Storytelling, Story-stealing

‘Avatar’ and the Death of Storytelling – Cinematical:

how the frak can James Cameron have cooked this story up for a decade, waiting for technology to catch up with his vision, and not want the story to be killer? How can he not at least work that script into a form that can at least begin to rival the visuals it’s matched with? It seems like an insult.

This is a question Eric asks of many TV shows and movies. The budgets of such projects is huge, yet it seems that little is spent on writing or fact-checking (see Pet Peeves).


As promised: Obscure Media Monday has a second round of recently-watched movie reviews.


And now a word about Google:

If you are of a writing/publishing bent, you’ve probably heard about the Google Book Settlement. If you’re not and you haven’t, Michael Stackpole has a run-down of the basics. If you combine this with some recent comments from Google senior vice president about "open" policy and other commentary about Google profiting from the content of others, you might have the impression that Google masquerades "what’s good for Google profit" as "what is good for the citizens of the world." And that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I propose moving away from Google, if you can. It’s not easy. Google has some nice applications. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against "payment" for these apps in advertising and such, but the problem is that Google has become harmful to certain sectors. Sectors that strongly overlap with my interests.

I’ve changed my default search engines. I’ve abandoned Google Reader for Bloglines and a WordPress blog to keep track of my reading. I’ve never been a fan of Google Docs, so no loss there. Unfortunately, Gmail and the combination of GCal and Tasks are hard for me to give up. I’ll keep them for the moment, but I’m keeping my eyes open for a alternatives.

1 thought on “Storytelling, Story-stealing

  1. overdesigned

    Regarding Avatar’s lackluster story (I am a fanboy but I’ll readily admit that there’s nothing inherently unique or special about the plot points); the script treatment that Cameron did (which is floating around the internet, or I can provide to you if you’re interested) is actually quite a bit more in-depth with characters, story, and background. And while that doesn’t excuse the movie story (saying “oh but this OTHER version, it’s good!” is a cop-out), it shows that he did have something grander in story in mind. I will say that Cameron still made me engrossed in what is in essence a very basic story, though.

    Regarding science, some of the secondary-to-the-film background story elements (particularly the official “Pandorapedia” article on the interstellar ship) are really nice pieces of science fiction, though of course very little of that made it into the movie. Actually given how little science is in the film, it’s probably closer to a future-fantasy-adventure than a real sci-fi movie.

    As to the process behind the movie getting cut down to it’s released form, I have no real idea. But to have really fleshed everything out to my (and others’) inner nerd’s satisfaction would have probably taken the movie up past the 3 or 3.5 hour mark, and I heard Cameron wanted to keep runtime below 2:50 so it could be shown on IMAX. I’m happy enough with how it is, and I’ll hope for a “Empire Strikes Back” to Avatar’s “Star Wars,” where we can flesh out the universe more, further develop characters, and have a deeper story.

    Anyway I just like talking/rambling about the movie; I’ve never had a film really resonate with me quite as much as it has before.


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