photo by diwan
A duck is a duck and a pig is a pig.
But, the question is... are you a duck or a pig?
Ducks quack and fly; pigs make bacon.
So... do you quack and fly, or are you making bacon?
That analogy shouldn't need explaining... but, just in case, here's the extended version.
Some writers identify themselves as artists. And their understanding of what it means to be an artist is that it is all about quacking and flying. Make your kind of noise, fly-free creatively. Yeah, baby, it's great to be a duck! And the best thing about being a duck is you never have to make worry about making bacon. Anybody asks you to make bacon and you can just call them a fool. Hell, I don't make bacon, I'm a duck, fool! Duck is an acquired taste. Some people like duck. If you are a duck, the fewer people who like your flavour the better you think you are. Ducks like to be exotic... and the best thing about being a duck is you can survive as a duck on whatever bread people throw at you, out of the kindness of their hearts.
Some writers identify themselves as purely commercial. And their understanding of what it means to be commercial is that you have to be a pig. Pigs eat shit, but they make bacon. Everyone likes bacon. So, providing the pig is prepared to eat enough shit and make enough bacon, everyone in the business loves a pig. Pigs can't see the point in being a duck, all they care about is making bacon... and the thing about bacon is that it doesn't matter how bad the bacon is, you'll always find someone who'll buy that bacon, providing it actually is bacon.
Then one day science came along and said, Hey, we just rewrote the genetic rules... we created the possibility of a hybrid.
In the film industry that rule rewriting was the digital revolution. By cutting the costs of production it created the space for writers to be both a duck and pig at the same time. However, the problem is, both producers and screenwriters are still acting like they have to be either a pig or a duck. They are still clinging to the idea that they have to choose between being artistic and being commercial, when actually those rules no longer apply. If production costs are low enough, being a duck can be commercial, providing the duck isn't getting off on being obscure.
Once writers and producers finally get a grip on what the real opportunities are in these changes, what cheaper production really means...then we'll see something miraculous. We might see pigs that fly, or ducks that get paid. Either of those two miracles would amuse the fuck out of me right now.
keep writing and viva la revolution