I know that I put up a perfectly terrible picture of myself. But I’m thinking about what it means to be a sellout. The thing that causes it to come to mind is that I wrote about Captain Marvel last week. Some would say that I wrote about it to get eyeballs on my blog. This was never my intent. It’s more that I’ve decided to write further in-depth about movies, TV shows, web series, short films, novels, writing books and even some articles. The Captain Marvel review is just the first. Why you ask?
My conclusions about writing weren’t formed in a vacuum. It’s been a massive journey of learning about writing from movies, TV shows, web series, and short films. But I didn’t also just learn from books, articles, production experience, therapy, feedback, and just about everything else under the sun. An especially helpful teacher has been my attempt at applying that information to my writing. As I didn’t always understand right away, I would look to examples. Some were more successful than others.
I’d also say that this is where the Hollywood studio system has an advantage over indie films when it comes to that. Studios simply have more resources than your average indie filmmaker. An interesting thing coming out of the WGA/ATA conflict is that the studios may not have as many resources going to the actual creation of projects as they could because that money is going to agents in the form of packaging fees. These are essentially “pay to play” fees the studios must give in order for them to have access to the talent these different agents represent. SAG/AFTRA tried to tackle this many years ago without much success. I’m hoping that the WGA gets things to happen for not just them but all of the guilds since packaging fees impact all aspects of Hollywood products.
But I digress… I just think that it’s also good that I talk about the application of writing since movies, TV shows, web series, short films, novels, articles, etc. And this is where the idea of a sellout comes to mind since I’m likely going to be talking about bigger projects. A motivating factor is that I have greater chance of more people having seen them. I’ll also provide links for smaller projects worth checking out.
The other part of decrying being a “sellout” was about not becoming part of the establishment for it is supposed to be bad. But a really interesting thing has come out from all of that… Enough people rebelled against the “system” that it is has created a different “system.” This new system also has its own rules of engagement that one must follow in order to be a part of it.
Hmmm… Is it really any better? I admit that I don’t fit in either “system” since both want one to blindly accept their blanket statements about reality. My conclusion is that the truth is somewhere in the middle. One could really argue that a person becomes a sellout the moment s/he puts a price tag on their art. And I have to ask… So what? I frankly think it’s cool if an artist can make a living from their creative projects. This means that they found a way to make their work accessible to other people in a relatable way.
I also think that this conversation around being a “sellout” may be more of a generational thing. We used to talk about it endlessly when I was younger. I don’t seem to hear it to the extent that I once did. But then… maybe they have a new word for it even if the result of it is the same…The thing that I’m clear about after writing this column is that I’m fine with writing about bigger projects. They can still be learning opportunities.
It’s that I’m seeking pretty much everything to teach me and encourage me to grow as an artist. Plus, I want to be able to help my readers. And how can I do that if I’m the only one who has the secret password to a mysterious project that you can only access when there is a solar eclipse on day 19.545 of the light from the tiger lily moon sending off polka dots? Yeah. I don’t get it either.
Have a great night!
Let me know if you have any questions…
Hollysorianoblog at gmail dot com