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Why what comes next after success is likely to be a failure

Why what comes next after success is likely to be a failure

Posted June. 08, 2019 07:31,   

Updated June. 08, 2019 07:31


“You should use caution to invest in successful directors after they make a mega hit. You are likely to get in big trouble,” said an investment veteran in the film and drama industries. His remark struck me as interesting while I talked with him. It may not be proper to elaborate each director and their pieces in case they do not agree. However, there is an array of embarrassing failure stories of producers or screenwriters who used to be successful as early as last year.

It is natural that flowers blossom and fall off. Likewise, a success may be followed by a failure. However, a lesson can be learnt if you look on the other side. Studying a failure can in turn lead to a next success.

in popular art comes from the state of omnipotence. It is likely that overconfidence may develop into superciliousness. The feeling of power derived from success can lead to lack of empathy, psychologists say.

The key to success in popular art lies in how much the public relates to a piece of fiction. Producers are supposed to look at their work from a perspective of the public. Those lacking empathy are not likely to read the public’s mind. They will only bring a failure to themselves.

Added to this, it will be an obvious loss if producers blinded by success look down on or ride roughshod over working staff. A film or a drama is a result of collective work. A work being produced amid trouble and conflict is rarely well-received by the masses.

Some are easily driven into complacency following a mediocre success. They consider that it is all over. Thus, they are bound to sit on your laurels and rely solely on the glory and knowledge that they have achieved so far. Boasting off old glories with a closed mindset gives you a nickname, “kkondae,” coined and widely used by young Koreans.

It is not a rarity to find that those who were on a roll are desperate to sell their works to a TV channel. I only give it a try at the first episode. And again, it is an old-school thing that would have taken off two to three decades ago. What a shame!

Then, what is the secret to avoiding falling into the trap of success? The solution is as obvious as the cause. It is essential to keep our ears open so that we can be clear-sighted enough to be objective.

Stephen King, who wrote “The Shawshank Redemption,” is one of the best-selling authors in the world. The book has sold as many as 350 million copies in the global market. The author is also famous as a self-made man. He had lived in poverty since his family was abandoned by his father, who left home saying that he would go get a pack of cigarette when King was two years old. After graduating college, he failed to get a decent job and made a living by working at a laundry. His wife sold doughnuts. The reason why he was free of the trap of success is that he strived to listen to others’ opinions and improve on his works. Whenever he completed a draft, King sent it to four to eight friends so that he could receive their feedback.

“Yuliz,” written by the time the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) in China, describes that small-minded and unwise people are not aware that luck and misfortune interlink each other, thus believing in shortcuts. It adds that today’s losses come from yesterday’s gains. Being deeply entranced by petty successes or feeling a sense of narcissism prevent you from achieving higher goals.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com