To the Editor:
Living and working over 400 miles away from Hollywood (San Francisco and Berkeley, respectively), we are accustomed to being left out of the loop but your article regarding “drab” and “pablum” film endings was a bit too much, and certainly not inclusive (“Hollywood Grapples With Third-Act Problems,” Variety, Sept. 15-21).
We have made only nine films and they were awarded 22 Oscars out of 34 nominations. Not one of these films had a screenplay and/or ending that was changed by anyone but the filmmakers. In fact (a nice phrase), in seven out of the nine films, our protagonist dies before “The End” pops up on the screen. Not exactly “drab” or “pablum.”
Maybe something serious should be said and done for the filmmakers’ authority not being left in the hands of “the focus groups” or “empty suits.”
P.S. Any ending that works for us is not to be construed as a legal recommendation or financial guarantee.