off the pillow-crying and the fact you're going to the gym.
Anyways, getting sidetracked here. Sorry. Bad habit. So I scrolled down the newsfeed, past a cute puppy, and saw an article that stated:
"James Cameron's Special Effects Company Filing for Bankruptcy"
"Ah, that's too bad," I thought. I clicked on it and saw that was his Digital Domain, a company most people are familiar with if they know anything about movie making. Been around a while, does a lot of great work, won seven Oscars, knows their shit. It's a solid company even though their choice of projects to take on the past few years have been questionable. However we will get more into this in a moment.
As I was looking down facebook at this article link, a comment popped up right under it from a fellow facebook user:
I looked at that for a moment, and for some reason I just got pissed.
"Good?" It's good a company is filing for bankruptcy and talented folk are probably going to be let go?
"Ah," I thought again. "Johnny Douchebag here isn't saying 'good' because a special effects house is closing. He's saying 'good' because he read the misleading title and is one of those people that, for some reason, really hate James Cameron."
Backlashes to directors and filmmakers, even long-winded and over-exposed ones like Cameron, is something I'll never understand.
First off, I don't 'get' the James Cameron hate or the backlash just like I don't get it towards Tarantino, Spielberg, Scott and numerous other directors that, for some reason, have people really disliking them. It doesn't matter, though, because it's juvenile at best. Every successful person has people that inexplicably rag on them for really no reason other than to rag on them.
I just like to see entertaining and well done movies. But whatever, that's not the point here.
The point is Johnny Douchebag's knee-jerk spout of "good" and how he, apparently, is happy James Cameron failed at something.
He's wrong. He looked at the headline without reading the article. He showed how ignorant he was...and so did the people that "liked" his comment.
Let me tell you about Digital Domain for a moment. It's not "James Cameron's" company, first off. That's Lightstorm. DD was founded in 1994 by three major proponents of special effects: James Cameron, legendary practical effects wizard Stan Winston and the general manager of the top dog at Industrial Light and Magic, Scott Ross (who through the 1980s, won five Academy Awards himself including for a personal favorite film of everyone who's ever lived: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, probably ILM's biggest marvel ever, not to mention every other film from the 1980s you probably liked)
Ross, Cameron and Winston had been working in genre films for years, so they set out to found Digital Domain in 1994 with the intention of propelling independent effects houses and hiring the best of the best to contractually do special effects for films. Now, decades later, they have one of the most impressive resumes out of any special effects houses including seven Academy Awards under the house's belt. Films include a slew of Ron Howard and David Fincher films, including Apollo 13, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club, quite a number of Michael Bay's effect-heavy films (Bay, What Dreams May Come, Titanic, The Fight Element, Interview with the Vampire, X-Men, O Brother Where Art Thou? Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, Zodiac, the wonderful guilty pleasure that is Speed Racer, JJ Abrams' Star Trek...
Alright, you probably get the idea.
Actually, you probably don't get the idea just yet, because DD also won numerous awards for its technical achievements, not just for specific films. Proprietary technology that set standards for the entire industry, notably with their composition and tracking software.
Here's the thing though: Digital Domain was bought by Wyndcrest Holdings in 2006. So Cameron, Winston and Scott didn't even have anything to do with it anymore.
That article title again? Yeah...like I said pretty misleading. Cameron helped found it, but he doesn't have anything to do with the company, so it didn't help matters, but if you do five seconds of research or know anything about Digital Domain at all, you would know better.
"Good?" You know what that showed me other than that elitist-snobby dipship attitude that a lot of film grads in their 20s tend to have? It showed me just how ignorant Johnny Douchebag is, and how a lot of people are about the inner workings of film industry. Also how dumb article writers and copy editors can be with stupid headlines. It also shows just how lazy people on the internet are that can't spend five minutes to read or watch something to make sure they know what the fuck they're saying before they say it.
But even at it's heart..again why "good?" Why is it good talented people would lose their job. There's no defense...you're just a douchebag.
I don't know why I felt so offended by it. I like Cameron fine, but no more than a lot of other directors and no less than a lot of other directors so it's not as though I felt a need to "defend" him. Nor to really defend Digital Domain and support their work. I think, when it comes down to it, it's just the attitude and what that "good" embodied. Just some slack-jawed guy who doesn't know what he's talking about thinking "good" means something. Like it's intelligent. Like we can read everything behind it in the same way we look at a review score and think we know what the review is actually saying. In other words, comments and attitudes like that are representations of a side of the film-fan-culture that I utterly despise. Ignorant, spiteful, cynical...it's a quality of the culture that spreads like a virus and just need to be cut out.
A visual interpretation of Johnny Douchebag Film Snob