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#785: Doubling Down on a Losing Bet

March 4, 2013

Notes from the Manager

If at first you don’t succeed… try, try, try, try, try again?

Sometimes I have to wonder how some people keep getting work. Superman Returns broke even at best and cost $270 million. Valkyrie broke even at best, with “only” a $75 million production budget. Unless the overseas box office is ridiculously good, the $200 million Jack the Giant Slayer is going to be a massive bomb. Bryan Singer has made some pretty good movies, but at what point does Hollywood say, “Hey, maybe this isn’t the guy we should be giving the reins to a $200-million-plus movie…?” (Personally, I think his strength is with character, not action, and he should step back and make some low-budget stuff again. As much as I love X-Men 2, the action scenes aren’t exactly great.) 

I asked this question on Facebook last night and it generated a fun conversation:

What are the unforgivably shittiest, terrible movies ever made by undeniably great directors? Key words: “by great directors,” so no saying anything by Robert Rodriguez or Clint Eastwood (even though he’s made a few great movies, I don’t think he brings much to the movies as a director, as much as he occasionally produces films that are great because of their scripts and actors).


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“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

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