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Saturday, November 21, 2009

CREATION IS AN ACTION... DOUCHEBAG.



It's that time of year, when the parasites emerge from the woodwork looking for nourishing blood and a strong back to carry them to celebrated glory.  Maybe it's the holidays and people are just expecting free shit from folks they barely know, but it always happens around the finale, some embittered biker/writer/actor/producer surfaces with an official looking document on legal letterhead -- claiming that somehow, some way, through a wormhole or some kind of creative-calibrated vortex, FX and I undermined/stole their brilliant idea for an outlaw motorcycle show by creating Sons of Anarchy

Here's a little fact y'all should be aware of -- any semi-literate, shit-throwing monkey can have a fucking idea, it's the EXECUTION of the thought that matters.  

Creation is an action.  

The truth is a TV series about outlaw bikers is not a new idea.  People have been trying to create one for years.  The concept has been pitched to networks every season and there have been probably a dozen scripts that have circulated Hollywood.  They didn't get made because there was either no execution or the execution of those ideas failed.  Sometimes they failed because of quality, sometimes because of timing, sometimes because of the personalities involved.

SOA succeeded because the execution worked.  I was able to create interesting characters, organic relationships and dynamic story arcs.  Then I surrounded myself with people who were a fuckload more talented than I was -- great directors, great actors, great crew and a studio and network who knew how to support and market the show.

I'm sure this happens to creators all the time.  Someone has probably tried to sue JJ Abrams claiming the idea for Lost came to them in a dream while lying on Jones beach.  I guess I should be flattered, but my are-you-fucking-kidding-me button gets pushed when folks blatantly lie for profit.  And when I look at the list of folks who claim Sons was their idea -- it's never anyone with talent, it's always some poor, delusional clown who thinks the fucking world owes him a cookie.  There's one guy who still posts on his website that the character of Jax is based on him.  This guy was a 1%er who turned rat, then cashed in by becoming an "expert" and writing fairytales of the MC life.  How in any way shape or form is that life remotely similar to Jax Teller?  It's not, but he doesn't give a shit, because if it helps him sell a few more pages of fiction, who the fuck cares about the truth, right?  

Douchebag.

54 comments:

Kimmy said...

All the losers in the world couldn't take away from your vision, and action. The electricity of Sons of Anarchy isn't only the idea. It isn't only the writing (and music). It isn't the only actors and crew. The magic of the Sons, is the entire friggin thing as a whole. And that, Lord of the Sons, cannot be duplicated! Cheers!

Brandons Blog said...

I can't stand ignorant people like this who try to cash in on other peoples work, whenever something popular comes up like you said someone tries to cash in on their success whoever tried this i give them a big FUCK YOU douche nozzle

amazing show i cannot not wait for the finale and i hope you come back for a third season!

Jeff said...

As you said Mr. Sutter, this was bound to happen. I know it doesnt make it any easier but it's just part of the grist of sharing the world with assholes.

Susan said...

I prefer the term Douche Nozzle.
See the bag of the douche is used to hold the cleaning solution whereas the nozzle has seen and been all places that we will not mention implying a much worse dirty fate then the bag.
Douche nozzle.

Manos Torgo said...

Word. I honestly didn't watch SOA at first because I thought, oh its the Sopranos on bikes. Then I heard it was based on the theme of Hamlet to some degree and I thought, damn that is an original idea. To take a time honored classic and transform it to a modern story. And yet, now after seeing every episode of SOA, its so much more than the Sopranos on bikes or even Hamlet.
So yah, eff those guys looking for a piece of a pie they didn't earn.

Paultheirish said...

Didn't the makers of Wild Hogs swipe the idea from SOA?....

all these biker shows are the same, right?

fuck em and keep giving them reasons to hate you with your amazing series.

B# Productions said...

Pure, raw, and right to the truth. Love that you don't beat around the bush and say it like it is... unlike every other douchebag.

therealzenobia said...

Okay, where did you get that douche bulb? I used to have one of those, and it is the BEST, but I have not been able to find another one since I lost it in the move. So if it's new, please post a link; and if it's Katey's 1980s one, we'll say no more about it.

Jordan said...

Word. Same thing with startups. Ideas are like assholes ... it's the execution that matters, not the idea.

chopperdan666 said...

The show ROCKS, you ROCK, Its going to be a long wait till Aug 2010, but at least I can re-watch season 1 and 2 over and over.

Keep it up it works. Fuck the posers.

Nick Cavalier said...

Couldn't of said it better myself. The words my father told me when I got my first job at 14 come to mind:

"Shit or get off the pot."

Anna Patterson said...

Dear writer:
The first boy I ever kissed was a motorcyle gang member. We broke up after the junior high dance. I read about this on my blog site, so here is my opinion. A great writer is a great writer. The difference in you and the person trying to steal from you is they can't do it again. You can write something great over and over again. I'll try to catch the show.

Theresa Privette said...

All I can say is, it is because the show is Brillant, filled with creative, amazingly talented people. Not just the writers and actors but everyone involved with making SOA the only show on tv worth watching every week! I admire how you are quick to give credit to everyone that deserves credit. I know that really doesn't help take the "sting" out of the idiots that are trying to take credit for something that is yours. It was the only thing that I could think of that was positive about such a stupid claim. Very few believe the idiots and their "claim to fame" bs, feel sorry for them in a way, as they obviously don't have an "original" idea in their pea brain.

I have such mixed emotions about the last 2 episodes of season 2. Don't get me wrong I am counting the hours and will be glued to the TV both nights but then I am dreading the wait until season 3. LOL. Someone mentioned on the FX forum that there needs to be a support group for those of us "addicted" to SOA, in my 40 years there has not been a tv show that has gripped me to this extent. The reactions that SOA envokes in people started with you and your idea. I truly hope that SOA goes beyond the 7 year plan but I pray that you just continue to do what you do so well and that is bring quality entertainment to a medium that has lacked that for a very long time.

May you and yours continued to blessed....

Duffmano said...

I guess that rant I came up with about dream stealing son of a bitches is moot now. I want my cookie.
By the by, SOA has had me riveted this season- good stuff all round.

spanky's dad said...

you're wrong. you're just as talented as the people you surround yourself with. LOVE THE SHOW!

kdrummer01 said...

I know who you are taking about in the second part of the post.I've heard him say the same thing in interviews before.I read one of his books and you aren't 100% correct with the "biker fiction" line..I't was really BAD biker fiction.Probably the single worst book I've ever read on any subject.I was nothing more than a convoluted ego trip. That guy has tried for years to get a show and to just simply cash in on the biker world and he will never do it.His books prove that its possible to suck and blow at once because they do.There is another out there just like him that if you haven't ran into you probably will before its over.SpongeBob is more of a 1&er than he will ever be

Tina / @ATROCiTYinc said...

Nice! I love the way you vent. I constantly use my blog to vent.

I just LOVE the show Kurt! I'm so glad that YOU executed YOUR idea and that SAMCRO is now part of our lives!!!

It's a brilliant show and I am constantly turning friends and family on to it. Thank you for your hard work!

PS - I love your wife, too! She's amazing... both as herself and as Gemma! :)

therealzenobia said...

Susan - Geez, girl, there's only one place my douche nozzle has ever been, just for the record.

Re 1% shows: Didn't somebody also file something against HBO when they were doing "One" (which they shut down as soon as they saw SOA)?

Jeff said...

If you want to read a review that TOTALLY misses the point, in my opinion, read a review for SOA by Heather Havrilesky, Salon magazine. The only reason I bring this up is the reviewer cant seem to get over the fact that the main characters are in a motorcyle club. Number one, if you cant understand the story because of the book's cover I seriously doubt her ability as a reviewer and number 2 it reminds me of alot of people not watching a little show called the Wire because there were so many African Americans on it. Never judge a book by it's cover, the book may just be brilliant, sorry, she pissed me off.

Damocles said...

Amen Kurt. Although I will agree with Spanky's Dad. You are quite talented as evidenced by the success of the show! We as fans are glad to have you and your very talented team to bring the show to us. I am sure something like this was bound to crop up sooner or later since season 2 has really catapulted the show's success and popularity.

Wishing you well from IL.

kayteadee said...

Sorry this shit-mittens jerkass has tried to ruin the end of the season for you. Some people have less dignity than cockroaches.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kurt, LOVE YOU, LOVE SOA but frankly was offended by this remark

"official looking document on nice paper with the appropriate amount of Jewish names in the letterhead"

No need to sink to that level to make your (excellent) point about your vision for SOA and all the hard work you put in.

Allan said...

I can honestly say, SOA is the best show to come along since the 'early' days of the Sopranos and as with everything, there will always be those looking to ride the coat tails of greatness.

With that said, I promise to remain a loyal watcher as long as YOU promise not to simply 'fade to black' leaving us all with a big 'wtf?' after a decade of loyalty, because I simply can't take it twice in a lifetime.....lol

Keep up the good work !

Jessica Davis said...

I just wanted to say thankyou, SOA is the best show on tv right now. The cast is exceptional and I never want it to end.

Edward Cambro said...

This world is a better one for you being in it, Mr. Sutter.

Anonymous said...

Great show. You should be proud. I honestly mean that though...

I must admit that I likely won't be watching after the last ep. In ONE ep you change everything and give yourself all kinds of convenient outs to get things where you want them for - presumably - another season. Maybe you're surrounded by 'yes' people that can't tell you this but it was weak writing. Again I love the show and admire your talent but the convo with the priest? Having the father burst in with a gun to try to shoot Clay?? Jesus. Why did I even WATCH the first season???

Sorry dude.

sabiedabie said...

Although the only real link between SOA and my other all time favorite show, The X-Files, is Mitch Pileggi...I can draw a very distinct comparison. A sci fi show about aliens and a government cover up was not exactly a new idea either. Like that show or not, it worked for Chris Carter in much the same way your creation works, a perfect storm of talent, writing, characters, actors, timing, story lines, set design, costumes, I could go on and on. The important thing to remember is that this is YOUR thought execution with the help of many to make it a reality. Talent like yours will always be envied and you will come across those that want to claim that as their own, while the rest of us watch in awe each week at the pure perfection that we see thanks to you and your team. It is definitely their loss. So, chin up!

One more thing...English Lit was my favorite class in high school and I am now in my forties, your show takes me back to those days when I couldn't wait to get to class to read what would happen next in the many chapters in the books that we studied. Never in a million years would I have thought a show about a motorcycle gang would take me back there. That, Mr. Sutter, is "creation as an action". Thank you so much for having that ability...I consider it priceless!

Nivekian said...

Kurt, don't let the douche bags weigh you down. They are going after suing you because that way they don't have to "put up or shut up" with their own talent by putting whatever they come up with against you. They know the story lines you come up with for SOA will smoke their boring ideas for a TV show.

John J Savo said...

So true... It's the characters that make a show work, not just the concept or plot line. Without dynamic characters, who gives a shit what happens?

GutterDandy said...

Heather Havrilesky, Salon magazine's TV critic, really seems to have it in for SoA and has had for some time now. Kurt, if you have the time, I'd love to see you refute a few of her more ignorant assumptions about a show she just doesn't seem to understand. It really bothers me that someone with the supposed facility to call herself a "critic" can spew this kind of tripe on a a fairly popular web site.

Iberostar said...

Great post! You'll always have "wannabas" that want to get in on the glory - just like there are people buying Harleys thinking they are 1%ers.
We know the difference.

fewheeler said...

Stories about outlaws are nothing new and as you pointed out it takes someone to put it in motion before it is real. Daniiel moore and renowned artist in the state of Alabama has created many legendary painting depicting fameous moments in Alabama Football history ,yet the very university he has helped numerous times decied to sue based on he was stealing their copyrighted uniform colors, when in essence he was merely putting what he saw during a game to canvas. I've seen several things that I thought of come to fruition,but I didn't make the sacrifice of putting the effort the person who created did. By the way I invested the internet so Al gore can kiss my ass. ;)

therealzenobia said...

Heather Havrilesky is clearly listening to SOA while she's chatting with Oprah on her iPhone. You can't debate literary merit with someone who didn't read the work.

Furthermore, her whining is bases upon having grown up the same way I did. Every time I hear someone singling 'Sweet Home Alabama' like it means something, I want to "set fire to shit." I have in fact vandalized vehicles bearing the Stars & Bars. I cannot watch Friday Night Lights - I lived it. But if you go into something prepared to maintain your distance from it, what you write about it will be lacking on every level - and she knows this.

p.s. We were fucking scared of the Bandidos growing up, a fact I recalled only yesterday when I saw a bunch of bikers with no cuts tooling along on their Harleys. Nobody around here (far from my motherland) wears a cut. But I also never saw a Bandido anywhere besides I-10 back in the day. We didn't even know why we were afraid of them. After all, we weren't federal judges....In short: Being raised in the Texas and the south is a gigantic ton of baggage, and I've just decided to cut Hav some slack on account of it.

therealzenobia said...

Also, Re: "despoiling our bitches": One thing I mean about Hav's distance is that she seems to read the show as promoting "own[ing] his pussy" and all that. If Clay turned Gemma out because of that, think of the scorn that would be heaped upon him by fans and his boys alike. Gemma, not Clay, is the president of the Sons. In another such moment, when Clay gets a blow job at Caracara after Gemma has cut him off for five weeks, it's a pretty grim scene: it's joyless, it's cheating, it rips Gemma's heart out as we see her knowing that's what happened.

Whether a man can really get over a gang rape in time to make love to his wife within 24 hours is maybe a little Cinderella, as I do think there are "own his pussy" issues from most men, I hardly think we can judge at this point whether that's been declared over. On a the only show I can think of to deal with menopause in a realistic fashion, I think we have to give benefit of the doubt.

Bend Beanies said...

GutterDandy-
Kurt doesn't have to refute anything that Salon critic or any other critic has to say. Any more than he should have to defend the fact that HE got this ball rolling and onto the screen.
Hell, I've had an idea for Biker shows and movies for YEARS, ha-ha.
Kurt made it happen. He created an AWESOME show with combined awesome talent and cast.

SOA is one of the best, creative, interesting and most original shows on television. People can't handle originality, so they have to criticize it and tear it down.

Kaitlan said...

Oh honey, who ever it was probably watched a marathon of "gangland" on the history channel and now consider themselves an expert on motorcycle clubs and gangs. Some people have nothing better to do with their time. YOUR show is great =) and everyone knows that! The next thing you know someone will say "I was totally going to play that song during the ending segment on my show to!! HE STOLE MY IDEA!" lol People suck sometimes!

Stretch said...

On Sunday 22nd November 2009, @chrlake said:


reply
@sutterink Yeah, the jew=lawyer is a hot button but assumed it was in a fit of anger. WTF are we to do in the post politically correct world; I'm 1/4 irish and most of my dad's uncles were drunks and pissed off; 1st wife was full blood semitic and her family lived up to alot of stereotypes. Don't sweat it, you weren't directing it at a race, just an aside. From a working class fan, the show absolutely rocks, and F'em if they can't take a joke.

Anonymous said...

"just like there are people buying Harleys thinking they are 1%ers."

And here I bought a Honda thinking I was a 1%er.

Duane Of The Dead - DWI said...

Indeed a-holes like that are everywhere in life. What I try to do is remember this: If someone is attached to my nuts that means they like the salty, sweaty goodness. But that same nut hugger can't complain about "present" I leave on their forehead. lol Let them eat nuts! You and your team just keep doing what you're doing.

Bonnie said...

Your creation has captured the hearts and souls of many! Some for the good, the bad and the downright UGLY..

Just hang on to what you believe

Ride this storm out..

tonilost said...

You know it comes with the territory in Hollywood. If the show sucked and got canceled no one would want to be jumping your train. this isnt connected to the rant but I just watched an excellent show on PBS about Vilmos Zsigmond and Lazlo Kovacs. If you haven't seen it, you should.

Benny said...

Mr. Sutter-
I'm sorry that some schmuck is putting you through that. I was accused falsely of plagarism in college and I found it insulting to say the least and it discouraged me from writing as much as I would like to.
On a more positive note, Service and Balm are two of the most gripping pieces of literature I have ever seen or read. I've appreciated your work since day one of the Shield and it just keeps getting better. Congrats on all of your work.

Benny
P.S. When my first child comes in May, I'm hoping you guys have put out that baby beanie somewhere to buy.

Nicholas said...

JJ Abrams DID get sued. Or not Abrams himself, but ABC studios, at least insofar as I remember.

The following is a basic account of what happened, but I could be off in some areas. The gist of it is, however, complete fact. And the percentages I drop are also accurate. I just don't know for sure whether there was ever an actual lawsuit. But anyway...

Jeffrey Lieber was hired to write the initial concept that was Lost, which was only about a bunch of people stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashed. There may have been 14 main characters in his version. Don't remember for sure, though. After that, though, there are essentially no similarities whatsoever. ABC eventually get sick of Lieber, because the direction he was taking was complete shit, and gave the project to JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof instead. They of course the proceed to take the basic concept of a plane crashing on a deserted island and turn it into the best damn show to come about in years.

Jeffrey Lieber was not amused.

Something in the WGA contract meant that he could sue for credit (or something like that), and he did. He was awarded 60% of the creation rights, despite coming up with diddly, and despite having absolutely nothing to do with Lost since he'd gotten the boot. Abrams and Lindelof then got to split the leftover 40% evently, which essentially cut them both out of what would have been a pretty decent amount of money--little of which Lieber deserves. So now Lieber gets a windfall of residuals, and it hadn't even been his pitch in the first place either--Lloyd Braun had come up with the basic concept during a studio-wide pitching session.

He just wanted to cash in on the brilliant diamond that Abrams and Lindelof had somehow wrought from the shit-encrusted lump of coal that had been his initial take. (It actually is that bad. You can find a draft of his pilot online, entitled "Nowhere".)

I don't fault him for wanting some of the creation rights, because he probably deserves something, but 60% is absolutely absurd given the extent of his ideas present in the show--which is by my conservative estimate about 0.013 percent. But we can round down to none where appropriate.

And thus we have the reason why Jeffrey Lieber is, in my opinion, a complete and utter douche canoe.

Hopefully you're not friends with him, otherwise I might come to regret this comment.

hoghigh said...

I have a copy of a DVD mini-series biker club show - It is Canadian.

It sucked.

SOA is awesome.

Pointman said...

I think it's a crime when a project is in work, nobody wants to carry it's burden or do the hard work of making it reality.

Then after all the sweat blood and tears produces a success everyone wants a piece for their credit.

I see it at my work, in the news, and where creativity is a valued commodity as in your profession.

You've got the gift, they are the impostors.

Ride forever-Work Whenever~

"Verba Volant, Scripta Manent"

therealzenobia said...

http://twitter.com/sutterink/status/5958753530

All of us here - men, too - need a Kurt Sutter property patch. (What's true is true.)

By the way, I'm sure I saw the baby beanie in the FX store. Surely I didn't imagine that?

Anonymous said...

I loved this blog. The point that you made about creativity all being in the follow through says it all. and, Wow. I went over and read that crazy 'review' on Salon and it sounded like she's jealous because she's stuck doing laundry and other household chores while others are 'free' to rebel. That's not a review of a TV show, that's a 'gut vent', take it out on others because her life is not perfect, venom spew. (Sarcasm alert!) Imagine the nerve of a TV show being escapist, entertaining fun. What nerve?
I can handle someone disagreeing with my opinion of what is entertaining and what is not but, WTF! What a bitchy blog, not to mention completely unprofessional!

Allston said...

SOA is awesome on all levels, writing, acting (Where do we vote for the Emmys or whatever the fuck they are... for Katey et al), technical, set design, you name it. Even a shout out for F/X (WHEN ARE YOU PEOPLE GOING TO ANNOUNCE SEASON 3)
Your posting is on point. And for that, your "execution" is "excellent". Words and ideas are just the jumping off point; success in your business (as you so aptly stated) is a culmination of a whole lotta effort by a whole lotta people. Next asshole trying to take your cookie, refer 'em to HBO (they seem to like stealing ideas LOL)

James said...

Funny you mention "Lost" and authorship...ABC had an idea for a plane crash on an island type show kicking around and originally commissioned Jeffrey Lieber to write a pilot...network didn't care too much for it, and then handed it to JJ, who brought in Damon...I guess Lieber felt he was owed something when the show became a hit, so it went to arbitration...While I'm sure the WGA arbitration process is fair 85% of the time, in the case of "Lost", it's pretty ridiculous. Lieber is credited with creating the show, along with JJ and Damon L. but he gets a 60% share (which I'm sure is a lovely six figures fee every year). If you've read Lieber's original pilot script, you'll know the only similarities are a plane crash and an island - and about zilch else...so execution, like you say (along with JJ and Damon's insanely great spin)...To his credit, I have read that Lieber is a tad embarrassed at the ruling, and never imagined he'd get that much credit - he merely wanted something for a project that he originated - even if the end product is only .5% his.

James said...

@ Nicholas...

guess i should read all comments before writing one myself!

matt74 said...

I think S.O.A. along with the shield were and are some of the best t.v. ever witnessed..every episode this eclipses the previous one..fucking amazing!..and as for the dude that thinks he Jax?..he should watch a little closer..I believe Jax would die before he would ever rat!...can't stand snitches

Shawn said...

Preach it brother! Its ok to be humble but you are the man!!

Shawn

cindywalton9 said...

No worries Kurt, your fans know who the genius behind Son's is. It's the show as a whole that makes it work, one thing different and it wouldn't work. I imagine Gemma was created based on Katey's amazing ways as a mother, and don't you guys have a son named Jackson James? The assholes do come out when something succeeds and makes money, but where are they when its time to face critics or pay bills? Fans know the truth Kurt, only a brilliant creator and writer could have created Son's of Anarchy. Don't let the bastards get you down!

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