Credit Goes To Writers or Actors?

Credit Goes To Writers or Actors?

  • 1. Once you sell a screenplay that's registered.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2. Once your third screenplay gets the green-light.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Steven Jackson

New member
We attended a pool party at a film director's home in Beverly Hills. One executive producer asked who should receive credit for the blockbusting success of a movie ?

After brief discussion a projection screen was lowered from the ceiling the lights went out and film was projected on the screen. Names of movies, it's writers and actors were shown. The question was repeated. Who gets the credit...The Writers or The Actors ?
 
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Digigenic

Guest
Those sneaky producers…up to their old mind tricks again...

Those sneaky producers…up to their old mind tricks again...

Those sneaky producers…up to their old mind tricks again...

I don’t even know what kind of question that is, but I think that this question makes one realize how important each person's role is throughout the entire production process.

It’s kind of silly to think about the question for too long though, because to allocate sole credit to either the writer or the performers would imply that all of the other contributing individuals served no significant purpose to the success of the picture at all. It would have been funny to see them structure the question the same way, but ask the people to decide between the best boy grip and the gofer.

But, if I absolutely had to choose between the two, I'd have chosen the writer, simply because there wouldn't have been a performance had there not been an idea on paper to begin with. There’s a market for improv, but audiences tend to favor emotional depth and structure, and writers give them that. The lack of any single element of a production can totally bastardize an entire project. Although, without a writer; you have no project at all.
What do you think?
 

solobird

New member
LOTR won almost everthing of oscar for years, but none for acting. had it ever received any acting nomination?

i have no comment on LOTR, since i only watched 35 minutes of the II. That was the length i could take from lotr. i am not a big fan of hollywood films.
 

Steven Jackson

New member
Who Gets The Credit... ?

Who Gets The Credit... ?

Digigenic,

You said,

"It's in my best interest to have interests unlike other people's interests".
These words of yours interest me....why?

Because it seems people like you and me... we are abnormal. If we were
common or like everybody else then that would make us normal. So since
we are not like everybody else...that makes us abnormal. We should feel good about that ! Now we know or we've known all along that people like you and me are special. We stand together alone with others in an abnormal way !

Writers like you and me understand what, I just said.

Thanxs for your reply and you're right about all the other ingredients that
make a successful movie a success. But when you think about it the average person doesn't see beyond the picture, the actors and the actor's words. It's true without the writer there would not be a movie and if there weren't any actors acting out the writer's story and saying the writer's words there still would not be a movie.

Its still tough to say who should receive credit for the blockbusting movie's success.

If you don't mind, Im going to allow you to comment before, I continue.
Maybe others will join our discussion. I look forward to hearing from you.
 

Steven Jackson

New member
solobird,

Nice of you to join us. I would like to say JRR Tolkein's literary works turned out to become great on all levels. Suppose he never published
his work. Then his story would have been good only to himself and those
people in his circle.

His works were published and we now see it's results. It seems to me
JRR Tolkien thought of himself as a writer and not an actor. it was thought by other people with vision to take his story and let people with acting ability bring life to what was on paper. Now we see how LOTR turned out !

Now mind you there are people who can write, direct and act out their own
stories with supporting actors.

solobird....... If the actors were different people in LOTR would the results still be the same ?
 
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Digigenic

Guest
Choose Your Shadow Wisely...

Choose Your Shadow Wisely...

Choose Your Shadow Wisely…

With regard to giving credit where credit is due, it’s important to remember that credits can often times be misleading. Even though the multitude of names that flash and/or scurry across the screen give the impression that all names have been accounted for, there are still quite a few people who assisted in the development of the story and didn’t hear so much as a whisper of credit to their name.

I know that this is not the best example, but has anyone ever heard of writer/director, Roger Avary? His most recent directorial credit was for Rules of Attraction. As a writer, he’s been in Tarantino’s shadow since Reservoir Dogs, even helping out with story development for True Romance, and Pulp Fiction. They’ve been friends since their days as fellow video store clerks in the 1980’s, yet Avary goes on with little to no recognition for his work.

Each person or persons who stand in the spotlight have a shadow, and within that shadow can be any number of individuals making that one person stand out to the public. So is it a choice, or a set of uncontrolled circumstances within the industry that leads such talent to remain in the shadows instead of the spotlight?
 

Steven Jackson

New member
They both deserve credit but most of the time one is overshadowed by the other. One will receive the reviews, coverage, awards and extra bonuses. The average viewer is unaware of the names of people whose names scroll down the credits at the end of a flick unless it's the main and supporting actors !

When writers write they tend to believe what they write. Maybe because that's what they see....or because that's what they imagine.

Writers write about reality and things that are not so real. When he or she write about reality....is the whole story the truth....and when she or he write about things that's not so real...is it a lie ?
 
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golden double sprigs

Guest
art's truth depends on acceptance

art's truth depends on acceptance

Steven Jackson,

The credit system gives the audience what they want. Hollywood asks themselves, "What attracts people to the theatres?". Do you think most people are going to keep track of the director, cinematographer or writer? The actors are on screen so moviegoers who don't care about the infrastructure of a film, just pay attention to the actors. Thats why they get most of the credit. But does that really matter?

It is unfortunate actors soak up most of the attention for a movie. The director isn't too far behind; I think most people are aware of the big business directors. And besides, they get a titlecard to themselves. The cinematographer and writer get very little credit. I know people who don't even know what cinematography is and its probably because they do not care. But nevertheless the attention the lesser known positions recieve are from the people like you and me who stay for the credits after the movie. So, everyone gets what they deserve eventually.

All art is a manipulation of matter; a combination of elements already present in the universe. I don't think art can be a lie. Images can be misleading but the power of the image is its validity. If you see it, its gotta be there. If you read it or hear it, it has to be real. This is just a case of reality vs. truth. When you go into a movie theatre, what you see occured once under controlled circumstances but through film you can relive that experience over and over again. Movies are a manufactered reality. Its up to each individual audience member to give the film its life; only you can prevent movie magic.
 

Steven Jackson

New member
golden double sprigs,

I agree with many of your points. I also think Hollywood and indies are in two different boxes to some degree.

Most of the time actors shine in bliss from the creative imagination writers lay down on paper. With help from the directors, location scouts, cinematographers, stage handlers etc. A writer would have to pump out four to five good scripts to one movie done by a half way decent actor performing at his or her best, before the writer is recognized for his or her work.

Somebody like Jim Carey can move up in his career very easy by choosing from the many scripts writers have written and most of the time scripts are not from the same writer. So Jim can go from movie to movie and grow in his success.

On the flip side if writers stop writing comedy Jim Carey might have a hard time finding work. People like Jim Carey, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy when you see them you automatically expect to laugh. Even when they're seen in a serious movie we expect to see them do something funny. So writers are very important and they are genre diverse.

Writers need to keep writing across the genre board so they can receive
success and be acknowledge for their mental creativity that they so well deserve.
 

Boone

New member
Your a professional Writter when you get paid for your script, if the project is green lit you still may not be paid. If you get paid more power to ya, you are now a professional and eligible for unions.
 
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dymnpece

Guest
credit

credit

:!:
I believe BOTH should be credited
without actors there would be noone to portray the part(s)
without writers there would be noone to tell the story
therefore I am in agreeance with one of the responses previously posted.
"Although we cannot mislead the origination - the writer-, we also have to give credit to the actor(s) as well...." Therefore we have to allocate all whom are involved to give meaning, purpose and success.
 

jodymichelle

Senior Member
Staff member
cool string

cool string

Hi Steven Jackson,

Cool string. :)

What did you mean by saying that "when writers write, they tend to believe what they write?"

I guess if one of the major goals of writers is to make their stories, characters, scenes, dialogue, etc. believable to their audience, they first need to make those things somewhat believable in their minds. There are writers who believe that their fictitious characters really exist in real life. I even like to believe that Lestat, in a physical form, many times sat next to his creator. (I'm still a horror junkie... Not to say that Anne Rice fits in the horror genre because she is more than that. I never really researched this so correct me if I'm wrong, but she started the vampire genre. In the past, I've read about her in horror magazines, but times or places where she's categorized as "horror" is basically for cosmetic purposes? Going off on a tangent even more, I never really thought about which section "Interview" would be in the video store racks.)

I should probably pick something that is more current, but I was just surfing Anne Rice's website today, and it reminded me of the whole Lestat-craze. I'm still in love with Lestat. Did Tom Cruise make the character, Lestat, better or worse?

SJ, how would you respond to your own question that you posted: "Writers write about reality and things that are not so real. When he or she write about reality....is the whole story the truth....and when she or he write about things that's not so real...is it a lie ?"

My comment is that whether I write about something that is or isn't based on a true story or if I'm writing a science fantasy or horror story, regardless of the storyline and plot, there is a truth within the message of the story, and there are truths within the inner and outer struggles of the main characters, their successes and/or failures.
 
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Digigenic

Guest
Age shouldn't be a factor in determining whether or not someone is a student...
There's a guy in my digital video class that's in his 40's, he's a student.
Are you a student :?:
 
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Digigenic

Guest
8)
Good,
Because if you weren't, the moderator would have reported you to the internal student filmmakers review board for possible relocation to either amateurfilmmakers.com or graduatefilmmakers.com... :)
 
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Bjones

Guest
Using their imagination...

Using their imagination...

Dear Mr. Jackson,


You asked who should get the credit, the actors or the writers.In my opinion,I think they both should get the credit.

A writer puts everything they have into creating a story using their imagination.Therefore, it could take many hours a day, months at a time,putting a story together.
The actors do the best of their ability to make a story successful. Spending hours a day, day after day memorizing their lines.They too spend the same amount on the screne doing the taping and retaping as the writers spend wriing the movie.
Again, I believe they should both get the credit.
 

Tyler Emerson

New member
Neither. When you're paid, you're a professional. If you haven't been paid, you're an amateur (sp?) or novice. Getting scripts green lighted gets you writing credits. And experience.
 

shozbot

New member
Dear Steven,
It does seem at the outset that writer's role should logically be considered seminal (and it is) in the success of any dramatic form of entertainment. The work would not exist if no one took it upon themselves to write it. Having written and produced two plays now, I have had an opportunity to recognize the affect of the collaborative process at work.

That being said, in commercial filmmaking, a project is not greenlit until talent is attached. The reason being, celebrities (and I'm not addressing acting "talent" here) put asses in seats. This is a key element of "success." The general public, those stalwarts who pay the $8-$10 to get themselves into a movie theater, are drawn not just by flashy movie trailers, but by personalities they've seen and enjoyed before. How many paparzzi's to do see sneaking into the homes and parties of writers, or even producers and directors?

Another piece of the puzzle, having had my words animated by a variety of actors, and seeing some of my work performed more than once, with different casts, I have to say that an actor's performance has often shaped the development of some of my pieces. Actors have actually improvised moments that have become part of the permanent versions of my scripts. Seeing interpretations of my scenes have many times given me insight that I never saw when writing the peice. So actors deserve a lot of credit.

Also, the development of a film is a collaborative process. Esp. the most commercial films. What we see on film is often very different from the original script. For better or worse. So unless you've read the draft that sealed the deal, you can't judge whom should get credit for what.

I personally feel that writers deserve more credit than they deserve. Esp. when it comes to the "a film by" credit that goes to the director. I do agree that directors' involvement shapes the look and the interpretation of the material. It has the power to influence and even alter the affect of what's on the printed page. But, on the other hand, the director did not spend a year or more agonizing over narrative structure and inventing the world and characters from scratch. How much of the architecture was handed to him/her? Only the finished product can attest to that. And few people who watch a film ever also bother to "read" the film as well. So this debate may never be resolved to anyone satisfaction. I will say that on projects where, for one reason or another, a script was in meltdown and the film had to get completed anyway, a lot of directors will take their name off the credits. That may be some indication of the importance of the writer's vision.
 
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Nietzsche

Guest
"How old are you all? This has been labeled a 'student' forum..."

i am not even an enrolled film student anymore.

so what.

i am still going write no matter the circumstances.

not all of us can afford to go to college.


wait.....what was this thread about anyway?



oh yeah. it's like anything, you have to be recognized in order to get any valid credit. and fortunatley credit only comes by way of work (if thats what you call this), in most cases. writing isnt about credit to me (although some recognition would be nice), its about having a voice that has the ability to linger long after my time.

sounds deep......................sorry. its late.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning

In this time we live in there are more new technologies every year that we all need to know and learn about. So, it really does not matter what age you are! You can still be a student and learning new things at any age or level of expertise. I for one am a student and I if I may be so bold, I think that these days even the old masters are students in a sense.
We certainly want to encourage all levels of students and educators and we are very thankful to have your participation with questions and answers. You are great. Thank you.

Never Stop Learning.
Truly
Kim
 
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