A few hours ago, I finished my first film (no I’m not a “filmmaker”, though I wish I made that kind of money) since “Twilight”. This is quite an accomplishment for me, and I’m proud of myself (see “PERSONAL PRIORITIES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY”).
This film is “Deception” (2008). And despite it’s deceptively-cliched title (there were two previous “Deception”s–one in 1946, another in 1993), it is not a remake. And it’s an excellent film, written by Mark Bomback.
Who cares who the screenwriter is?
I’m one of those weird sons of bitches who stays for the credits (end-titles). I say “weird” because I’m the only person I’ve ever known who does this. Maybe it’s my OCD (“watch/read/listen to it completely, or not at all”), maybe not. I’ve done this at least since I saw “Star Wars”, at age ten–probably because of the music. Now I do it, whether there’s music or not.
You can learn a hell of alot by staying for the credits (at the theater, or at home). Of course, before the 1970’s there were no end-titles. The meager credits were flashed at the beginning of the film, and that was it. Now it’s the reverse–everyone involved is listed, and you realize how many roles there are in the making of a film.
Then you see that “No animals were harmed in the making of this film”–which always cracks me up, not just because I can’t even remember if there were animals in the film, but because it’s never said whether any humans were harmed! And if the movie’s on DVD or VHS (or Blu-ray–fuck that planned-obsolescence), you see the INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) warning–which cracks me up even more, since “Criminal Police” is such an obvious oxymoron!
But these long credit-rolls are okay with me, because I believe we should give credit where it’s due. And this is the intended subject of this admittedly long, drawn-out post. In the making of a film (or TV program, for that matter), who (if anyone) should get the most credit?
This is why I put “filmmaker” in quotes. These days, the director is considered the filmmaker. What about the producer (as pointed-out by Dustin Hoffman’s character, in “Wag the Dog”)?
And what about the screenwriter? Like Mark Bomback? Remember the Screenwriters’-Guild Strike? Brought Hollywood to a halt. Why? Because without screenwriters (for television or film), there could be no new films (or TV-episodes).
If I were involved in the making of a film, I’d be the screenwriter. Of course I’d get no recognition from the viewing public. (The only writers who do are also the directors, M. Night Shyamalan, for example.) But I’d get the satisfaction of knowing that my role was every bit as important as that of the director–if not moreso.