The Significance of Jumping the Shark

In showbiz terms there’s always mention of jumping the shark. A lot of people don’t get the fact that jumping the shark simply means making a less than stellar career move. The term itself comes from the legendary, super cheesy event that took place in the 1970’s classic, Happy Days.

Jumping The Shark on Happy Days

The whole term came about because as opposed to the episode become a landmark event it would completely turn the show’s fortunes around as opposed to making them better. In the end the show’s episode would not be a kind of Who Shot JR television event.

Jumping The Shark

Remember don’t go jumping sharks!

 

Not Even the Mini- Oscar Can Save You

Being a child star with an Oscar in Hollywood can’t really save you, not if you are doomed by the stigma of typecasting. An unfortunate example of a child star whose promising career was doomed by his own stardom is that of Bobby Driscoll.

Bobby Driscoll Bobby Driscoll was Disney’s wonder kid, having starred in classics such as Song of the South, Treasure Island, and as the voice of Peter Pan. Bobby Driscoll seemed to be on the path to enduring stardom, especially after being given a juvenile Oscar in 1950.

Bobby DriscollOne would think Bobby was headed to a major spot where he would have been either a Jack Nicholson type star or a studio head. Sadly Bobby would end up without any money and his body would be laid to rest in Potter Field at Hart Island, where unclaimed souls of prisoners and the destitute go to rest.

The Play Was Better than the Film

When you see a movie based on a book you often times hear that the book was better. The case is not necessarily the same with plays though. Most people that see a film adaptation of a play don’t normally compare it to the play. When a play is compared to a film, industry insiders normally do it. A great example is the play Equus, which originally starred Anthony Perkins.

Equus

 

Perkins was the actor whose portrayal stood out above Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, and Leonard Nimoy’s runs. When Equus was adapted into a film the lead role went to Richard Burton, chiefly because of his star power, most everyone agreed though that Perkins would have been a far better choice since his stage portrayal was superior to Burton’s.

 

So much trusting Psycho.

The Sign of Dreams

Hollywood is a town that’s built its history on the backs of dreams. The dreams associated with Hollywood are dreams of stars, bright lights, fame, and fortune. What makes Hollywood special is it’s iconic landmark, the big sign. People associate the big sign with legendary careers. The sign is special but the truth is that the sign has a story behind it, unrelated to the dreams associated with it.

HollywoodLand Sign

The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923 as a way to promote Hollywood real estate. The film industry was actually in its infancy at that point and big stars were few and far in between. Film was actually not that big a part of California’s lore.  The sign originally read Hollywoodland.

 

HollywoodLandMuch like with anything the sign changed to just Hollywood and eventually it because the icon for an entire industry. Nearly 100 years after being put up the sign represents a bridge between the history of film and modern day entertainment hopes.

 

Hollywood, Hollywood!

The Curse of Atuk

The Curse of Atuk

Normally every industry carries with it some sort of urban legend. Some tales are based on actual fact while others are just tales. One such thing can be said about the script titled Atuk. The script is based on a book about an Eskimo coming to America written in 1963.

Curse of the Incomparable AtukFor over 40 years there has been interest in making this script a reality but it seems like every interested party dies. Comedians John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, and Chris Farley all expressed real interest in the lead role.

It’s incredible to think that all of these comedians would die within just a few years of of expressing interest in the role.

Curse? You decide!

Little Known Fact About Video Assist

Video assist allows filmmakers to see a take immediately after it’s been shot. Video assist is key simply because it aids the filmmaker in deciding if the take should be shot again, and how. What a lot of people don’t know is that video assist was influenced heavily by Jerry Lewis. The Nutty Professor himself was something special.

Jerry Lewis directing

When he put together his classic film The Bellboy Jerry Lewis used a video camera to record while filming. This technique did not initially get tagged as video assist; still it was something that created a whole new way to aide directors. The funny thing is that The Bellboy was Jerry’s first directorial effort.

 

Nice lady!

 

Epics that Lacked Studio Confidence.

When you think of epic films you think of Gone With the Wind and Titanic. Today Titanic stands out as an epic and a box office smash, like Gone With the Wind stands as an all time American classic. A little known about these films is that both were originally considered failures in the making.

 

Gone With The Wind and TitanicMany considered Gone With the Wind a failure in the making; the book rights were a hard sell. Upon a preview screening the feelings were mixed and on general release the film became a sensational smash as well as a critical success. Nearly 80 years after its release the gone with the wind epic stands the test of time and is considered a standard bearer for epic filmmaking.

 

Titanic was considered a failure in he making much the same way as gone with the wind. No successful story was developed around the 1912 disaster. The film was getting abysmal notices in pre production and largely regarded as an overpriced failure waiting to happen. After completion and upon release Titanic became the biggest hit of the decade taking in over a billion dollars in worldwide box office and making mega stars out of its cast members.

 

Epics are risks and as such studios tend to give it mixed receptions and not nearly enough support. I wonder when the studios will learn how to navigate the iceberg of ignorance.