A writer’s apology and what can be taken from it.
Hey, Gang. Hope everyone is doing well. Just today I came across something that caught my interest. It was a short article about the main writer for a movie, Dragonball: Evolution and how he apologized for the movie, considered to be one of the worst movies, let alone worst live-action adaptations of an anime of all time.http://thedaoofdragonball.com/blog/news/dragonball-evolution-writer-apologizes-to-fans/
While the article does seem a bit self-serving to the author (Like I would EVER do that right?) It does bring up some thoughts, especially for the reasons he is apologizing for it.
To give you a bit of background. DG:E was a movie released in 2009 movie directed by James Wong, who had directed a couple of the Final Destination movies. To say this movie took its own direction from the Established Dragonball lore is an understatement. It starts with our hero Goku as a whiney teenage karate gym rat who wants to get the attention of the pretty girl in school Chi-Chi. Whitewashed in both casting and story it was pretty much terrible.
Funny aside. I transcribed a bunch of interviews that were taken for Anime News Network from the set. Everyone from many of the actors down to the people doing sets and costumes was interviewed. I knew this movie would suck before it was even released just by the fact that so many of the people that were talked to always repeated the phrase “We wanted to take (insert anything) from the original series but the studio didn’t let us”.
I enjoyed that task more than the movie.
Back to the topic at hand, writer Ben Ramsey wrote in a simple explanation that he had avoided the topic for years, shifted the blame to others, but still constantly got hate for how bad the movie was and how he made it harder for American live action remakes of anime titles to be made (This on the cusp of the Ghost in the Shell movie being released, already drawing critics based on it’s casting a white woman as the Japanese lead).
He says he knew this day would eventually come and he full on admitted the movie was shit. His reason for why this movie turned out so bad? He was looking for a big payday. The movie’s budget was $30 million so without knowing the total amount, he was probably in line for a nice paycheck. He admits he wasn’t a fan of the show, but knows what DB fans feel “As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.”
There is a lesson to be found in this. Not so much for the apology. Do Not feel like you have to apologize for your work to every single person who has a gripe about your work. If you put all your effort, passion, heart and soul into something. Do not apologize. He didn’t, knows he didn’t, and the movie was crap for it. He can apologize. He can put this behind him hopefully and hope he has learned the same lesson I’m mentioning here.
The main takeaway from this is more of “what you put into it is what you get out.” Money can be a hell of a motivator. I wouldn’t have taken my old job at Wal-mart if it wasn’t for a promise of more money (that was a lie BTW). He probably needed or really wanted the money, but didn’t care about the quality. He gave them a script, he got paid and probably bought something nice.
Although not motivated by money, back when I was just a fan fiction writer, I often wrote whole chapters (of 5 or 6 stories each) that were done just to update and getting something down. No creative motivation, no point I wanted to make. And they were shit. When you take 5 stories with the main plot being teaching Ryoga from Ranma 1/2 to drive, it was not a storyline that needed to be written. Luckily it wasn’t for a $30 million movie.
So the point to be made here is don’t let things cloud your passion and your talent. You chose to be a writer and sometimes you have to write things that you aren’t familiar with. Remember why you are there and what you want to accomplish sitting in that seat pounding away on the keyboard. Even if you get rejected (and in the name of The three god sisters I have!) at least you can say you gave it your effort and the best you thought you could produce at the time.
In a creative profession as writing, not matter how it manifests itself or what level it is at, regret can be a powerful thing. But putting your best effort into it makes that regret a lot less of a problem for you in the future.
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