Friday, November 5, 2021

The Director Should've Shot You by Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster has been a prolific author of original books as well as of novelizations of scripts. This book, The Director Should Have Shot You (2021),  concerns the latter, covering some twenty-seven projects from 1974 through 2017, many of them very high-profile franchises (e.g., Star Trek, Star Wars, Terminator, Alien, etc.). I'd previously understood that writers were the lowest person on the totem pole in Hollywood, but Foster's book makes abundantly clear that those writers who novelize scripts are the lowest of the low. Clearly I didn't have a cynical enough view of Hollywood before I read this book. Here's are some choice observations:

"Most of the folks working on large-scale films understand that they cannot set the lights, cannot build the sets, cannot do the special effects or sew the costumes or produce or direct or act or wrangle the dogs--but everybody thinks they can write." (p. 184)

"Nothing will get you eyed with greater suspicion in Hollywood than offering to do something for free." (p. 103)

"Given enough CGI action, a certain segment of the movie-going public will watch anything, no matter how little sense is made by the plot, characters, and dialogue." (p. 229)

"Of course, logic and reason never stopped a movie from getting made, so we continue to be threatened with an endless succession of mind-numbing Terminator films. Maybe that is the machines' real method of exterminating us: dulling out thought processes with increasingly stupid movies to the point where we are unable to mount an intelligent resistance." (p. 218)

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