I was watching Pixar’s UP the other day. What a brilliant movie! Great characters, amazing concept, such funny dialogue and perfect mix of music, laughs and adventure. And I thought to myself (a little jealously), as the credits rolled, that they probably had conference meetings on each and every scene, involving lots of people. “OK folks, let’s meet in the main conference room on minute #56. It’ll be our third meeting on minute 56 this month.” How can one author compete against a legion of creators? He can’t.
What I’m getting at is that thousands of people and millions of dollars go into one piece of…art. Yes, art. Movies have become our age’s premier art form. Paintings aside, books aside, even CDs aside. The movie bulldozes over all. In a way, the movie contains those three things (visual images, storyline and dialogue, music) and it surpasses them. These days, one of the greatest measures of success of an author is if his or her book gets made into a movie. That is the highest compliment. And the top artists around the world are connected to the movie business in some way. They know that this is where the big players play these days.
Is this a bad thing? Well, it’s a natural thing that the world changes, and this is part of that change. It doesn’t mean that books, or painting, or music are dead. Far from it. But it does mean that we have to recognize the place that movies have taken in the grand history art. They are now on center stage. And the movie is an art form that is a collaboration of the efforts of so many people – in a way that’s a beautiful thing.
What is the next art form? Is it a reality art form where each person acts out his own art in a sort of virtual world? Is it something that has to do with the mind and less than with the eye and ear? Time will tell. As an author, I hope it’s something in which I can take part. As a human being, I hope it’s something awesome.