Sunday, August 9, 2015

Topic Of The Day: Josh Trank Controversy

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, I will delve into the bad publicity surrounding Fantastic Four director Josh Trank and why he serves as a cautionary tale, or Ghost of Christmas Present, for anyone aspiring to make it into the film industry.

For those of you who aren't familiar with this whole controversy, Josh Trank recently took to Twitter to say how a year ago, he had a fantastic version of the latest reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise until the studio meddled with it. Not only that, but there reports of Trank being difficult on set, costing him a directing gig for an upcoming Star Wars spinoff movie. Now, it might seem difficult for Trank to get work.

The reason that I bring this up is to warn anyone trying to make it into film that if you want to make it in Hollywood: You Got. To Play. Ball. You could be a novice screenwriter and write the best screenplay in history. Yet the suits don't care how amazing it is. If they see a film with a profit, they'll either pick it up or potentially meddle with it so that they see a film with a profit. If the latter were to happen, then it would be very frustrating, I know. But in order to get your foot in the door, you would have to let them meddle so that your name doesn't become mud right off the bat. Hollywood is a very tight-knit community. Any small word of an actor or director clashing with his or her collaborators can spread like wildfire within that community.

To further prove my point, I'll bring up two actors that serve as cautionary tales. Take, for example, Mo'Nique. She may have won every award thrust at her for Precious. But because of her refusal to campaign, this soured her relationship with the Hollywood community, according to her Precious director Lee Daniels.

You also have Edward Norton. He's a great, great actor. There is no denying that. But he slowly had trouble getting work because of how he fought for creative control over the projects he started in, meddling with the studios. Since the films he meddled with never brought in huge box office numbers, he slowly resorted to doing Verizon commercials until Wes Anderson took him under his wing and he got brought back to Oscar's good graces with Birdman. If he was difficult yet still put butts in the seats, the suits likely wouldn't care because in Hollywood, it's all about the money. With all the bad publicity surrounding Josh Trank and the poor receipts Fantastic Four is getting, it's unlikely that Trank will direct such a huge studio property any time soon.

So to anybody that reads this and looks to make it in the film industry, I urge you to heed this warning and go into the business with both eyes open. As you try to get your foot in the door, you want to always, not sometimes, ALWAYS make sure you play nice. If you write a script or star in a movie and write one of the best scripts ever or give the performance of your life, the suits don't care as long as your film rakes in dough and/or win awards. If they don't see a film that is commercial when reading it and try to make it commercial, you will have to let them so that the film can potentially make a profit. I may not be in the film business myself, but I get how hard it'll possibly be to stick to your own original vision. But if they wanted to meddle with it, you might just have to play along so that you can build relationships and thrive in the industry in the long run.

If you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the whole Josh Trank controversy and "playing the game" in Tinseltown, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

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