If you have not figured it out from reading these newsletters, I passionately follow the movie business. The active word is BUSINESS. I am not a sycophant, I am not a groupie, I watch and follow the reality of movies, the business of movies, and I am a student.
JJ Abrams is a master class! He has multiple TV shows and is running the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. I don’t see the content of the movies; I don’t judge them (OK I love them). I see that he has taken over beloved franchises and reinvigorated them, but better yet he has run the business that is a movie, he has run the business that is a franchise. He has been entrusted in the success or failure that is a a multi-billion business endeavor (you saw that it was a B not an M, as if that makes the pressure easier).
Most see the entertainment the content, I see the business, the edits, the backgrounds, the choice of actors, the sets, the framing of the shots, the… well everything that most people don’t pay attention to.
I never went to film school, but I’ve been to Universal Studios tour (don’t laugh, it actually teaches the magic of how film/TV making works). George Lucas’ genius is not in the story telling, he stole/copied/liberated/researched from lots of (although the mythology he created IS genius) stories that came before his.
His genius was NOT his choice of actors. (he managed to sandwich awful, Christensen and Hamill, among great, Ford and McGregor) but he created MAGIC.
Knowing what we know now, green screens and CGI, what Lucas did with the original is amazing. Watch the original, be critical, notice the edits, notice the framing, notice the “technology”. It’s like he used bubblegum and rubber bands and made us believe in a world that did not exist, and we wanted to live there.
In business we call this the difference between front stage and back stage. The back stage is teaming with activity and looks like chaos, the front stage is where the show is performed.
I like to highlight the back stage from time to time so that people realize how hard we are working, but generally our job is to shelter the real world stuff we do, to edit it. So is yours.
The goal is to make the painful, meticulous of reality look easy make it look like magic, make it…
Just Like Star Wars…