Really, let’s take a good luck at this. This is what you get when everyone and their uncle and aunt replace the original author of the literary material(s).
I hear this crap all the time, needs this, needs that. Perfect example, “Waterworld”!!!
U got this story and the execs were gagas for the original film. Handed it to Kevin Costner and the film dragged on and on and on and on and on… and things went from bad to worse. And this wasn’t the only example of what happens with the magic “R” word in Tinseltown.
Now don’t get me wrong. When you are dealing with other folks big bucks, you jump to their tune or you get cast out. After all, they are paying for the production costs (usually several groups for bigger flicks) so you the author are very limited in just how far you can go and this is where it all begins going south bigtime, why so many original filmplays that worked don’t. Blame it on production, well to a limited extent.
I would have to put the blame between the execs and who they hire for Director. Ultimately it depends how much work load is split between the Director and the Production execs, because this varies widely. In my own dealings, I have always held that people should be very cordial and polite. It doesn’t take much to offend someone and get yourself on the “F”‘d list. Happens all the time. Where the filmwriter can make it happen is by asking those involved if they would like the author’s POV on what is going down.
The problem with rewrites is that it seriously is a balance. There are good rewrites and then there are bad ones. Where the line must be drawn in production comes down to knowing when to call it a final rewrite. Veterans in production usually know this, but there are big egos that at times can over-rule this and this is where things get nasty.
I have held that if a script is polished up and ready and it appeals, the production should either make it better or leave it work as is. Where things really go south is when execs and the Director decide to change things just for change. Happens all the time and this is why in many productions, the final product bares little resemblance to what used to work. In essence, Hollywood is its own worst enema when it comes to cramming their entertainment crap up the proverbial ass of viewers. Yes, there are many great stories and yes, many of the original works are great works by great authors. But until Hollywood and entertainment industries world wide figure out that storytelling is best left to the original story they purchased, and that rewrites can kill the very best entertainment products, it will go on and so with sites like rottentomatos.com 😉 or real rotten tomatos in a movie theater!