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When it Hits the Fan: What Do Creators Owe Fans?

Fans are a very dangerous group to court – although I suppose that’s implied, what with the word being an abbreviation of “fanatic”. Sure, they’ll follow a particular project with zeal and enthusiasm that most producers could only dream of, and (perhaps) prove an invaluable marketing tool in this era of the viral campaign – at the very least, they are more likely to invest a lot more money in your product than a regular consumer. However, that investment comes with a downside – one that I wonder how much creators ultimately end up resenting. To call it “demand” perhaps understates the matter – after all, plenty of non-fanatic movie fans wait for the big blockbusters of the year – but there tends to be a note of what is best described as “possessiveness” or “entitlement” that comes with a large invested fan group. And is that necessarily a good thing? Do these fans feel that these creators “owe” them something for their extended loyalty? Is it fair to demand that from any producer or writer or director?

Heated fan disagreements sometimes get out of hand...

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The Fish Bites Back: James Cameron & Piranha 3D

I kinda sorta almost want to see Piranha 3D. Not because I think it will be good, you see, but because I genuinely want some cheap, visceral 3D action. After all, what’s the point of 3D if it’s simply adding several layours to your 2D watching experience. I realise this makes me sound like an uncultured slob (which, let’s face it, if the glove fits…) but I really want to see a tacky exploitative bit of 3D cinema where things fly out of the screen at me a make me jump out of my seat. It’s not a feeling I’m particularly proud of, but it’s there. Anyway, James Cameron seems to hate me, and people like me. When asked about Piranha 3D, he offered this snippet:

I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year — Tron: Legacy — is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.

Okay, I can’t quite argue with that, but it still seems a little bit harsh.

From the looks of it, what James Cameron wants to do to Piranha 3D...

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Matthew Goode on Making Bad Films…

It’s turgid. I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010. [The location] was the main reason I took it – so that I could come home at the weekends. It wasn’t because of the script, trust me. I was told it was going to be like The Quiet Man with a Vaughan Williams soundtrack, but in the end it turned out to have pop music all over it. … Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.

– Matthew Goode on Leap Year

It’s rare to hear an actor being so candid about a film that met with… less than stellar reception. On one hand I admire the guy’s honesty in speaking out, but on the other I kinda wonder if he really has the right to label the movie as ‘turgid’ after starring in it and whether ‘I got paid’ is really a justification for inflicting that racist romantic comedy upon mankind.

Look on my works ye mighty and despair...

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