I think if you put aside Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semantic rampage from earlier in the year, Apocalypto sounds like a tough sell. By now we know the score: Unknown actors, dialogue in a dead Mayan dialect, no subtitles. Who is signing up for this? Dump it into theaters during the holidays when the last thing anyone wants to do is THINK… It’s a gamble.
Still, at the same time, I’m grudgingly respecting Gibson’s chutzpah. Clearly this is someone who is so enamored with his artistic vision, he’s willing to fight the odds and let his work speak for himself.
It puts me in a weird place. Because just for the risk Gibson is taking, it makes me think that the movie is important and that I’m doing myself a disservice by skipping it. But on the other hand, I have a hard time hanging up the whole racial rant for ealier in the year. Drunk or not, he’s responsible for his actions. Apologies are nice, but they don’t carry much weight if that’s the kind of evil that lurks in your heart. A few drinks loosened his lips and now he’s trying to put the demon back in the bottle.
I think about how much larger the firestorm would have been if Gibson pulled a Michael Richards and spoke disparagingly about African-Americans or Asians. Or does Gibson’s clout in the industry shield him somewhat from that kind of scrutiny.
Ultimately what matters is the performance of the film. There will always be some people in the industry who won’t work for Gibson. But if he’s still financially viable, someone will work with him again. As it’s been said, Hollywood doesn’t see in black or white. It sees in green.
Time will tell. I think people will be watching the box office on this once closely.
A couple of small pieces of site news: Comixpedia has an article written by Michael Rouse-Deane from Webcomics in Print about the Top 10 (in no particular order) web comic books of 2006. Theater Hopper: Year Two was listed in the number 7 spoke. Says Rouse-Deane, "When Year Two (and Theater Hopper: Year One too for that matter) were in their pre-order stage, Brazelton hit upon his "street team" sales approach. Theater Hopper was probably the first ever webcomic to publically have the idea of "tell 5 friends to buy the book and if they do, you get something for it". So readers spread the word, leading to more sales for the book, and the fans not only get an immediate reward from convincing others to buy it, but as fans they get an intangible reward from actively helping creator Brazelton succeed with Theater Hopper."
I think it was really cool for Rouse-Deane to speak to the marketing of the first two books specifically as it pertains to you, the audience. I think it’s a great compliment that he attributes part of the book’s success to your involvement – which is exactly how I prefer it. Neither book would have gotten off the ground if you guys hadn’t supported me early on, pre-ordered (and were extremely patient waiting for them to come in). So, in a roundabout way, I just wanted to say "Thanks!’
If you wanted to read the rest of the Comixpedia article, click here. Of course, if you wanted to buy your own copies of Theater Hopper: Year One and Year Two for $15 each (plus shipping and handling) you can do so here.
Quick reminder about next Monday: I’m doing another TalkShoe talkcast at 8:00 PM CST. I’m broadcasting a little earlier so more of you can participate. If you haven’t tried this talkcast thing, it’s great. You should really give it a shot. Just log in through this page. Also, if you want to download the first show, you can do that through that link as well.
I’ll remind everyone again on Monday. Have a great weekend!