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March 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Mar 1992 20:07:48 EST
text/plain (28 lines)
The process by which an idea becomes a tv program or mainstream film is
extremely complex with many hands willing to become "creators" on the basis of
ex post facto contributions.  The simple fact is that only one person can sit
at the keyboard at one time.  That person is faced with a blank space that
must be filled with something.  This is the most difficult intellectual work
that I know of.  Any product that is capable of capturing wide imagination,
e.g., Star Trek, Star Wars, Tarzan of the Apes, is a unique vision in the first
instance; its creation is gut-wrenching (if you don't like the fruit of loins
metaphor).  Only afterward are there dozens, hundreds of people who are willing
to make their so-called contributions.
It's easy to scoff at this process; and the "development" process has much to
scoff at.  But the failures of the institutional structure should not be used
as an excuse to usurp other's intellectual property, under the guise of
subverting the system.
There are many nuances to this problem.  As I think about it, I suspect that a
case could be made that Gene Rodenbury contributed to the mythologizing of the
Star Trek characters by allowing them to be trotted around to Trekkie
Conventions and the like, making it seem as though they r e a l l y  d i d
belong to the fans.  At some point the whole thing got out of control.  From
this it's just a small step to imagining Kirk and Spock as lovers.
Cal Pryluck                               <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>
Dept of Radio-Television-Film             <[log in to unmask]>
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122