When Art Doesn’t Translate Across All Mediums

There was an article in the Times ( 8/12/12) about Seth Grahme-Smith, the writer of the successful novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Unfortunately for him the article is actually about Seth Grahme-Smith the writer of the major motion picture turd, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

It’s strange that this is not the first article in recent memory about an artist’s failure that’s appeared in the L.A. Times. When did failing become news worthy?

This story does illustrate an interesting point which is that many, many times the success of a particular work depends very much upon its particular choice of medium. What works as a story in a comic book or as a somewhat “underground” hipster novel does not necessarily work as a major motion picture. It is the personal nature of a comic or a book that you can hold in your hands and hide under your mattress that makes the sometimes sleazy and distasteful material it contains a delicious forbidden fruit.  Once it’s splashed up twenty feet high in HD Technicolor with Dolby Surround Sound and trailers for it appearing on your mom’s big screen TV every night it just seems to lose its hipness.

I recently read an article in Indie Slate Magazine, a publication for “Indie Filmmakers” about a film that was made that an Indie Film consultant (yes, they exist) told the film’s producer that her film would not be accepted in Indie film festivals. I assumed he meant that the film wasn’t good enough but what he said was that it wasn’t “Indie” enough, that it was too commercial. To some that might mean the film was “too good”. Eventually the film maker sold her movie to the Lifetime Channel but did not become the new darling of the Indie film circuit as she had hoped.

I suppose it’s the story of the Ugly Duckling. The duckling (that was actually a misplaced swan) wasn’t an ugly duck but simply in an inappropriate flock. Before you enter your dog in a dog show you’d better make sure it really is a dog or you will be asking for failure in a contest in which you had no chance to win to begin with. 

No comments:

Post a Comment