Recently I watched Crystal Lake Memories, an extensive behind the scenes documentary about the Friday the 13th movies (yes, I know…it's not even October yet and I've managed to shoehorn Friday the 13th into the conversation again).
What I found interesting was the role of Frank Mancuso, Jr, a guy who joined the crew during the first film and became the executive in charge for the next several movies.
Even though the series stayed quite cheap and gave its directors a lot of freedom, Mancuso would step in to say yay or nay to certain story decisions. He didn't seem to be the typical annoying executive with uncreative ideas; he seemed to often have the story's best interests at heart, and nixed several ideas over the years that would definitely have been mistakes. When Mancuso stepped out of his position, the movies went downhill. Hard. And fast. Even for that series.
It was interesting to see, in the midst of some high-profile, big budget catastrophes in comic book movies lately that seemed to be a result of studio interference and indecisiveness, or bad creative decisions that were not reigned in.
See the fascinating stories of the Fantastic Four, Suicide Squad, and Ghostbusters movies if you want behind the scenes tales that are probably more compelling than the films themselves! The channel called Midnight's Edge covers these stories: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvrd6VtgWF7CwaZH1S0N-Qg
George Lucas was thought by many fans to have gone off track on his Star Wars prequels because his great success allowed him too much freedom from other people's opinions, and he was able to proceed with a lot of half-baked ideas.
Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be working out REALLY well, with the executive in charge, Kevin Feige, guiding the whole thing.
As web comics creators, we are allowed freedom from executives, studios, and those “editorial voices”. This is liberating, and allows us to do our wacky stories however we want. The downside is we're not getting piles of cash.
But we're also enabled to move forward with ideas that are underdeveloped, or ill advised, or not as good as they could be.
I generally sit with my ideas for a long time before turning them into comics, but I've definitely put up some pages and stories before they were completely ready. I do find that comments on my comics can give me a sense of whether what's happening in the comic is working.
Do you bounce your ideas off of anyone or ‘vet’ your stories and ideas before posting them? Or after posting them? Do you wish you had an executive over your shoulder, keeping an eye on you?
Have a good one!
Banes at 12:00AM, Sept. 1, 2016
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