Friday, July 22, 2011

ReCap! BEN

Though I've reached a signpost,
It's really not the end,
Like Old Sol behind the mountain,
I'll be coming up again...

(Rush - Caress of Steel, "The Fountain of Lamneth")

Life is interesting in its endings and beginnings—especially these days how quickly they come and go. Even if you don't know where you're going, all roads lead somewhere so it's best to pay attention! And what a trip it's been. As both Rick and I have said a number of times, neither of us expected to write all these notes and emails on myths and shields and Cap, let alone a blog. There was just something that felt very right about asking these questions. Cap is a character largely viewed out of step with modern characters and we dared disagree—to the extent of saying Cap is exactly the character we need right now. There is nothing wrong with real patriotism or being proud of freedom and democracy. It just takes... tact. You can't force someone to believe in freedom. There's a wonderful line in the venerable western film High Noon which says it pretty dern well...

"People gotta talk themselves into law and order before they do anything about it."
-Lon Chaney, Jr. as "Martin Howe"

I believe that people can get so run down they can't see that there's another way, but you can't force them to see it. Cap's power is his ability to inspire and that's what I would love for this weekend's film to say.

Right this moment, I'm sitting in the epicenter of the pop culture universe—San Diego Comic-Con. No joke! Tis' a wild and wooly, crazy and amazing collision of fan, creator and Commerce. (One can't help but hear Commerce pleading 'Please buy this. We love you all and you'll love us, really you will...') I'm happy to report that Cap is out in force with many fans dressing as the classic AND film version of the character. That's just great to see and shows how much impact this character has—that is, for folks to put so much time and effort to create a costume, that's pretty neat. It's great to see him get some deserved attention. I hope they all get out to the movie this weekend! Looking around the Con though, it reminds me that right now there is much less money being invested into any venture that's not seen as profitable in the short term. Areas such as the humanities—art, language, history, writing—and even scientific research, other than pharmaceuticals, have seen a big
drop in investment and grants. Creative types and researchers alike must invest more of themselves to compete for less money. Also, the quality of the art, whether it be film, comic book, video game or novel, varies widely with much more product hitting the market, yet most of it being lower in quality. Joseph Campbell said, in his 1988 interviews by Bill Moyers in The Power of Myth series, that interest in myth was waning and that disinterest would be an increasing detriment to our culture and our quality of life. I think he's quite right. Myths are essential to our cultural identity and even inspired JRR Tolkien to dedicate years of his life to writing a new myth for England in The Lord of the Rings. Star Wars is often referred to when talking about modern myth as well as the fact that it is one of the biggest franchises ever and also set the 'blockbuster' mold. We can add to that a number of other popular billion dollar franchises including Lord of Rings/The Hobbit, but perhaps none is larger than the mythic phenomenon of Harry Potter. Decades younger than Star Wars, the worth of the Harry Potter brand is already estimated at around $15 billion, about half of Star Wars' worth. JK Rowling has almost single-handedly sprouted an entire generation of new readers from her books alone—an absolutely wonderful achievement. An achievement directly inspired by myth. My hope is that this generation will bring about a rebirth of myth although, it will never happen without your help. Encourage young creatives to continue and take heart that while their work may not be seen for how much it contributes to the human race today, but if we all work together and keep trying to create the best art possible, it will happen.

So Ben, what's next? Next is actually another film! This Fall Runic Films will be going into production of our first Western short film named Cowboy Creed. A genuine article, the screenplay was influenced in part by my conversations with Rick. The old west is more mythic than some may realize. It's an amazing genre to work in and I think folks will really enjoy the visuals (a mix of beauty and grit), the dialog (bold, yet crafty) and the gun-slinging action (with a twist!) but also indelible characters who you'll truly care about. I want to hear cheers in the theater again! We'll have lots more announcements about Cowboy Creed soon so, please keep your eyes peeled on

All right partners, I'll wrap it up here. Many thanks to all the travelers who have come with us, will come with us and the many who made this journey possible. Love and comfort to you all and as always, thanks for watching.

Ben Alpi


Captain America: First Avenger Movie Review!!

No comments:

Post a Comment