Filmmakers’ Intentions – Doctor Strange

I made a comment from my Twitter page (@AdrienneAiken) to film director Scott Derrickson (Twitter:@scottderrickson) regarding the current controversy of “Whitewashing in Hollywood”.

@scottderrickson said: Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cInema. I am listening and learning.

To which I replied: I’ve said it bfre, whilst deliberate discrimination is wrong, using actors of choice should be just that. is key

My reply seemed to upset some people, and a fairly long dialogue followed, essentially with one individual, who’s comments were then liked and retweeted by others. I did not wish to upset anyone, nor disrespect any nation, creed, group, minority or individual, and if I did, I apologise. My point here, perhaps not conveyed through the limited characters allowed on Twitter, for which I also apologise, is this:

I don’t believe any discrimination, judgement, and certainly any acts of violence against anyone (whether nationality, colour, gender, disability – or species!) is justified. People are people, animals are animals, whatever ‘type’ they are. They/we are here to live our lives in the best way possible, and no one has the right to take that away from us.

When people don’t live their lives very respectfully to others, they are generally reprimanded, and sometimes that may be a necessary action to make them think again.

However, in art – and indeed in the business of art (and this is where the areas get blurred,) decisions are sometimes made, rightly or wrongly, for the good of the project/art/creation itself. My point about intention, is that I am sure, and certainly in the case of the CREATORS, Scott Derrickson, and the writer, C. Robert Cargill, (@Massawyrm) who has also come under attack regarding this, (among others) the creative decisions made regarding casting were with good intention, and NOT to insult, nor deliberately – WITH INTENT – upset any of the aforementioned list of peoples.

I realise too, that Chinese box office receipts and the political situation regarding Tibet were brought into discussions following the accusations, however, I don’t believe, personally, (and this is my personal empathy with creativity and creative souls) that the creatives involved really had that in mind when they set out to make their film wonderful.

A slight aside here:

Taking what’s right or wrong when casting a stage further; the original Marvel character this argument revolves around, The Ancient One – WASN’T FEMALE! In some of the drawings of the original character, from what I’ve seen, HE doesn’t even look Asian! Benedict Cumberbatch, (Dr. Strange) isn’t American. Doctor Watson isn’t female (TV’s Elementary), and Dr. Who transforms into a whole host of different people. I think you get my drift. Films and TV shows are make-believe! Must it be accurate? This is a film about a comic for God’s sake!

And back to the discussion:

Giving all actors, black, white, male, female, straight, gay, Asian, American, Scottish etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. a fair crack of the whip for roles should always be a consideration, but sometimes, someone fits the bill to a director, a casting agent, a producer or whoever, for whatever reason, and that, for the sake of being politically correct, or any other social reasons, conditioning or opinion, shouldn’t be compromised. And that is where my point on  INTENT comes in.

If the INTENTION is to discriminate – or to deliberately leave out ‘types’ of persons (see earlier for what I mean by ‘type’ – I can’t keep typing the list) then that IS discriminating, and that isn’t fair. But if the INTENTION is to cast someone who excites the filmmakers for who they are as an actor – by definition of that actor, NOT by definition of who is left out – then the intention is good, and surely that decision shouldn’t be criticised?

A lot has been said, (on my discussion and indeed by the filmmakers’ statements, interviews etc. themselves) regarding this decision on Doctor Strange (and I know variations on this have been raised on other films/events/awards do etc.), but I defend my point, which itself was made with GOOD INTENTION, that whilst, of course, I am prepared to listen, digest, learn from any information that comes my way, I cannot help but feel in my gut, heart and sensibilities that certainly in this case, the casting was made, without INTENDING to upset, but INTENDING to make a great film, with great actors (who were also perhaps (pure speculation here) ones they knew more about, and who they believed would bring something special to the characters!).

To finish, the Twitter conversation thread I had going on from my comment was resolved with respect on both sides, and with love and care for the future and humanity:

@theLupeXperienc I hear you. We will get it right. We and our children are in this together whether we like it or not lol

@AdrienneAiken Yes, we all need to learn from mistakes & strive to be better human/humane beings. I wish you all the best

All views here are my own – I am not in any way associated with Doctor Strange, Marvel, the studios, the filmmakers or anyone involved in this production. I am just passionate about the art of creativity and make-believe…. plus, I believe unicorns do really exist! So there!


Making Music – to Pay or Not to Pay?

Working in music. Does it pay?
Working in music. Does it pay?

Are you a studio? A producer? A musician? A singer? A record label? Or even a member of the public? I want your opinion. Do you think studios and/or producers should work for nothing? If so, under what circumstances? Here’s your chance to voice your opinions. See survey link below – or simply CLICK HERE to go straight to it….

Please don’t forget to (like and) share this post with others who may be interested in getting people’s feedback on this. The more we get the more it can be understood.

A bit more on why I’ve done this….. Continue reading

Closer to Time. Can you be on time?

How is your time-keeping? Are you always late? I know I always was – but I found a new way to not be – and it’s quite simple!

Don’t work towards the time you have to be somewhere – work towards the time you need to leave!

THEN if you’re really smart – add a half an hour:

  • 15 minutes for the eye liner that went on wrong and had to be taken off and re-applied, or for the missing cat hunt, or the pocket-slapping find-the-phone, or find-the-keys moments that add on those vital last extra minutes,
  • and 15 minutes for the ONE TIME there’s a tractor on the road, or a traffic light malfunction, or 30 extra cars on the road…

Then, if you actually are early, you can grab yourself a cup of coffee and chill!

smiley-coffee2 things to note:

  1. If you expect to always do the cuppa before your appointment/meeting/etc., add ANOTHER 20 minutes to the allocated time – seriously!
  2. If you’ve always been ‘x’ minutes late – and an ADDITIONAL ‘x’ minutes to this plan

Do these things and time will no longer be the burden you have to bear…

AND – and here’s the thing  – you will actually ADD TIME to your lifespan by eliminating all that stress!!! Boom!

The featured picture here is an adaptation (I added the clock – with the artist’s permission) of artwork by Mario S. Nevado, called “Closer”. The original – the artist’s intent, is the 2nd version as shown here, with no clock.

Mario is a wonderful illustrator, art director and also storyteller – and of course a hugely talented artist. Please check out his website for more of his incredibly conceived art:

For the Love of Animals!

veg-heartLast July I went veggie. Why? ANIMALS. I love ’em. Also, I don’t like to kill, or be party to killing anything. I don’t even kill flies – not even mozzies! Now before you meat eaters start bringing out the “what have vegetables ever done to you then?” argument, I have struggled a little at times with this too – in the bigger scheme of things… but as we need to eat to survive, I have had to choose. [To show my respect for nature and the plants and vegetables/fruit we eat, I try and remember to be mindful of the sacrifices made, and say a little ‘thank you’ to them. It’s not natural to me – I wasn’t brought up saying grace before meals or anything – but I think it’s the best I can do right now…] I also buy organic where possible, so a) more things weren’t killed in the growing process, and b) well these veg have had a pretty good life – and c) I get to eat healthier results.

So then I had to find out how to get my protein… ?

Continue reading

It’s easy to say “Let Go” but when it may be of your whole lifestyle… How does that make you feel?

space-man-worry-fear-letting-goWhen you just think about the worries/fear(s) that you have, if you are able to understand the power letting go has, you may be able to momentarily let go… But the problem is when you have to DEAL with the problem(s) causing those worries and fears itself – in the physical world. I am talking here on my personal quest regarding the balancing of work-life, bills-life, passion-finances, inspired activities/creativity-finances!

I want to be in a state of no fear – with no worry – but the nagging reality keeps gnawing at my ear… Continue reading

Intro to me…


So this is my first blog! I apologise in advance if I don’t know the whole navigation of stuff and how this all works, I don’t mean to cause anyone any frustration – so I hope you’ll bear with me 🙂

I thought I’d use the first blog to introduce myself. I have written most of this in my profile, though I couldn’t see how easy it was for people to access it – and I thought, whatever, lay it all bare on the front page – why not.

So, my name is Adrienne, but people mostly call me Adie – hence the title of my blog – though I usually shorten it to AD… (this came from signing off on emails). I was going to call this blog: Planet AD – but as it only works in lowercase in the url, “planetad” didn’t somehow look right – and I always worry people would pronounce it.. well as it looks!

Anyway, I am many things, though have cut many of them back to try and simplify my life. So these days, I’m (still) a music producer, a songwriter, someone into philosophy and the workings of Universe, (including spirituality) and my mum’s little girl.

So you may see why I have added 2 of the categories I want to blog about* – ‘Music’ and ‘Theories and Ideas’. Music, because it’s what I do for a living – always have, and probably always will on some level… Theories? I have many little theories, and quite often. They’re not based on facts really (maybe why they’ve been nicknamed by others as “Adie’s theories”) – but they’re just my own feeling on things, so these will hopefully emerge, as and when they’re ready to… But why ‘Food’ too? Well I’m no masterchef – I’m no chef nor cook at all actually – but I’m a dab hand at making simple, quick, yummy meals out of very little – in fact, quite often out of leftovers, which my friend, Virginie of “Fab Gourmandise” (check her blog out – now SHE is a great and intuitive cook – oh yeah – and French!) said we need a new name for, as it’s a term that puts people off… so for now, I’m going to call them “titbits and pieces” (this may change). Anyway I get so excited about having these easy meals, and they’re obviously also inexpensive (being titbits and pieces ‘n’ all) that I thought I’d like to blog about them from time to time.

So that’s enough about me for now. I hope you enjoy my blogs and I look forward to ‘meeting’ you out there in this world of all digital possibilities.


*I’ve just realised the categories I’ve mentioned aren’t showing yet… well I am hoping by the time I write about them, I’ll have got a better grasp on all this – and they will 🙂 Thanks in advance for your patience.