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Old August 15 2008, 02:20 AM   #76
Allyn Gibson
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
If he and Gibbons got the rights back, they could publish it themselves/through another publisher; indy creators have been doing it for decades now (Dave Sim really got the ball rolling with his Cerebus editions around the time Watchmen was published).
I don't disagree at all. I do think that, if the rights had reverted, Watchmen would have been reprinted by, say, Kitchen Sink at some point. Maybe even Avatar.

But would it have had anything like the market penetration and awareness that it's gotten from DC Comics? I doubt it.

I can walk in any bookstore and find a copy of Watchmen or V For Vendetta. It's a rare occasion when I find From Hell on the shelf. I have seen Lost Girls, though.
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Old August 15 2008, 02:31 AM   #77
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Even if it sold less, they'd make way more money off each sale by owning it (Mark Millar said that he made more money off of Kickass #1, which sold around 40,000, then off Civil War #1, which sold about 350,000).
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Old August 15 2008, 02:43 AM   #78
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Even if it sold less, they'd make way more money off each sale by owning it (Mark Millar said that he made more money off of Kickass #1, which sold around 40,000, then off Civil War #1, which sold about 350,000).
It may well be that they'd make money from each sale if they owned it, but Mark Millar isn't exactly on a first name basis with the truth.
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Old August 15 2008, 03:07 AM   #79
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

That's just an example; Brubaker's Criminal (which doesn't sell as well, of course) is another example, it's said to be much more lucrative than the more high-selling stuff he writes for Marvel proper; really, creator-owned titles like that would have to pay considerably better than company stuff, or they wouldn't be able to survive.
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Old August 15 2008, 03:59 AM   #80
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Thatís different from what Iím talking about here, which is a royalty paid to creators of characters for the use of the characters in toys, TV shows, movies, etc.

Marvel did not do THAT until the early to mid 90s.

DC did it when Kahn took over, but I rarely see it discussed since the late 80s, so I do not know if it a case where fewer notable creations have come about in DCís superhero universe or if DC changed their policy on their normal titles (Vertigo, naturally, still maintains tremendous creator rights).
Well, really, it seems like the majority of the DC characters that get adapted into other media have histories that stretch all the way back to the Golden Age. It seems rare to even see a recent supporting character like Lucius Fox or Ra's Al-Ghul to make such a transition.

So, not only would Moore be receiving a royalty check from DC on the million copies of Watchmen they intend to sell this year, he would be receiving a royalty check for the use of his creations in the film. Which, based on past interviews, he would simply have kicked over to Dave Gibbons.

I can't imagine Moore kicking the royalty check for a million copies of Watchmen over to Gibbons as well.
I doubt Moore would do that either, especially since he doesn't have the artistic objections to the graphic novel that he does to the movie. The stuff I've read from him mostly just says that he doesn't think a movie would work because the story was written as a comic book story and that's what its ideal format is. He might refuse to take any money from the movie (which he will probably decry as a total abomination of his work assuming he sees it at all). But there's no reason to pass up royalties for his masterwork in the format that it was always meant to be seen.

The thing I find insane about Moore's stance? Writers would kill to have a book of theirs stay in print -- and stay selling -- for twenty-plus years. If the rights had reverted to Moore back in 1987, if there hadn't been a trade paperback collection, would anyone except people who read the original twelve floppies, even know what the hell Watchmen was?

Moore has made a truckload of money off Watchmen over the past twenty years thanks to DC keeping his book in print. If Moore and Gibbons had the property, though, I don't think there's any question that Moore wouldn't have made anywhere near what he's earned from Watchmen the past two decades.
I think that's a good point. Even if the money would have been better if they self-published, their profiles have been raised immeasurably thanks to DC's higher market penetration.

Of course, even if the rights did revert back to Moore, that doesn't necessarily mean that he'd have to self-publish. It might simply put him in better negotiating position with a major publisher to give him a bigger cut.
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Old August 15 2008, 06:01 PM   #81
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

I really don't think anyone is arguing that, if put into the same position as Moore, they'd do the same thing as he is... am I wrong about that?

I'm just saying that I don't find it TOTALLY stupid. He has a point.

If it were ME, I'd probably want to keep the integrity of my creations... it's like the movie of Aeon Flux a couple of years back... the guy who created Aeon Flux stated that he was embarrassed and humiliated by the movie. I'm not a particular fan of EITHER form of "Aeon Flux" mind you... but it's a good example of a creator wishing that he'd never given up control of his creation.

So... if I created something I felt a great deal of pride in and yes, ownership over, I'd be very disinclined towards letting someone else "put their own spin on it." Especially if I'd been stung by that more than once already.
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Old August 15 2008, 08:12 PM   #82
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

If a filmmaker wants to make a book into a movie, that filmmaker is obliged to stick to the established story. If they cannot do this, they should find a different title for their film.
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Old August 15 2008, 08:34 PM   #83
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Davros wrote: View Post
If a filmmaker wants to make a book into a movie, that filmmaker is obliged to stick to the established story. If they cannot do this, they should find a different title for their film.
I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. It's impossible to directly translate a story from one medium to another. Certain things have to be excised due to time constraints, or because the two mediums express ideas in different ways. Now, with exception, making major changes to those ideas is probably a bad idea, but it's totally within the filmmaker's rights to do whatever the hell they (and, more likely, the studio) want to do with the property.

I'm not saying that if it is announced tomorrow that a film called Casablanca has been announced and that it will be set in modern times and star Vin Diesel I'm going to applaud that move. I'll despise it. I won't go see it. I'll tell everyone I know to avoid it. But that doesn't mean the filmmaker's have an obligation to do anything I or anyone else who doesn't own the rights want.
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Old August 15 2008, 08:46 PM   #84
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Davros wrote: View Post
If a filmmaker wants to make a book into a movie, that filmmaker is obliged to stick to the established story. If they cannot do this, they should find a different title for their film.
I agree with Hirogen Alpha. Books and movies are two different media, with different requirements in terms of narrative, pacing, characterization, etc. A good adaptation is one that preserves the spirit of the original whilst also serving the needs of cinema and that audience. I'd point to Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings as two examples of films that wouldn't have been as successful (as films, and not only in the financial sense) had they cleaved closer to the original book.

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Old August 15 2008, 09:14 PM   #85
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

I have a high threshold for new and variable versions of stories (a side effect of studying 1300 years of Arthurian literature and films), but I do wonder why you'd bother to purchase the rights to something if you're going to go in a completely opposite direction. Wanted remains my baffling film adaptation of the moment: really, if you're going to drop everything that makes the series what it is, why pay Mark Millar when you could just do a whacky assassins film?
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Old August 15 2008, 09:21 PM   #86
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

I'm guessing they figured that comic book adaptations were hot, and that the "Wanted" title would bring in an audience that they wouldn't otherwise have. Studio executives aren't exactly brilliant thinkers, mind you.
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Old August 15 2008, 09:37 PM   #87
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

My guess is that they bought the rights planning a close adaptation, and then through development it gradually became totally different.
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Old August 15 2008, 09:41 PM   #88
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
I'm guessing they figured that comic book adaptations were hot, and that the "Wanted" title would bring in an audience that they wouldn't otherwise have. Studio executives aren't exactly brilliant thinkers, mind you.
Know a lot of studio executives, do you?

It's always amazing to me that when a movie is good, the director is lauded as a genius, and the two execs who worked on it for a year and a half are never mentioned. Then, when a movie is bad, the director is never mentioned and the "evil studio suits" are invoked as the obvious cause of the story's downfall. Because surely there is not a single movie executive out there who makes movies because they love movies. And all directors, including Timur Bekmambetov (who dropped his brilliant Russian NightWatch/DayWatch trilogy to make the mega-budget Hollywood Wanted) are artistes to whom money means nothing, and only the integrity of the film matters.

I didn't know Wanted was from a comic when I went to see it, and neither did anybody else I knew. Movie executives have said they've realized the advantages of purchasing comics since they are essentially storyboards and thus you can more or less skip a whole step in the movie making process. The buying of comic properties has as much to do with that as it does with any level of marketing to the audience. Keep in mind the absolute hardest part of movie making is coming up with a story that would make a good film. Comics automatically tell stories in a visual way and are that much closer to film making than novels.

As for why things get seriously changed - try doing an adaptation. Take any story you like and turn it into a screenplay or a storyboard for a 110 minute movie with a $150 million budget. See whether or not you don't, in the process, have a great idea for something that's different than the source. Then there's the reality of the medium. Sometimes things get changed because they won't work on film. Sometimes things get changed because you wanted to do it just like the source, but you can't afford it. Sometimes you can't get the actor you want so you have to go a different direction with the character. Sometimes your PA does something stupid, wastes a day of shooting, puts you over budget and you have to scramble over the next two weeks to try to pull things back together which means rewriting 20 minutes of the movie. Movie making is a very organic process where things shift as the production occurs.
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Old August 15 2008, 09:48 PM   #89
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

I'm not questioning a story change between mediums - far from it, as I've said before. But Wanted is a superhero story, and "good assassins" play no role in it. Neither a league of assassins nor the word "Wanted" would be actionable. There was no need to pay Millar, unless they thought the title would bring people into the theatre. You imply that wasn't the case for you, so I don't know that they did save any money doing it this way. But it neither offends me nor bothers me ... I use the word "baffle" in a light-hearted way.
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Old August 15 2008, 09:49 PM   #90
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Re: What's Alan Moore's Problem?

Derishton wrote: View Post
Wanted remains my baffling film adaptation of the moment: really, if you're going to drop everything that makes the series what it is, why pay Mark Millar when you could just do a whacky assassins film?
From what I understand, the changes had a lot to do with avoiding the wrath -- and legal teams -- of DC Comics and Time Warner. The Wanted universe is a thinnly disguised DC universe, albeit one where the villains won.
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