This is one of problems of the social media age. Yes, it’s provided more creators with platforms for their stories, but it’s also given creators a platform for whining about creating.
Creating has always been a difficult enterprise. Filmmaking is a collaborative activity; it takes a lot of people and coordination. People are going to butt heads and compromise is constant and inevitable. Creators used to grouse about that privately, face-to-face, with peers, friends, and loved ones. The audience didn’t know anything about all the struggles. They just saw the end product. It looked so together and effortless. They didn’t think about what it could have been, what didn’t work out the way the creators wanted, none of that. Now, we know about every little conflict all of the time. Deals falling through, behind-the-scenes disagreements, whether the final edit is director-approved or not. The once-invincible creative mind now vents their insecurities out loud in public.
Maybe that’s good. Maybe we needed to humanize the people who crafted the national conversation. Maybe we needed to see that they’re all just people like us. But a lot of the intrigue and mystery has disappeared. We don’t get the chance to be impressed or filled with wonder very often anymore. We don’t have to wonder How did they do that? because we can click the annotation at the end of the video and be taken right to the behind-the-scenes.
I’ve brought up Donald Glover/Childish Gambino a couple times on this blog, because he’s a guy who’s maneuvered both the traditional and new media channels of creating and he always seems to be wrapped up in the subjects I’m thinking about. He did a very public airing of insecurities on Twitter awhile back. He wrote out a list of fears and concerns on hotel stationary, photographed them and uploaded them to Twitter. It caught a lot of attention. Some people wondered if it was a weird cry for help or social media suicide note. All it was, was someone feeling vulnerable. And they had an immediate portal available to them to broadcast their moment of weakness directly to the people who are most interested in what they’re producing. The thoughts expressed were real and human, but they seemed to exist in opposition to the public persona that Glover was in the midst of cultivating. (Which, frankly, was fine by me, because that persona was of a disinterested, apathetic, dead-eyed millennial and the act was a little standard and boring.) But since then, he’s gotten off Twitter for the most part and his very interesting, very strange music videos have no behind-the-scenes videos and no explanations. It makes them a billion times more intriguing and re-watchable, looking for clues to what the hell is going on exactly. There also seems to be some kind of other-worldly storyline playing out through them and it’s really fascinating. Especially because he doesn’t talk about the intention of the storyline or the events in the videos publicly. It’s all there for the audience to speculate on. I’m totally in.
Once again, a strong language warning on these two videos: But something very interesting happens in the middle and end of this video:
and the breakdown in the middle of this video blows my mind. This whole video is weird though, and I feel like it’s an elaboration on the video that came before:
Edgar Wright hasn’t Tweeted since January 1st of 2015. And that Tweet was simply: So my New Years resolution for 2015 is to spend less time on here. See you in a little while. Love you all.
I think we’re all getting a little tired of the distraction and the transparency.
Thanks for reading.