Nov 24, 2019
This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.
Topics and Show Notes
We've linked to the video where you can hear the full quote from Scorsese in its proper context. It was an industry focused discussion about his latest project “The Irishman” and the challenges involved in getting it produced and promoted. He was asked about the future of movie-making and the platforms for movies and narrative cinematic storytelling. In the conversation, as an aside he mentioned what he thought of as “cinema”: something that is a defined, encapsulated, curated narrative experience is what he seemed to mean, as opposed to a long form TV series where the audience chooses how many episodes they watch at a time (his example), so the experience of the overall story isn't as fully guided by the creator. It was in exactly THIS context that he mentioned Marvel films, thinking of them more as an experience, like a “theme park”- NOT that they are facile and lessor things than a traditional movie, more that it's not really a contained story that's offered but more of an immersive world that you visit. I don't entirely agree but I can see his viewpoint and it's valid.
We are all emotionally connected and invested in the Marvel films so we mistakenly took his remarks too personally and out of context, turning it into a very stupid old vs young argument that it never was. It seems it was in the spirit of this that Francis Ford Coppola waded in and offered his rhetorical firebrand defence to his good friend, using a value judgement and actually calling Marvel films “despicable”. This was again blown up into something huge and headline grabbing. It really was a stupid thing to say, but in the context of defending a friend that was wrongly attacked it becomes more forgiveable, especially since its obviously just rhetoric and not a considered, thought out, personal viewpoint. We can't forget that both men know cinema inside and out and helped create the modern blockbuster film industry of which Marvel is a part. They started out with Lucas and Spielberg. They don't deserve to be ignored, the targets of childish Ad hominems, or casually dismissed because they're not big fans of the same things we are.
We on the Quackcast are huge fans of the Marvel films and all forms of storytelling.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Inner Enemy: Time races ever onward. As the piano keys play note after note, step by inevitable step we move closer and closer to uncovering the mystery at the heart of this world… it teases at the edges like the disturbing, haunting background melodies in this track.
Topics and shownotes
Martin Scorsese quote - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZcEZsFXkk
Francis Ford Coppola quote - https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/francis-ford-coppola-marvel-1202183238/
Feint - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/nov/19/featured-comic-feint/
Inner Enemy - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Inner_Enemy/, by Sabin, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Nov 18, 2019
Where does your main audience come from? And how do you change your work to accommodate them? For a lot of us it's north Americans (mainly from the USA), which is interesting, especially for those of us outside of there because our cultures are slightly different. We THINK we totally understand each other but there ARE differences. So to make ourselves properly understood with the original intent of the story we often have to translate things slightly (much more in Tantz's case!). This goes doubly when a story is set in a different era. How much do you localise your story for the audience, how much SHOULD you?
Nov 4, 2019
“Toxic fans” is a bit of a catch cry now and that has seemed to turn into the idea that any fan who is critical of something or doesn't like it isn't a “true fan”, fans must should love everything. I find this a dangerously silly notion and one clearly driven by business interests with only a limited relationship to reality. It's quite similar to the idea that you're “either for us or against us”, the twisted idea of “patriotism” that says you must agree with and love everything your country and your leader does no matter what or you're a traitor.
Sep 2, 2019
How about having it so anyone in your story can die? Let me explain: It's fake. NOT just anyone can die OK? Your main character will still survive until the end and all that, but what you do is set things up so it really truly looks like they're vulnerable and can die, this way it gives the story bigger stakes. If all the other characters are obvious redshirts then who cares? You KNOW the main character or characters will make it to the end so the threat of death or even injury isn't that important… But if you set things up right and have some clever fakeouts then the story will have much more impact!
Aug 19, 2019
Today we compare and contrast two ways of making characters: starting with a pure archetype and building it with tropes, or creating a character organically through circumstance and interaction with other characters.
Jul 8, 2019
This time we're chatting about settings and where your characters exist in space… where does all the action happen in your comics and WHY does it happen there? Bane's had the really novel idea of thinking of story settings as action playsets, which are toy settings made based on a TV show or movie where you can play with action figures and act out key moments FROM the TV show or movie: Unlike a dollhouse they only have the key sets where the important things happen.
May 27, 2019
What are the different expectations for female and male audiences? This almost entirely a culture based thing, it changes depending on where and WHEN you are from as well as your age and experience… but some obvious things are determined by our physiology: sex sells, but there are slight differences based on gender. I wasn't interested in the “why” (genetic predeterminisim or evolutionary psychology), just the “what”.
May 6, 2019
In this Quackcast we chat about set-ups. pay-offs, and rip-offs. To make your climaxes and endings more satisfying you have pay-offs for audience expectations: set them up in the story and pay them off at the end. If you fail to pay-off then you get a rip-off, it's pretty simple. Your audience will be really disappointed. That's not to say disappointing and unsatisfying ends to stories are wrong, not at all! Often those are fully intended. We're just talking about satisfying audiences, not “good” endings.