January 21, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A SENSE OF HISTORY

Most of these companies are run by people who have been in the job less than five years. They have no sense of history. When I started 25 years ago, everybody was crying about VHS and how it was wrecking the movie business. There's always something wrecking the movie business every two or three years. The movie business has been wrecked since the '50s, since, you know, television came in. But it always seems to survive just fine and this is not an excuse for people to just constantly be whining about how the business is failing and we have to do all this commercial stuff [like Monopoly: The Movie and Battleship: The Movie] in order to just pay the rent or pay the payments on our corporate jets.
-James Cameron
Taken from the LA Times Envelope Roundtable, this is one of two terribly insightful comments, and considering who they are coming from (1997, after Titanic, one could have discounted Cameron's quote, as suits often do, as "nobody knows anything", saying that your success was just a fluke if you stuck to your guns, after Avatar, that will probably change to "You ain't no Jim Cameron" in any discussion you have with them). Suits are like the worst cliché behaviour by women in that. They don't acknowledge they are wrong, they just change the conversation. Who else does that? Politicians. Oh, and the heads of the Big Four (Banks). "We maybe, I mean in a roundabout way, perhaps some section of Wall Street... hmm.., a financial crisis happens every five to seven years, why, we don't know...did you hear about that earthquake? Horrible, ain't it?"

The other two quotes from said roundtable belong in the category of "give me the same respect, at the very least, that you want to have" when it comes to actors and casting.
I've got to have [the actors] read. I've got to have them show me that character.
I've never done an audition shorter than two hours. I'll . . . read all the scenes. I don't care. . . . An audition for me is if you're not willing to put two hours into this process to decide if you're going to tank or not tank my couple-hundred- million-dollar project, then that's a non-starter conversation. I use [video taped auditions] to narrow it down from 400 or 300 to three or four or five that I'm interested in and I'll spend the time with them because if I'm going to spend years on a movie, why wouldn't I spend a few hours making the most important decision of the production?

 -James Cameron
I cast a couple actors once . . . I thought they were interesting enough at the time and I thought they passed the audition process. I thought they were the best but then I realized they were just not the level of actor that I need and require. My feeling is if you show up on my set, there's none of that b.s. where you learn your lines on the day. You need to know my dialogue as if it's the sixth week of your Broadway run and you already had a Boston tryout. You need to know it beyond it. And unless you're prepared to do that, you're not prepared to be on my movie.
- Quentin Tarantino
Wait. Wait. I know what that's called.

It's called Professional Behaviour.