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Old September 23 2012, 05:49 AM   #117
Ryan Thomas Riddle
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

The tone has become more and more derisive and bullish in this thread. What started as a fun little thread has once again devolved in order to showcase how right one person is over another. This isn't the first time this has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last. Quite frankly, it's all unfortunately come from Christopher. I'm not making this personal, but it's hard to deny that instead of engaging in debate, we're being both lectured and ridiculed. For instance:

Christopher wrote: View Post

Oh, good grief, you couldn't be more wrong.
That sets the tone right there. Whatever may come afterward regards of accuracy or compelling argument is made lesser by this dismissive tone, which is a shame because some good points are made. And before I'm dinged on this — tone does carry in text and is set by syntax and diction. (Christopher and other Trek novelist aren't the only professional writers in this thread or on this board.)

And that tone continues to carry forth later in the same post when speaking on points made by Maurice.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Emphasis is mine.

Maurice wrote: View Post
I don't think it's fair to blame the distributors.
And I don't think it's constructive to define every problem in terms of who to blame. A fixation on blame is not a healthy way to cope with problems. It's more important to understand how they came about and how they could be/could have been fixed or avoided, rather than wasting effort on some petty scapegoat hunt. Responsibility is a worthwhile concept; blame is just vindictive.
We're being lectured here. When in fact, it was Christopher who brought up "fault":

Christopher wrote: View Post
If there's any "fault" to be assigned, it's with the distributors who insisted on an inflexible release date and therefore forced Wise to deliver an unfinished rough cut to theaters.
More than that, when all else fails there's an appeal to authority, as in:

Christopher wrote: View Post

Emphasis mine

You're forgetting, they had the FX shots in, more than they needed, which was the problem. They put all the FX shots they had into the rough cut, and the intention was then to go through that cut and refine and trim it, see what the best pacing and the best ratio of different scenes and shots would be. They started with more material than they needed so they'd have the option to trim it down in a variety of ways -- so they'd have coverage, as they say. I do the same thing when I write, as do lots of other writers -- start out with more than I need and then decide what's expendable. That's how editing works.

If you're going to second-guess the editorial judgment of the man who edited Citizen Kane, at the very least you should get your facts straight first.
First, comparing the process of solitary writing, that of a novel or short story, isn't an apt comparison. It's apples and oranges. More than that, the appeal to authority is quite apparent. I write and this is how I do it (and others too) so that's how all editing works.

I find that really belittling, Now, here's where I appeal to authority. There are many other forms of writing and each writing in itself unique. Take journalistic writing, which I have done professionally. Editing often happens in tandem with the actually writing. A reporter edits stuff that's not necessary while typing up the piece. There's often no luxury to throw everything into a piece then edit afterward.

Moreover, filmmaking is a whole lot of variables wrapped in a blanket of constraints. If this isn't finished, that affects this and it must be within this budget and timeframe. It is dependent on the work of others, which solitary writing is not.

Two, the appeal to Wise's expertise as an editor doesn't apply in this case. He was the director, the driver of the entire production on TMP, rather than the single cog in CITIZEN KANE. Nor does that expertise absolve him of missteps in judgement to get another production in the can. Different roles, different productions.

That and no one was second guessing. Even Wise, as Maurice has pointed out in the past and the director has been on record as saying, admits to missteps made, even in the editorial process.

Having expertise doesn't absolve anyone of criticism or being called out for errors in his/her work.

Third, there's a tone of authority and expertise in the post that's undeserved.

The post also assumes something that doesn't exist in Maurice's original post:

Christopher wrote: View Post
Emphasis is mine.

Maurice wrote: View Post
And re the effects, the responsible thing to have done would have been to trim down the number of shots and concentrate on a few really memorable images as opposed to a whole lot of shots that aren't necessary even if you want them. For instance, we don't need four minutes of flying over V'ger, we just need a handful of OMG THAT THING IS MONSTROUS shots to sell the hopelessness of the Enterprise's mission.
In your opinion based on a modern way of thinking about cinema, one conditioned by our modern generation when everything is so much faster-paced and people are so much more impatient. Personally I'm disappointed that so many modern films buy into that same rush-rush-rush mentality and devote so little time to moments of grandeur that deserve a more stately, contemplative presentation. I think those four minutes of flying over V'Ger are some of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring images in cinema history, and the best evocation of true alienness that Star Trek has ever managed to produce. They don't just give us a glimpse and a superficial impression; they let us really examine V'Ger and take the time to absorb it, as did the Enterprise flyby before. I, for one, appreciate that. They're also beautiful works of art by Trumbull, Dykstra, and their teams, and I appreciate the chance to really examine that artistry and soak in its details rather than just having it race by.
There was no opinion on "modern way of thinking about cinema, one conditioned by our modern generation" in the original post. Nor was there not one mention of "faster-paced" or "rush-rush-rush mentality." It's been grossly mischaracterized. What was actually being stated has been a part of cinema since the beginning. What do I need and not need. Being to the point with every shot, every line of dialogue. That's what was being brought up in Maurice's post, not a call for a more modern approach.

Consider other ponderous science-fiction films, such as 2001. Every shot was deliberate, meaningful. Can the same be said of every effect shot in TMP? Not really. And that's what was being argued, not "rush-rush-rush mentality."

And finally, this:

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Oh, come on. I could say the same about your characterization of some of the things I've said. It's just talking past each other and having different interpretations of the issue. I responded to the words you wrote. Those are my only insight into your meaning. If you think I didn't understand what you meant, then choose different words that convey it better. How am I supposed to know you were talking about having more FX shots than they needed when your actual words were "...waiting for the effects shots to come in," which suggests the exact opposite of what you subsequently said you meant? I can't read your mind, only your posts.
When all else fails, an ad hominem attack. Yes, the thread has truly become "I'm right, you're wrong. Write better. Nener nener."

Whatever interesting discussion was to be had has now been vaporized into wisps of smoke and ash.

Last edited by Ryan Thomas Riddle; September 23 2012 at 06:00 AM.
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