George Lucas did it. So did Bryan Singer. Several other big-name movie directors did it too. They blew our minds hitting all the right buttons and wowing fans all over the world with their creative genius. And then. And then something happened. The music stopped. The wheels came off the bus. Whatever you wanna call it, they turned WIN into FAIL.
I've thought about it off and on for many years. How is it someone like George Lucas can make glorious gold with Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and (to a lesser extent) VI, thrill and mesmerize millions of people on this earth... and then years later bestow upon them the crapfest that is Jar-Jar-And-Little-Kid-Who-Can't-Act-And-Oh-By-The-Way-Let's-Forget-About-The-Greatness-Of-The-Likes-Of-Darth-Vader-And-Well-Done-Drama-And-Make-These-Stinking-Shitpile-Prequels-Filled-To-The-Brim-With-Fake-Ass-Computer-Graphics-And-Soap-Opera-Overload? Seriously, how?
I was perusing some boards the other day and I read this. A guy calling himself "Violence Jack" pretty much summed it up when he posted this on Topless Robot:
I truly believe one of the biggest factors that makes a creator out of touch with his/her audience happens when they themselves are no longer a part of the audience either. It can happen in several ways.
1. (the most common) You spend so much of your time on the side of the industry that "makes" the product you no longer know what its like to be the consumer. (Most Hollywood Execs.)
2. Movie making is a really tough job. Takes a lot of endurance and burn out is easy. Some take long breaks so they don't end up hating the medium they grew to love. Unfortunately, some take too long of a break and ....to top it off, during their break, they didn't keep tabs on what was going on in their own industry. (George Lucas... and now... I think also James Cameron... sadly.)
3.) You do so well, you start to drink the koolaid too. You think you're actually more talented and clever than you really are and your only connection to the audience is solely through rabid fans who think anything you do is gold. (Wachowski Brothers, Matrix 1 & 2... Michael Bay too?) I think the most talented creators have usually been the ones that still enjoy their own medium enough to go out and experience the works of others just as if they were a regular consumer/audience member.
And there you have it. There are other factors, sure, but as a brief summary regarding this subject I couldn't agree more.