Because this is a business, we all need a certain amount of executive administration. After all, they do the jobs that none of us want to do (plus, they are legal citizens).
But fewer things will cripple a film faster than a studio executive that just saw another movie.
I was just talking to some friends who were working on post production of a kid's show (not one of mine) and the discussion came up whether to put the credits at the beginning or the end of the show. The director said, "You know, it's kid's entertainment. I say we tack the credits on at the end. They don't read them after all. Let's go straight into the show." Then a producer type piped up, "I see what you mean.... You know, I just saw Superman last night and those opening credits went on for about 15 minutes, and..."
The credits were put at the front.
It's a mediocre show at best... and these people actually want their names to open the show.
The thing is an executive wants his name up front to show-off to other execs who may want to hire him one day. "See? I produced this, and this, and this... I'm prolific and profitable." Nevermind that the shows were all crap. It's pure quantity over quality in that world. They know (especially in kid's entertainment) that their colleagues will never actually watch the show. They will only look at the numbers.
Whereas, those of us who watch these shows know what's good and what's not and whom to hire to work with us. If we see a portfolio full of poor drawings from cancelled shows and less than stellar films, we will gleefully pass. An executive left brainer will say, "But look at how thick his book is! And I like that funny bear drawing where he got kicked in the -."
Don't get me wrong here, I've seen good individual portfolios from bad films. You could easily see that the artist knew his stuff, but was shackled under the weight of an uninspired story. And often, they are almost embarrassed to show you the work, because they know the film sucked, too. But they also know it wasn't their fault.
But those bean counters... They just want you to see that they came in on time and under budget. Like you can put that on the cover of the DVD: "Now with 20% less overtime!!"
I just had to let off some steam. Thanx.
By the way. Go read Keith Lango's blog. He's been doing a really good series on independent animation distribution. And then go check out Dave Nethery's blog. He did a great review of Mirage software. Looks like a fun toy for us traditional types.