Friday, May 25, 2012

Author's Moral Rights

The apricots are falling and, despite the recent winds of Crete, it looks like being a bumper crop so Douglas trotted off to Lidls to get, amongst other things, twenty-four kilos of sugar. Guess you can make a whole heap of apricot jam, chutney, apricot raki, apricot wine, ice-cream, etcetera, with twenty-four kilos of sugar.
We’ve not had rain for a while so some shrubs are beginning to look a trifle wilted and we still haven’t planted out the loquat I have grown from seed. It is now a good three feet tall or more and we really must do it soon before it gets too heavy (well heavier than it already is) and becomes pot bound. Having nurtured it this far I would really hate to lose it. Have started to take down the nectarine that has produced nothing but peach curl all the years we have had it. Shame really as it was a present from our American friends, the Pardoes, but there you are, it has been totally useless as far as fruit is concerned and has to go. More firewood for next winter. There’s a dead pine at the bottom of the garden as well but that will have to wait until we can afford a woodsman to do the job. It is a forty feet or more fully grown tree and we would more than likely be in the line of serious injury or death if we attempted it. This last winter everyone, including city dwellers, because of the cost of oil were using wood stoves.
I still swear this machine has a will of its own. It decided the word I wanted wasn’t   Pardoes but Parodies and went ahead all on its own to change it. I swear on my life it was not my chubby fingers. I most definitely typed Pardoes.
I have finally discovered what an author’s moral rights are. I’ve been bemused by it ever since I first read it in a flyleaf: The Author’s moral rights have been observed. In “The Hollywood Writers’ Wars” by Nancy Lynn Schwartz which is taking me an awfully long time to plough through, on page 230 I read this – ‘ ‘“The Author’s Moral Rights,” a code employed in Europe that considered the artist’s work an extension of his or her personality and concerned itself with protecting that work from distortion by middlemen. This was an obsessive concern of screen writers who were suffering under the very fact that they had no control over the final product; with which the studio could do as it liked.’
So there you are, obviously this applies to publishers whose editors might get a bit too big for their boots. More, when rehearsing a new play, actors sometimes consider themselves to be much better writers than the playwright and insist, in their opinion, on improving things. Alfie Bass did it to me when filming ‘Bindle’ coming out with appalling lines he believed to be the soul of wit and Ronnie Stevens did it to me in “The 88.” Mind you it’s not just actors who trample willy-nilly over a script because they always know best but directors as well. When ‘Thriller Of The Year’ was first produced Ben Hawthorne (now known as Raymond) cut so much from the third act we were left with a mere fifteen minutes. Who wants to come back after an interval for a mere fifteen minutes? It has since then naturally been rewritten and corrected. When my play ‘One Candle For Jenny’ was bought by the television company Associated-Rediffusion it was given to a director by the name of Mark Lawton, who did so much rewriting the play was eventually shelved. No moral rights protecting me there. Same with a film script called ‘Finishing School.’ Even the title was changed becoming ‘It Happened On Tuesday.’ Have you ever heard a more ridiculous title? Anyway it never happened on Tuesday, or Wednesday or any other day so that was another one not protected by my moral rights.

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