01
Jul
10

Why Airbender is Bad

My name is Yamila Abraham and I have not seen The Last Airbender. I’ve watched a YouTube video getting the reactions of people coming out of the theater after watching it. This qualifies me to write this post.

Apparently the movie adaption of the anime had little in common with it. Not even small concessions were made to the fans, like keeping the original characters names. Even the crappy Land of the Lost movie did that.

It made me think of something that happened to me in 1999. I made a crappy animated comic book on CD-ROM and tried to sell it. I think I sold, like, one? I did a press release for it and paid $100 for the release to be sent to all the right people.

I got a call from a screenwriter who had worked on the first Blade movie. He said he wanted to see about pitching my crappy animated comic book to some studios. He said he was also talking to a guy who wrote/drew a comic series for Dark Horse (or some other reasonably well-established comic publisher). I knew this guy chatted on the CBR forums, so I looked him up and asked him if this screenwriter guy was legit. Apparently he was.

I didn’t get why a screenwriter with at least one decent credit to his name was interested in pitching my crappy animated comic book to studios. I still decided to see what could come out of it. We started talking.

“Where does (my crappy comic) take place?” he asked.

“In Providence.”

“We’ll change that to New York. Now this girl he gets into, why is she on the streets again?”

“She ran away from a foster home.”

“Oh, yeah, no good. She’s got to be at least 18. Why don’t we have it be that she works at the dance club where she first meets him. And what’s her name?”

“She goes by a nickname, ______.”

“What do you think of Sara. No ‘h.’ That’s a good one. And this villain can’t have the horse snout thing. You have to see the actor’s face. Let’s give him horns. But little ones.”

You get the idea.

I was as pragmatic then as I am now. Call her whatever the hell you want, just get my name right on the check.

As it went on it was clear to me that this guy had his own idea and his own story but he was going to use my press release as a springboard to pitch it to studios. Nothing ever came out of it.

This was a very small name in the business back then. He had one small screen credit. Blink at the end of Blade and you’ll miss it. Like everyone though he had his own pet projects and tastes.

I can just imagine how greatly that’s amplified when it’s a personality with multiple notable screen credits. M. Night did what he wanted to do, or at least tried to cram something he wanted into a package it couldn’t fit in, or…it sounds more like he phoned in something he didn’t want to do in the first place.

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