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Quotes / Executive Meddling

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    Literature 

I made him a flushed, disheveled, bedeviled scallawag, with his helmet at the back of his head, and the living fear of death in his eye, and the blood oozing out of a cut over his ankle-bone. He wasn't pretty, but he was all soldier and very much man. […]

I did him just as well as I knew how, making allowance for the slickness of oils. Then the art-manager of that abandoned paper said that his subscribers wouldn’t like it. It was brutal and coarse and violent — man being naturally gentle when he’s fighting for his life.
They wanted something more restful, with a little more colour. I could have said a good deal, but you might as well talk to a sheep as an art-manager.
I took my "Last Shot" back. Behold the result! I put him into a lovely red coat without a speck on it. That is Art. I polished his boots — observe the highlight on the toe. That is Art. I cleaned his rifle — rifles are always clean on service — because that is Art.
Dick, The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling.

    Live-Action TV 

Crow: Okay, The Final Sacrifice: The Series
Mike: The name goes.
Crow: What?
Mike: Never liked the name. The name goes. It's banal.
Crow: But if you’re hoping to connect the series with the movie, Mike—
Mike: I need something like, oh, Night Mistress.
Crow: Night Mistress.
Mike: Yeah, or Cloochie and the Lieutenant, something that’s gonna seduce people, really connect with 'em. We’ll work on that.
Mystery Science Theater 3000, engaging in some frightfully accurate roleplay during the credits of The Final Sacrifice

"It's called "Show Business," not "Show Art."
Maggie O'Connell, Northern Exposure

"Nothing can ruin a good idea like a roomful of men."
Denise, Trust Me

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    Music 

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity
Rush, "The Spirit of Radio"

I am the entertainer
And I've come to do my show
You heard my latest record
It's been on the radio
It took me years to write it
They were the best years of my life
It was a beautiful song, but it ran too long
If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit
So they cut it down to 3:05
Billy Joel, "The Entertainer"

They said release "Remote Control"
But we didn't want it on the label
They said, "Fly to Amsterdam"
The people laughed but the press went mad
The Clash, "Complete Control"note 

To those who understand, I extend my hand
To the doubtful, I demand: Take me as I am
Not under your command; I know where I stand
I won't change to fit your plan; take me as I am
Dream Theater, refrain to "As I Am"

    Theatre 

"And my managers must learn that their place is in an office. Not the arts."

    Web Comics 

Pip: You deal with those types more than me; how is someone so dense granted decision making privileges at all?
Art: I think they give you an IQ test. If they see you cheating to pass it: You're management material.

    Web Video 

"Now, in fairness, this storyline was an editorial mandate. In fact, most of these turns to evil were editorial mandates, further proving that editors aren't writers, so they should stop pretending they are!"
Linkara, Top 15 Worst Heroes Becoming Villains, referring to the evil Cassandra Cain storyline

    Western Animation 

All we ever want is indecision
All we really like is what we know
Gotta balance style with adherence
Making sure we make a good appearance
Even if you simply have to fudge it
Make sure that it stays within our budget
— The Stressed Reprise of "Stitching it Together (Art of the Dress)", My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Guano: But you said you'd never tamper with my creative vision.
Ozu: I didn't tamper. I lit it on fire and danced on the ashes!

Chocolate grain
If you have diabetes, stay away
Chocolate grain
It's something that our lawyers made us say
— "Chocolate Grain", Robot Chicken

Milhouse: Mr. Moore, will you sign my DVD copy of Watchmen Babies? Which of your babies is your favorite?
Alan Moore: You see what the bloody corporations do?! They take your ideas and suck them! Suck them like leeches until they've got every last drop of the marrow from your bones!

Boorswan: What did you do to my psychological masterpiece?!
Dewey: I added chainsaw jugglers. You're welcome.

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    Real Life 

"There is no idea so good it can't be ruined by a few well-placed idiots."

"We'd just gone to all the effort of saying, 'Jean is dead, get over it,' and they said, 'Haha, we fibbed.' So why should anyone trust us again? But that's the difference between being the writer and being the boss."

"I would like to relay an editorial comment that I received near the end of my time writing the Dark Knight New 52 series. In one scene, I had written that Batman is sitting on a rooftop during an intense conversation, close to a person who has been injured. The editorial comment: 'We're not sure you are 'getting' the character because it's common knowledge that Batman never sits down.'"
Paul Jenkins

"With making a film, it's like trying to create a tune in the shower, while you have a hundred people singing around you."

This, by the way, is why screenwriting pays so well. They don't pay me to write. I'd write for free. They pay me NOT to punch people in the neck.

What you have to remember is that in the movies there are two types of people: 1) the directors, artists, actors and so on who have to do things and are often quite human and 2) the other lifeforms. Unfortunately you have to deal with the other lifeforms first. It is impossible to exaggerate their baleful stupidity.
Terry Pratchett, after a Mort movie deal falls apart when execs ask him to "lose the Death angle"

A gaggle of new producers micromanaged every aspect of the show, certain they knew what worked on the network better than the original cast and creative team.

"I would like to hear more of the consummate melodic master, but I feel that big business and his record company have had a corrupting influence on his material. The rock and pop thing certainly draws a wider audience. It happens more and more these days, that unqualified people with executive positions try to tell musicians what is good and what is bad music."

"I'm sick to death of being fucked about by men in suits sitting on their fat arses in the City!"
John Lennon, expressing his frustration over The Beatles not legally owning their own songs (long story …)

"The producer, Konnie Kwak, and the company, ToonZone (Animation Development Inc) that produced the show, made and changed the show without my knowledge, aired it overseas (it never aired in the US) never told me about it and never paid me the money I was contractually owed for each episode that had my name on it. I found out five years later what they did, and everyone involved has either changed their number or will not contact me. There, I rather move on and leave it alone please"
Andrew Dickman on Action Dad


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