Look up the word “iconoclasm” in the dictionary, and you’re likely to find a picture of Alan Moore. One of the U.K.’s most successful writers, Moore has been mythologized since making a splash with his groundbreaking graphic novel, Watchmen, in 1987. (The title was the only work of graphica to be included on Time magazine’s list of the 100 best novels published since 1923.)
Despite the enormous success of Hollywood adaptations of his work (including big-budget film versions of both Watchmen and V for Vendetta), Moore describes the American film industry as “repulsive.” A long profile in the Guardian quotes Moore as saying that the money that swirls around Hollywood is “pure voodoo”: “I am horrified by the budgets of these films, almost as much as I am by the films themselves.”
From the Guardian:
Challenged, during a television interview this year, about why he would sign away the movie rights to a comic such as Watchmen if he didn’t ever want it to become a movie, Moore said he gave up the rights because he never expected any adaptations to happen; he called it making money for old rope. But then the films came out, and somewhere along the way Moore developed such a distaste for what he saw on the screen, and the revenue accrued from it, that he asked for his name to be taken off the credits; then he started turning down production money. Moore gave his share of the Watchmen fee to Dave Gibbons, the artist with whom he conceived the series.
The occasion of the Guardian piece is the online debut of a low-budget short film called Jimmy’s End, written by Moore and shot in the lowlands town of Northampton, where the 59-year-old writer has lived his whole life.
The short, which cost £11,000 (the coffee budget on a film like Watchmen, according to Moore), is a deliberately anti-corporate endeavour. “I’d always thought I liked the idea of a really cheap, little film,” Moore told the Guardian. “If you want to be a writer or an artist, all you need is a Biro and a Woolworths jotter; it’s a democratic medium. I love films that are made with almost no budget.”