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Anyone think director ego/hubris has ruined franchises (SW/HP)

cormack12

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Mar 21, 2013
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There are probably countless examples of this, but probably the biggest examples to draw from as a starting point are Harry Potter and Star Wars. Those two should light fires.

So Chris Columbus directed the first two films (Philosopher's stone, Chamber of secrets), and I'm not sure of the specifics behind the scenes but it was after this the director changes started to creep in and we ended up with a sequence of Cuaron, Newell and Yates. All of these directors spoke when passing the torch on, but it was visibly apparent to me that ultimately there was so many shifting changes and choices, but the worst was the oneupmanship that started on the cinematography. It was as though the criticism of Columbus that they weren't dark enough was taken literally, and with each iteration they threw another filter on the lens. If it stopped there that might be enough, but then there was radical departutre from established characters, deviations from the books that made massive plot holes. While it was always a series that needed to be truncated from the source material, I felt these directors made those choices based on cheap emotional payoffs and completely ruin the big organic moments (Dumbledore's funeral etc.). Then obviously special effects and conflict was padded out. Rowling's input was pared back to allow the director's more freedom and I think they completely fucked it up. Having said that, some of the scenes in the later films are beautiful but as a series, the continuity is just ruined.

Star wars is star wars. I can write at length about that but we all know enough here about the prequels with George, and the ongoing battle of Johnson and Abrams. I just feel the director's responsibility to the audience has been superseded by ego and wanting acclaim for the direction of the movie itself, or being 'brave' by subverting viewer expectations. You could argue that the plot and background story was salvageable if (ironically) Lucas had stepped down and forced a director change, but having seen the sequels, that brings its own problems.

I feel now these creatives are more about seekign validation and being proclaimed as auteurs and are chasing that dream instead of just producing work that might attain or support that accreditation.....thoughts?
 

Birdo

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Jun 12, 2019
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Constantly passing the torch in a franchise is not really a good idea. You end up with odd tonal changes if you hire people that want to inject their "vision".

For all their faults, the Prequel Trilogy is consistent. Whereas the Disney SW films are a disjointed mess. TLJ felt like it was made by someone who didn't even watch TFA.
 
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GreyHorace

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Jun 14, 2019
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Constantly passing the torch in a franchise is not really a good idea. You end up with odd tonal changes if you hire people that want to inject their "vision".
Superhero comics since they were created in a nutshell. I mean, the Spider-Man that Lee and Ditko created would no doubt shock a lot of moderns readers today at how much of an angry prick he was.

Sometimes though, a new creator's vision seems perfect for the character. I personally can't think of a better Captain America than Ed Brubaker's.
 

#Phonepunk#

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Sep 4, 2018
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Yeah without a doubt. Directors have to outsmart audiences cos they are too wrapped up in their ego, they have to be better than the audience. Really if they got off their high horse and just gave people what they wanted all would be fine.

I think another big problem is nihilism, many of these people literally cannot tell moral stories because they lack a moral system. Note how SW turned into “both sides”ism with the last entry, both Luke and DJ taking cowardly stances of moral relativity. When you don’t believe in anything the art you create is bankrupt of meaning.
 
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Aurelian

my friends call me "Cunty"
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Yeah without a doubt. Directors have to outsmart audiences cos they are too wrapped up in their ego, they have to be better than the audience. Really if they got off their high horse and just gave people what they wanted all would be fine.

I think another big problem is nihilism, many of these people literally cannot tell moral stories because they lack a moral system. Note how SW turned into “both sides”ism with the last entry, both Luke and DJ taking cowardly stances of moral relativity. When you don’t believe in anything the art you create is bankrupt of meaning.
I don't think it's necessarily about ego, but about wanting to say something. And just 'giving people what they want' would be boring as hell. There are enough movies that are too predictable; we don't need to encourage directors to create a never-ending stream of pablum. They don't have to be overly clever, to be clear, but I'm tired of morally impeccable heroes and tidy endings.

And I don't think you were paying attention if you thought TLJ lacked a moral system. There's morality everywhere -- it's just not simplistic, naive morality. The movie doesn't really sympathize with Luke until he realizes that he can't shut himself off from others, and that heroism is sometimes more about serving as a beacon of hope than accomplishing something directly. And DJ? He's an opportunist who refuses to take a stance, and he gets excoriated for it.
 
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SirKicksalot

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Jan 9, 2018
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Potter's cinematography changed in the second Columbus movie. First one is very flat and static. The second one was obviously inspired by Peter Jackson - look how much the camera moves now.
The real crime was the fourth movie. I knew it was in trouble the moment the narrow Dutch angles showed up in the beginning.
Yates has a thing for hardcore colour correction but I don't mind. His Potters and Tarzan are gorgeous.
 

Yoda

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Jun 17, 2011
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Terminator... And mainly because it was never suppose to be a franchise. The sequel was only made because Cameron wanted to explore what he could've done w/a proper production budget. The amount of cash grab sequels that ensued was nauseating. I'm sure all the directors thought well (I can't be bothered to google who they were), but anyone who took the role of director after 3 probably didn't care and was happy to cash the check.

WRT to Star Wars. I'm a long time fan (note my forum name), it hasn't been a good franchise WRT to its mainline entries for nearly 40 years. Basically, when it's creator was allowed to receive creative criticism, we received an amazing blockbuster movie with an incredible world and extremely memorable characters. Unfortunately the success got to him, he purged anyone who'd stand up to him creatively and we got the prequels. He turned into a bitter man who didn't want to release movies because... people criticized them. Cashing out to Disney and getting the designed by committee dogshit is just icing on the cake, but don't be fooled, Star Wars was dead long before Bob Iger forked over 4 billion to George.

Fun fact: George Lucas DID NOT direct Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi.
 
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Durask

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Feb 6, 2012
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I like how Cuaron's Harry Potter movie starts with Harry Potter playing with his wand under the blanket.
Very symbolism, much creative.
 

pork_gamete

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Jun 3, 2014
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HP feels like eons ago. I don't think the franchise has aged well, books and movies. I don't think it translates well to kids these days.

In terms of movies, it feels to me that everything from the early 2000's has this very strange cheeseness to it, hp and tlotr included.
 
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The opposite. I think it's good when directors are allowed to be autuerish with larger properties, such as the Cuarons/Burtons/Johnsons of the world. Even if it divides audiences, it makes for a more interesting movie, and enough to foster a discussion about after initial impact.

Otherwise you end up with the MCU, which is palatable and immediate by studio design but doesn't transcend the levels of "That was fine I guess."