Thursday, December 15, 2005

Myspace Comments: Prejudice in Awards?

On Myspace, the blogs can get a little out of hand. Today, my buddy Chad was talking in his blog about possible stereotyping and prejudice that happens in award selection. Scott added more stuff and suddenly I kind of got hyper and put in my 2 cents, too:

What Scott said is true, in my opinion. Should Hollywood see Latino filmmakers as the next batch of money-makers, we'll suddenly be flooded with films made by Latinos. Or if Hollywood sees women-made films as lining their investors' pockets, we'll see Hollywood discriminate in favor of female directors.

Personally, I feel that anyone in modern-day America who claims they are being discriminated against is allowing themselves to be portrayed as a victim and has surrendered their empowerment to The Powers That Be. Poor me... I didn't make it because everyone's a racist or a sexist... Hmmm. Had you not considered that your film has stilted dialog hastily scrawled in the midnight hours without months of creative scrutiny? Or that your plot sags and could use a good editor? Might it be possible that your story even targeted the wrong audience? Or could it be that your film actually isn't good enough? Noooo. It must be because someone else didn't see your creative genius the way you saw it. And they took one look at your byline and said, "He's/She's a XXXXX, and no XXXXXs can make good films because they're XXXXXs." Absolutely. That must be it. It's the only possible answer... isn't it?

Just make a great fucking movie and no one will care who you are or what what color your skin is... they'll give you cash to see it over and over again. Study the craft. Master the craft. Write under a nom de plume if you really think discrimination is the source of your failures and see if you get dramatically different results. Regardless, I truly believe that if you write a good story, the awards will come. Or the Hollywood funding. Or box office success. Or maybe all three.

Even then, you have no guarantee: as William Goldman says, "Nobody knows anything."

Case in point: one of the best films of the year, 21 Grams, was made a Latino whose name I can't even pronounce. Christ, why does it matter so? It is a great film! Write a great story and someone will fall over themselves to give you money to make it into a movie.

The trick, of course, is to write a great story. Aye, there's the rub.

Here's the original Myspace blog.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that you contradicted yourself. To quote you: "Should Hollywood see Latino filmmakers as the next batch of money-makers, we'll suddenly be flooded with films made by Latinos." Doesn't that imply that Hollywood would be discriminating against anyone non-Latino?

Personally I think discrimination is there in any field, simply because it is based on such prevalent factors: lack of education; homogeneity; lack of critical thinking; or maybe just plain human nature. People who say it's not there are just as blind as those who blame it for everything. My 2 cents.


Ross Pruden said...

Discrimination is not the issue itself, rather it is unjust discrimination, i.e. calling someone's film talent poor because of their skin color. Everyone discriminates... it's called personal preference. Hollywood discriminates towards certain kinds of films over others, and certain kinds of filmmakers over others. What I was saying was that if one Latino makes a breakaway movie, and another Latino makes a breakaway movie, and another... soon Hollywood will be making nothing but Latino films and everyone else will find themselves discriminated against... and fairly, because Hollywood's personal preference is to go where the money is. Ain't nothing wrong wit' dat.