I went to see the big Spider-Man movie No Way Home last Saturday. It was the first movie I have been too since early 2020. We chose a small local cinema in the afternoon. There was a small number in attendance and it made for a nice event.
I wont spoil anything but I did leave that movie with doubts. Doubts that many other fans did not have when they left. I have heard reports of applause and standing ovations in American cinemas. That did not happen in mine. Though there were loud laughs and a few gasps.
The money that Spider-Man No Way Home has earned even before the movie opened is astounding. Predictions were that No Way Home would make $135-185 Million in the opening week. Over the weekend they beat that with $260 Million in ticket sales.
As an artist you can only dream of being connected to a project that makes this much money. When the windfall comes definitely save that money. Because as many artists know it can end just as suddenly as it started.
You do not know when you put something out there what will happen. I am sure there was a time when the original Wiggles could not see themselves doing Pub Tours and having drunken adults singing “Hot Potato”. It happened.
As an artist you dream of making it big. Heck I’d like some of that Bluey money right now. Merchandise is where it is at people. If you have an intellectual property that the kids love or that can be made into watches, hats, t-shirts, frisbees you could make it big.
So my honest response is get cracking. Of course that is when you only see the end result. There is a lot of work, failure and work. Talk to any of the big authors, most have many tales of rejection and failure. There are so many authors with good stories, artists with great skill and musicians with amazing talent. Not all can get big.
Then there are the artists who make it big after they die. Van Gough gets mentioned usually around now. Then there are those like Caravaggio who died desperate and on the edge of redemption. Locked in a prison miles from his audience with the Pope. Languishing with no one knowing where he was, Caravaggio died of malaria.
Artists can lead tragic lives. Creativity is a God given gift, though there is a narrative of the afflicted artist who has to eek out a living due to the creative impulse. I know many very sane and very competent people who are creative. It is a stereotype, not the norm.
However, the distance between being able to live on your creativity and having to forgo that creativity to earn enough to survive is enormous. Even those connected to Spider-Man: No Way Home. Those artists, programmers, best boys and gaffers have already been paid.
All those names at the end of the movie between the post credit scenes, unless they have a contract with bonuses connected to the amount the movie makes, there is no more money for them. This goes for the actors too. The studio makes the big money.
In the recent Hawkeye show on Disney+ the style of the title sequence, the costumes of Clint and Kate was all developed in the comics by artist David Aja. The Tracksuit Mafia, Lucky the Pizza Dog, the relationship between Clint and Kate. That was all first written by Matt Fraction.
Matt Fraction got a mention in the credits as Creative Consultant. David Aja got nothing. Marvel has done this to their artists and writers for a very long time. Marvel is currently in the courts with the families of many of their past writers and artists. Why, because they don’t want have to pay them for using their characters and stories.
Creativity is a God given gift. Many have it and cultivate it. Perhaps you may get yours out there with a big audience. Good on you. Though like many creatives, I do wish it was not so cut throat.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.