Do we NEED middlemen for ARTISTIC CREATIONS?

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    Sep 12, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
    With the advent of the internet, self-publishing and self-releasing of movies and music has empowered the creator to connect directly with their audience for both feedback and financial benefit. This is cutting out the middlemen (publishers, agents, etc) who otherwise take a larger chunk of the change and many times do nothing for an artist. And reject many as well.

    People may argue that the "middlemen" help sort out what is good and what is bad, but those opinions are still subjective. Did you know that "The Wizard of Oz" and the Charlie Brown Halloween Special were rejected many times over until someone took a chance?

    I believe that more great works of art are undiscovered than those that are "discovered" and allowed to get through via a gatekeeper. I say we light a fire under those old gatekeepers who prevent free expression and stifle the dreams of inspired artists.

    Here is an author who responded to his rejection letters. Quite Funny!
    http://electricliterature.com/blog/2010/09/07/judson-merrill-responds-to-his-rejections/
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    Sep 12, 2010 1:55 AM GMT
    The problem with cutting out the middlemen is that many artistic types don't know how to translate their "art" into something sellable and consumable by the public.  Cutting out the middlemen in these industries is akin to cutting out a waiter at a restaurant--sure, the chef could deliver the food to the table himself, but isn't it better he's left to work on his creation?

    Self-publishing introduces a new model, but it will take some time for it to become a standard.  Very few people have taken self-publishing to a new level--the few that have found "success" with it are those who self-published first but then got a contract with a big company.  In this, their end goal was still to move beyond self-publishing.

    The internet era certainly is making these middlemen find ways to become more relevant.  They don't hold an exclusive knowledge like they used to anymore.  On the flip side, attention spans are dwindling in this era, and it's making art become far more flighty and instantaneous.

    As for the Wizard of Oz and Charlie Brown being rejected many times--it's likely those authors went back after every rejection and improved the story more.  
  • creature

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    Sep 12, 2010 2:16 AM GMT
    Are you referring to The Wizard of Oz, the popular 1939 movie adaptation? Whether or not Hollywood rejected it doesn't matter to L. Frank Baum, the author of the novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The novel was the medium he was concerned with. And according to wikipedia, there have been several adaptations of the Oz stories before 1939. And the Charlie Brown Halloween Special is based on a comic strip that has been published for over a decade before the cartoon special aired.

    But the thing is that some of the artists who produce their work independently will seek out the middlemen once they come looking for them. You don't need them for artistic creations, but they do help with promotion, exposure, deals, and financial assistance.
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    Sep 12, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    cold saidAlso, a lot of people think what they are doing is art or entertainment and it's just trash that nobody wants to engage with.


    That can be part of it, but I believe there are more great works of art left to the wayside (because a gatekeeper was to tired to look at it) than there are that actually come to light.

    Have you ever seen a movie or read a book or listened to a song that critics panned but you loved? Their perceptions are subjective, if not often, very jaded. Like I hate when a critic describes a movie as "sappy." That tells me more about them than the movie.
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    Sep 12, 2010 5:15 AM GMT
    Hmmmm....
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    Sep 12, 2010 5:41 AM GMT
    I think this method has its benefits and downsides. Being someone who's created art and books (graphic novels to be precise) for submission some editors are very narrow minded and aren't willing to work with creators to help them fine tune and better their creations but just rubber stamp it to pass or fail. Having a middleman can give you insight before it reaches the intended audience but some stubborn editors, and other in-betweens, can prevent some truly talented people from moving forward. Very few rejection letters I've received have any constructive criticism and are usually more like put downs and overly negative, without ways to improve for resubmission.

    The other model in which the audience or consumer becomes the editor and the creative product is much more a Darwinistic endeavor that either fails or succeeds since there's no editor to finesse and fine tune the work. This is sort of the answer to Skotlake's post because those creators whose work wasn't as well vetted or thought out would summarily fail unless a large enough audience could look past the defects and find the merits.

    Interesting topic for sure.

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    Sep 12, 2010 9:05 AM GMT
    I like the word-of-mouth system like in olden days, that the internet provides