Saturday, February 06, 2016


The most deceptive form of alchemy is the belief that talent rubs off.

Lives are ruined by it. Careers derailed.

Well-meaning, normal people are swayed into years of mediocrity. Pattern thinking, that if they are just close enough to a 'star', they can decipher the formula. As if it were a paint by numbers.

Or worse happens. The middling thinker convinces themselves that they ARE a star. Because they've seen one up-close.

But watching someone put themselves at risk for their work is nary the same as being on the razorblade yourself.
And yet, we live in an age of faux luminaries. Pleather as far as the eye can see.

I wish I were joking. In Hollywood, for example, two of the major studio heads, the top brass at MGM and Universal: HAVE. NOT. PRODUCED. A. FILM.
We're through the looking glass here people.

As problematic as that bizarre scenario may seem, the real issues actually start when one of these people decides to go off-script in a public forum.

Take the recent speech from Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason. Technically a Government bureaucrat himself, but in truth effectively Australia's film studio head, Mr Mason levied his opinion on modern business techniques for Australian producers:

'He urged producers to make more films aimed at adults aged up to 35 and advised anyone who has been developing a project for as long as 10 years to accept “it’s over” and move on to new projects.'

Oh dear.

Well, what a studio head wants, a studio head receives.

So goodbye 'Avatar'. Adieu 'Jurassic World'. We'll miss you 'Dallas Buyers Club' (you can keep the Oscars).

But let us not forget Australia.

Thanks for the memories 'Mad Max: Fury Road'. 'Tracks', back to the desert with you. We may have to neuter 'Red Dog. 'Strangerland', we hardly knew ye.

'Apocalypse Now' and 'The Simpsons Movie', you made it by the skin of your teeth.

Oh, and of course we would have to tear up the $4.6 billion these films made at the box office.

Do you see the problem yet?

To someone without a horse in the race, ten years of passion invested in a film is a 'wasted investment'.

For those of us actually putting our feet to the fire, trying to make something great, it's the only investment that matters. What is the point of all this without passion?

Heed the advice of people who understand that simple fact.

Because talent doesn't rub off.

Names on business cards do.

- - - - - - - - -