Friday, January 06, 2012

Creating and consuming

In the February issue of Empire, Andrew Stanton, director of Wall-E, Finding Nemo and the upcoming John Carter, was reported to have been asked who he made the film (John Carter) for.  His response?
"That's the worst way to make a movie.  I do not listen to The Beatles because I think they know what I want; I listen to them because I want to know what they like.  It's not designed from the outside.  I've been asked that question for 20 years at Pixar, and I've given the same answer: we do not think of who the audience is.  That's the worst way to make a movie."

I've been thinking about this a bit over the last week or so.  I think I partly agree and partly disagree with it.  I agree that asking what the audience wants is a bad way to make a film.  Film-makers should make films they want to make, not films they think people want to see.  This is the same for other forms of entertainment - plays, books, music etc.  The creator should just create.

However, I'm not so sure about what he says about the reasons for listening to music.  It seems like he is implying that listening to The Beatles because you think they know what you want (i.e. you think you will like it) is not as valid a reason as listening to find out what the artist likes. I disagree.  I think the creator should just create, but the recipient/fan can listen for either reason, equally validly.  Whether it is music, films, books or whatever, there is nothing wrong with consuming the entertainment because you enjoy it.

Reasons for creating vs reasons for consuming.  Creating should be for creation's sake, not to pander to the public's whims and wishes.  But consuming 'because I think they know what I like' is just as valid as consuming 'to find out what they like'.

I think.  Or am I wrong about this?

1 comment:

Joe 50 said...

I believe Idlewild wrote a rather good song on this subject