This is very present in Tim Burton, who's style is beyond just recognizable, worked on various types of stories. Leaving his own perspective and finger print on the movie. But look at his latest work. It's the same. Not that each story is the same. From a selling point, it's the same strategy. It's like a second nature pattern. The surprise is all gone. Which is a bit sad for me specifically because I love a lot of his older work.
It's almost like there's one director per tone of movie. You want bleak and misery? Arronofsky. You want complex and mind fuck? Christopher Nolan. You want glorified visuals and badasses? Zach Snyder. I can go on. But I want to make it clear that I'm not pointing this out as a BAD thing in these movies and directors. I just think it's an interest phenomenon. And I wonder if it's a business move or these artists really just want to do just that. In Tim Burton's case. It does seem to have changed because he's made so many different kind of movies in the past, up until recently.
Now a days, scripts are almost written for specific directors. It's almost hammered over your head constantly that this is a "Mr. So-and-so's movie" as you're watching it. It's resulted in directors or creative people making basically the same kind of movie over and over. While of course they'd naturally be attracted to similar ideas based on their taste, it's gotten pretty extreme and I wonder what this does to real creativity. I think the doom of an artist is to get too comfortable.
It's interesting how the world is becoming. As the people get more connected, the collective consciousness is putting individuals into very defined categories with specific purposes. Like a body of entertainment and each organ is providing a service. Just think of how limiting that is for an individual. Or is it defining?
As a creative person telling stories, I think it's always important to consider your audience's feedback. After all, you are providing your material to them. You need to know what they want and how to give it to them. They are who you're making it for, therefore make sure it makes sense... or else you'll make them mad.... make make make... sorry.
But... One thing you can't do is let the audience govern the creative decisions of your story. Remember, thats why they aren't doing what you do after all. A good example is the Star Wars series. The old ones were more straight forward adventures that said what needed to be said to tell the story. The new ones were fan-serving nightmares that tried to reveal too much unnecessary details about the universe. Those details ended up clouding the real reason to make the prequels at all. (Although it's arguable if they even needed to be made. You can read my post where I cover such things in a bit more detail.)
The Matrix 2 and 3 are another example. People watched the Matrix, fans wanted to see more of the universe. Andy and Larry chose to explore that, but how constructive was that to the story? I mean even with 2 movies, a collective run time of about 5 hours, they tried to explore so many side- characters. While they covered interesting themes and ideas, it was very forced and draining. If they wanted to explore the universe, a Matrix TV show probably would have been better. Where the medium fits the narrative much more naturally. You can afford to focus on more things time-wise. On this subject, read the previous post "The Run-Time Effect" to see what I mean in more detail.
All in all, the minute an audience's opinion dominates the creative process. It's no longer a show, it's a church lecture. People just hearing what they want to hear and can almost word for word predict what that artist is going to present. Creative people then have to resort to cheap shock value or cheap tricks to create any sort of surprise or wonder in their work when this happens. Which has less value in its experience.
I mean think of it. If you give an audience exactly what they want, is that truly satisfactory? Isn't part of the reason to watch movies, a medium that requires you to sit and watch someone basically tell you something, to be surprised?
Think of how that's making us perceive stories now.
It's no wonder there's a lack of "classic" stories lately. Instead we're seeing the creator before the story. That clouds the immersion of the narrative. This perspective on directors reminds me a bit of how A-list actors are treated. It's funny how much they prepare for a role to get into that character so the audiences believe it. But then the audience just can't see past the actor into the character and just thinks "He's playing the character so amazingly well!" Well wait a second. Shouldn't the actor's identity be basically invisible to the character he's playing if he's doing it right? That's one benefit out of animated movies. The facelessness of the actors helps that level of immersion.
But my point is, the same way people are seeing actors (or characters in the stories), that's moved onto directors (or the stories themselves). And I wonder...
Is this changing mentality going to evolve story telling? Or is this meta perspective on movies by our audiences going to be a speed bump or dark age in story telling?