After a gruelling Avatar press tour that covered three out of the four corners of the earth, James Cameron has been caught on camera being welcomed back to the capital of the movie world by more than the usual fanfare of screams, shouts outs and photo requests. This time the visual record shows the side of a fan and director that definitely did not fulfill the festive cheer. Set your bo-peepers on this…

This whole thing reminds me of the time I met Bruce Campbell of ‘Evil Dead’ fame and asked for his autograph. The difference being was that I was forking out hard earned money for his signature at a film convention, hence I was justified in my request as I was paying for the pleasure of a genuine scrawl. What wasn’t justified was that I wanted my full size replica ‘Army of Darkness’ custom made chainsaw, shipped from the USA and carted to Coventry from London via Manchester, signed ”GRROOOVVY’ – Bruce Campbell”. What ensued was Mr. Campbell insisting on signing it, even after protest, frowning, a tentative handshake on his part and much discussion on what colour of pen to use, ”Saw Ya Later! – Bruce Campbell”. The whole thing still provides me with a 15 minute story about the facts of the experience, normally discussed over a strong pint, to this day.

After watching this video, I can identify with a fella who sounds like he had his feelings hurt with not getting the signature he wanted. What I can’t fathom is how he reacted with all the dignity of a scalded five year old. When my request wasn’t honoured, I just smiled at Bruce and vowed to myself that I would never buy one of his movies again without significant protest (mainly voiced to whoever the cashier would be at the time of purchase).

But what do YOU think about this clip? My humble thoughts focus on several facts that mix and match the pomposity of each sides reasoning, follow me on this journey of opinion:

  • JC was walking through a luggage bay pick up door at the time of request (a task that is only accomplished with patience if you are a Zen master, even with help) – BUT he was returning from a global press tour promoting his latest $300 million epic where he had signed a million and one autographs anyway.
  • Signing something takes a flattering two seconds that may mean everything or nothing to a die hard fan or prosperous autograph dealer, both of which would have waited in the cold for hours for the signing opportunity – BUT ‘No’ means ‘No’.
  • When you say to the world media ‘I’ll sign as long as they keep lining up’ that you should ‘nut up or shut up’ – BUT asking for an autograph like someone who expects it just because he has ‘paid his hourly wage to see a movie’ is being ‘unfairly expectant’ (I paid to see Avatar and I wouldn’t expect James Cameron to owe me an autograph if we bumped into each other).
This battle could be waged beyond the merits of what the discussion warrants, but your thoughts and comments are eternally invaluable. So I will leave the culmination of my thoughts in the words of my other favourite cyborg Robocop – ‘We Are Only Human’.