Matthew Pertz, Opinion Editor
As the dust settles from the feud between Asbury and Nazareth Director Anson Williams, there’s a number of hard lessons to be learned by both parties involved.
The most important lesson is you should never complain about anything online. Facebook is not a suitable substitute for a therapist or an emotional confidante. Williams’ original rant was a poorly-outlined fit of frustration, not a legitimate issue with Asbury or Jim Owens, dean of the communication arts school, and within 24 hours of t.v. stations and the Lexington Herald-Leader catching wind of his angst, Williams deleted both of his posts.
So if you ever find yourself angry at a colleague over creative differences, do the world a favor and take a lap, drink some tea, sleep a little or do whatever helps you cool off. Just don’t take your beef to the endless echo chamber of the internet.
It’s important that we, as observers of this situation, pay attention to the context.
Art, both as a concept and in individual examples, is fluid; it changes, evolves and functions as fast as our neurons can fire. Unfortunately, time and money are not fluid, and artists always find themselves devoid of one or the other. And when a project is strung against a deadline or a check ready to bounce, it’s time to take a deep breath, hit Control-S and submit one’s best effort against given circumstances.
The most disheartening fact about Hollywood is money and passion are rarely in equilibrium: some of the most ambitious films are shot on DSLRs while the broadest budgets are often supervised by Michael Bay.
But Asbury, with its surplus of industry alumni on staff, should have realized that Hollywood-level talent requires a Hollywood-level budget, and the school shouldn’t hire a director like Anson Williams if it can’t provide the cash his vision requires.
Owens said in a statement, “Asbury’s Comm Arts students are offered opportunities they just can’t get anywhere else.
However, assigning value to this particular opportunity is tricky, especially when Williams writes, “Never in my entire career have I been through such an unnecessary negative situation as the Asbury University Film School in Kentucky.”
Let me give this parting wisdom to all students regardless of career field, be it film, construction, science, theology, music or public service: any sort of project with two or more people is going to face roadblocks in communication. Pushing a boundless idea from one brain to another using only the narrow confines of English is an impossible task.
So always make sure that you and your crew are on the same page in all respects: vision, budget and deadlines. And when incongruities happen, don’t dump your emotions on Facebook.