STOP FORGETTING TO NAME THE WRITERS!
Once again I’ve had to email a film screening program about the blurb they posted about an upcoming screening and Q&A with the creators of a new film. Here’s the post I read:
When single father Max (John Cho) discovers he has a terminal disease, he decides to try and cram all the years of love and support he will miss with his teenage daughter Wally (Mia Isaac) into the time he has left with her. With the promise of long-awaited driving lessons, he convinces Wally to accompany him on a road trip from California to New Orleans for his 20th college reunion, where he secretly hopes to reunite her with her mother who left them long ago. A wholly original, emotional and surprising journey, Don’t Make Me Go explores the unbreakable, eternal bond between a father and daughter from both sides of the generational divide with heart and humor along for the ride. From Amazon Studios, #DontMakeMeGo will begin streaming July 15 globally only on Prime Video.
Why We Love It: Don’t Make Me Go is an emotional and beautiful exploration of the struggle between chasing your dreams or settling on the safe choices. Mia Isaac and John Cho’s chemistry is captivating in this one of a kind father-daughter road trip film. Bring tissues.
Here’s the email I had to send to the programmer:
I saw your announcement and wondered if Don’t Make Me Go is “A wholly original, emotional and surprising journey, Don’t Make Me Go explores the unbreakable, eternal bond between a father and daughter from both sides of the generational divide with heart and humor along for the ride” then WHY wasn’t the writer, Vera Herbert, invited to this live discussion? Or even mentioned in your post, which makes the reader assume that the director is a writer-director, giving them all the credit for what sounds like a film based on characters, situation, theme, and dialogue – none of which are under the auspices of a director.
As the Executive Director of an MFA in TV and Screenwriting, I subscribe to all your posts to see what events I might want to bring my MFA candidates to – but I only attend events that include writers. It’s an insult to not even name the writer. The auteur theory was invented years ago by French film reviewers who found it simpler to list directors since many were writer-directors and sometimes a film is written by 2 people which was unwieldy in a review. That’s why it exists and it’s a shame for film experts/programmers/educators to continue that practice. More women have written films than directed them (the Joan Harrison/Hitchcock team is an example) so it was another way to erase the creative work of women when we only mention directors. I would say “Please stop” but I’m tired of saying “Please”.
Dr. Rosanne Welch