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Old September 1 2014, 06:08 AM   #1
Warped9
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Expressing criticism directly...

It has idly occurred to me whether anyone has ever told JJ Abrams that they didn't agree with or don't like what was done in ST09 and STID.

Many of us can rant and rave and openly criticize online what we don't like in film snd television. But how many of us would actually voice our honest opinion (albeit in a civil manner) to someone responsible for what we didn't like?

I do recall meeting Leni Parker at a Toronto Trek convention several years ago. We got to talking about Earth Final Conflict and I did tell her I was disappointed with what had happened to the show during its second season. Mind you she was an actress only contracted to play the part written for her and so she could hardly be criticized for creative decisions made by those who employed her. And it has to be said that she replied she had heard similar criticism from other fans and she claimed to generally agree with them.

Back in the mid to late '90s at another convention I once had occasion to give feedback (during a question period) to someone who worked closely with Rick Berman (regrettably I don't recall his name). I did express some criticism regarding then contemporary Trek. Mind you the criticism was of a general nature rather than specific.

But again this criticism was not voiced directly to someone with some responsibility in creative decisions. An actor or a right-hand-man only does what they're told and doesn't oversee the big decisions regarding a film or television series.

I'm reasonably sure that producers, directors and writers are aware of criticism regarding their work, but I wonder how often they might experience criticism voiced to them directly.
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Old September 1 2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Of course there was also the time Roy Scheider (I believe) publicly criticized the show he was on Seaquest.
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Old September 1 2014, 06:04 PM   #3
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Most conventions only have the actors, it's rarely the people making the big decisions. So it's tougher to go up to a writer or director personally and offer our opinions.

I've met actors from the Star Trek reboot personally at conventions. I will literally never have a chance to meet Abrams. For example.
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Old September 1 2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Abrams does public events. I saw him and composer Michael Giacchino speak about their careers here in Los Angeles in 2011. One audience member who was a little too invested in their fantasy life asked him how he could live with himself knowing he had destroyed Vulcan. His response brought a relieved laugh from most of the audience. "Next question."
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Old September 1 2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

I wouldn't see any point, really. Unless they know you or are for some professional reason compelled to acknowledge you (and just being a fan doesn't count) it's highly unlikely that they're going to change anything about their creative vision as a result of the odd random encounter.
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Old September 1 2014, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

If I could only get near him and scream "Abrams Sucks!" I just know I could improve his output.
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Old September 1 2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Its unlikely a fan would have the opportunity to speak with someone directly involved in creative decisions. But I wonder if it has ever happened that someone in the same business might voice their opinion.


We do know that some connected with films and television do peruse websites such as the TBBS and others. It seems likely that things picked up from such forums where fans interact and give feedback would get back to those involved in the creative process.
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Old September 1 2014, 07:55 PM   #8
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

"Oh please, don't take my Star Trek awaaaaayyyyyyy....I wrote the next paaaarrrttt!"
(paraphrased from the damning film, The People Vs George Lucas)
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Old September 1 2014, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Its unlikely a fan would have the opportunity to speak with someone directly involved in creative decisions. But I wonder if it has ever happened that someone in the same business might voice their opinion.


We do know that some connected with films and television do peruse websites such as the TBBS and others. It seems likely that things picked up from such forums where fans interact and give feedback would get back to those involved in the creative process.
In the Battlestar commentary tracks, Ron Moore's wife, aka "Mrs. Ron," would occasionally be present as he recorded them and she would often mention interacting with fans on some forum or another, sharing with her husband their opinions, criticisms, POVs, etc. on certain episodes or storylines. I suspect this sort of thing happens more frequently than we imagine -- creators gauging fans' reactions to episodes, new characters, cast chemistry and the like by "browsing" the Internet forums, but only as lurkers.

TV writers and show runners that choose to actively respond to negative posters on forums are soon visited with a keen and divine madness that even Lovecraft would be unable to describe. "Whom the Gods would destroy, They first drive to type their own name into Google."
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Old September 1 2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Of course there was also the time Roy Scheider (I believe) publicly criticized the show he was on Seaquest.
Seaquest... now *there* was a show run by producers who couldn't take criticism. During the third season, when the producers were trying to help the show recover from the abysmally bad second season, the producers took to usenet, ostensibly to open up to fans about the show. I remember when one poster mentioned that she felt two characters who had become a couple (one black, the other white) had zero chemistry together, one of the producers practically accused the fan of racism, lamenting how sad it was that viewers in the 1990s couldn't accept an interracial couple. In other words, it wasn't the producers' fault that viewers are racist. Naturally, fans of TV shows don't take kindly to being called racist, and, as you can imagine, things went downhill from there with the fan/producer relationship.
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Old September 1 2014, 10:56 PM   #11
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

I think that most creators pay some amount of attention to the critisisms of fans on a general large scale, but to listen to the critiques of the individuals of the masses would be exasperating and generally not worth their time.

And let's face it, for all of the fans out there that might give helpful, heartfelt critiques, there are too many people out there who would just take the opportunity to be rude. Check out this blog entry from Peter David for some examples of the cheap shots fans throw at comic creators, who have a much smaller fanbase than TV/Movie creators.
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Old September 2 2014, 01:21 AM   #12
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Granted there are those like J. Michael Straczynski, who took to the internet back in the early 90's when he was gearing up to put Babylon 5 on the air, but for the most part, we can only vote with our wallets/remote controls (though the latter is trickier).

Yeah, I know that doesn't sound satisfying. However, I'm reminded of "The Homer" from The Simpsons episode,"Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou." If the creators listen to us, the result might not be any better than just letting them do it on their own. We sit at home or in the theater and believe we could write, direct, act, etc. better than the professionals. Maybe we can. However, none of us have the chance, and I'd wager, for most of us, it's probably for the best that we don't.

We also have to realize for each fan who believes those in charge don't have a clue, there are fans who believe they are doing a great job. I'm not a fan of Voyager or Enterprise, but if I were to venture into those forums and tell the fans, not even the creators, the fans, my ideas for making those shows better, how well do you think that'd go over?

Not with all things, granted, but we are now living in a time when if we give it enough time, the property will change creators, the studios will reboot/recast/etc., and there will be a new version for everyone to judge. It happened with Spider-Man and Star Wars, and from what I've heard, it might happen after the next Star Trek movie.

However, I do have a problem when people keep spending their money on products they do not like, thinking it will give them more fuel for the fire, in terms of grievances against those in charge. When I collected Transformers toys, there would be people who collected every toy from a particular line and then take to the internet to complain about them all. I saw it with comics, too. People would buy issue after issue and just complain about it.

If we all stopped supporting the things we don't like with our wallets, the companies would get the message quickly. I've never understood purposely spending money on something you did not like just to experience it and then have something to complain about, afterwards.
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Old September 2 2014, 01:40 AM   #13
Warped9
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

shivkala wrote: View Post
If we all stopped supporting the things we don't like with our wallets, the companies would get the message quickly. I've never understood purposely spending money on something you did not like just to experience it and then have something to complain about, afterwards.
This is my take on it. If I don't enjoy a series after I've tried it, or even if it just doesn't interest me initially, then I just don't tune in. I certainly won't be buying any tie-in merchandise.

I only go to see a film in the cinema if it really interests me. It's not like years ago when I'd go to see all kinds of movies. If I miss it in the theatre then I'll catch it on video. The video option is one I'll go for for films I don't need to see on the big screen or for films that only moderately interest me.

Buying Blu-Rays or DVDs is strictly for things I really liked. Same with tie-in merchandise.


In the past I've said plenty about things I didn't like after trying them, but after that what's the point of going into forums to criticize something you're not even watching after trying it and being disappointed? That said the criticisms can still arise if the issue is raised in a forum you do frequent discussing things you like.
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Old September 2 2014, 02:17 AM   #14
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

I was on the DC Comics message boards shortly after that point in Green Lantern comics, that bit were every one is coming back from the dead, hardly specific Guy, Day of Judgement, where Hal Jordan runs out of steam during the last fight with the big bad (Asmodel?) and in his most desperate hour of need, the souls (given physical forms by Hal's ring) of all the Green Lanterns he'd murdered in Emerald Twilight leap out of his ring and say "Don't worry Hal, we know you just had a bad day and we forgive you for the small genocide that obliterated the corps and left our grief stricken families motherless and fatherless, so we're going to shoulder your burden and win out this one for you, because you're greatest, we love you, even if you bludgeoned us to death or near death and then took our rings so that we would explode to death well before we'd freeze to death in the vacuum of space. You're super awesome and you never have to feel guilty about being murderous psycho fuck every again because we all, all of us individually and collectively, forgive you entirely."



A hundred dead Green Lanterns (3600?) emerged from his ring with individual combat styles and personalties, each with the wallop of Green Lantern with hir own power ring instead of each of them having a 100th the resources of one ring since they were all drawing from Hal's magic ring simultaneously?

Fuck.

So I write in the DC Message Boards that Hal must have had a schizophrenic wish fulfilment break, as his mind has obviously shattered into a hundred people that is reflected from his FRACTURED/BROKEN psyche's need to be forgiven from the all-consuming guilt that is damning him, but if they were all him, then Hal forgave himself because he's a prick.

(Or words to that effect.)

Hours later Geoff Johns, the author of the book, tells me that I am wrong. Those were dead souls of the murdered Green Lantern Corps and that they did forgive Jordan because yes he had just had one bad day.

(I just realized that "one bad day" is the Jokers excuse too, from Killing Joke.)

I should take from this that I am wrong and Geoff is right, but I don't.

Johns' CRUSADE in the following years to unwrong every blemish in Hal Jordan's character has been ####ing embarrassing.

Jordan didn't kill anyone in Emerald Twilight. He left everyone in forcefield bubbles. Everyone lived.

The 13 year old child he was fucking, was not thirteen at all because her planet spun on it's axis half as fast as Earth, so she had always been 26.

There was a magic ghost called Parallax inside the Central power Battery that possessed Hal Jordan and made his do all the awful things Jordan did when he was the universe destroying bad guy Parallax.

Drunk driving charges and prison sentence... GONE!



Hal Jordan apologists, really get my goat.
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Old September 2 2014, 03:51 AM   #15
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Re: Expressing criticism directly...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
In the past I've said plenty about things I didn't like after trying them, but after that what's the point of going into forums to criticize something you're not even watching after trying it and being disappointed? That said the criticisms can still arise if the issue is raised in a forum you do frequent discussing things you like.
He says with a total lack of self-awareness as he starts a thread in SF&F that basically insinuates that JJ Abrams is surrounded by "Yes Men" and has never heard criticism from industry professionals around him or fans who haven't drunk the Kool-Aid and know how objectively terrible his work is.

I mean, because it was no accident that you used Abrams as an example when the question could have been phrased exactly the same way without including anyone specific, right?
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