Wednesday, November 2, 2011
One Creator—or Forgettable
To rise above a certain mediocre level, creative works must be fashioned by a single individual—or, to put it more gently, the core creation must be by one person even when the work is later translated into, say, a movie or a television series. In that translation, in turn, it is important that the direction/production of the piece—quite a different kind of creativeness—also be in the hands of a single person with requisite talents. Regarding this last point, I’m thinking of Masterpiece Theater pieces or the Mystery series that have come to us principally from the BBC. Those that genuinely succeed were made from novels or stories. Some of these have succeeded so well that, later, other authors have produced new segments “based on the characters created by [fill in the blank].” The “characters” very often do carry the series forward well beyond the original author’s living work, but a kind of “fade” becomes obvious eventually. Series based on a “concept” reducible to a page—to help sell the idea—and then executed by a “stable” of writers is invariably and by design something second rate.