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Old August 20th, 2006, 08:28 AM   #1
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Bad news for Hollywood, not so bad for indie makers

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/19/bu...DzvH75/ls8F2ng
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Old August 20th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #2
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Bad news for big celebrities and producers.

Probably good news for Hollywood as well.

Once they knock these ridiculous $10m+ paychecks down for everyone, they'll go back to making more manageable sized movies. This was years ago, but I had a friend who worked on Lethal Weapon II and they had 17 camera men on the set. I asked him what the purpose of that was, and he replied that as a producer, you do that to raise the budget to justify the salary that you want to earn.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #3
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I don't understand what they're doing in Hollywood these days. Honestly, some movies that have come out recently just should not have been made, it's a waste of time and money. Look at some of these artsy loser pics like "Lady in the Water", though I enjoyed it because I "got" it, not many others will.

The "Superman Returns" movie was handled terribly, nobody wants to see the original Reeves-style movies, they want to see a reinvention of the story a'la "Batman Begins", plus even though they said they didn't, they retold the original Superman story AGAIN! It's not like everyone hasn't heard of Superman's story, we hear it all the time in cartoons, comics, videogames, and the original movies. Had they maybe moved to a more serious tone like the comics have been doing for the past 16 years, then maybe they'd have gotten somewhere with the new film, a new villian wouldn't hurt either, or at least add one in on top of Lex Luthor.

Also, I don't think Hollywood realizes that their money is mostly going down the toilet with a lot of their smaller films. If they saved the $30-$60 million per small experimental film for three or so movies, then they'd be able to make one big film with better chances for success. I don't care if it's "so-and-so's" first new film in years, if it's a suck film about a guy with a midlife crisis then forget it, studios need to tell some people "No." with an emphasis on that period. We don't need more artsy academy award-possible films, we need more fun. The ones I'm tired of seeing are the lame children comedies like this new one "Flicka", who gives a flying whooey about a farm with a horse movies these days? Where's something more fun like a girl with a "magic cell phone" or a guy with a "technologically advanced missile-fortified indestructible scooter" or something like that? We've got the technology, why not use it?

Also, why isn't Hollywood more careful with young talent? If a new director comes up to you as a studio head with only one really sure-fire idea of his own and three or four lousy ones after that, why would you pick him over the guy with eighteen okay ideas? That would be just like adding another name to the list of people doing nothing at the moment. And where is the new generation of screenwriters? Why do we have all of these really sad screenwriters with nothing to write about other than disfunctional families, sad divorcees, kidnappings, and some practically cinematic remakes of A&E biography specials?

Piracy? Just invest some money into and work alongside getting theatres hooked up with cell phone blockers and video jammers and you're all set. To further that, make it so you have to have a professional license to make DVD's, Blurays, or HD-DVDs. Nobody said the Average Joe had to be able to make his own films, look at what CD burners did to music, we've got thieves galore, why give them lockpicks? HDCP the answer? Sure, but make it worse for the thief, make the resolution 160x120, practically unwatchable even on an SD TV. Movies on the net? Go ahead, but release those AFTER the theatrical release, by a week or two compared to the three to six months for the DVD/Bluray/UMD/HD-DVD version. Want to sell more DVD's? Then stop re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-releasing each movie in a new edition that nobody will follow up with fully and release the best version possible, none of this third-party "enhanced"-version stuff. Basically, instead of releasing Lord of the Rings regular, extended, and the new regular+extended with new documentary, make one big package for each and STOP! If new documentaries come out, release them on their own DVD or make it a pay-per-view internet download movie.

So, I guess in conclusion, Hollywood isn't thinking at the moment.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Felis
...Nobody said the Average Joe had to be able to make his own films...
Thankfully, nobody has ever said we don't have that right either.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #5
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Well, flicka is a remake, as are alot of hollywood shlock these days. One of the troubles is that people are running the studios don't really know movies, that might be why they have to spend so much on marketing.
Personally i don't care for the fun movies, nuclear protected scooters don't inturestme. But there should be enough room for all type of movies. This summer of movies is el stinko, not only did i not see any movies in thearter, but i didn't want to really see any of them at all. The remote was about a guy woth a remote that controlls reality, I'm already tired of the idea just by writting about it.

But the salary issue does bother me (damn you jimmy stewart, what evil did you unleash). Sometimes i won't see a movie just because i think the star is over paid. But that being said I'm a capatlist, so let the market deside what some one is worth.

Oscar movies, much like the oscars, don't mean anything, the acedamy is made up of people who don't really have much tio do with movies (as i understand it).

Basicly this is hollywoods same sob story, they've been saying how tough it is for years. Maybe this time something will actually happen, but i dout it . This same story happened when they went to sound, whrn tv came out and when the vcr went mainstream. Thoese cry babies!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #6
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Wow Jack I don't want to be harsh but I disagree with almost all of your points. I do agree that fun films pay the bills. I just don't believe another teenage misfit with a magic revenge gizmo is fun at all. That genre has been beat to death. So has the hot dog kid with the power to show up his parents. Wooo there's an original plot line for you.

I think those people you seem to want to withold real technology from are the people who can create the new stuff that we will find fun. Hollywood is so mired in their formulas that they wouldn't recognize a new way if it bit them on the proverbial rump.

Music didn't lose money because of technology IMO. They lost money because of payola and crappy music. You just can't hold back progress. Those movies you seem to like about a kid with the ultimate gizmo that can change his world should be about real gizmos because they are out there. I saw a movie that came close to portraying just that plot in "Tapeheads". It could be remade to show a realistic rise to fame of the true outsider. That movie could be fun IMO. But that's just one example.

We don't need to try to hold back the clock. That never works. We need to embrace the new tech and profit from it. When someone comes along with the new business model there will be lots of money to be made by all. iTunes has already done that for the music industry you said suffered so from the new technology.

To be blunt those who want to keep the market cornered so they can cash in really need to get out of the way and let the new show begin. It's out there. Someone will figure it out. Keeping video technology out of the hands of the public is absolutely the wrong thing to do IMO. That's where the new way will come from.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #7
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Only reason Hollywood is still in business is because it has the power of marketing and the ownership of the cinema chains.

The bubble is about to burst I think.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #8
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I agree with Jeff in disagreeing with almost every point you've made, Jack.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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It is funny I've felt the same way this year and for the last couple of years. Really nothing I want to see at all outside a handful of films.

But I'm trying to figure out if it's the films themselves or me who has changed. I mean as far as I remember it there have always been happy meal films. There has always been the "fomula". Of course I'm only 27 so I haven't been around as long as some of you old timers. But I'm starting to think it's just that people have so many other things to these days, like the internet and video games and television. As well as all the real world things that have always been around likes sports, special events and travel.

I find I spend a lot of time on the internet and also enjoy many television shows more then actual movies. Whether episodic television shows or documentaries. Even podcasts are taking up more of my time.

I'm not wasting my time anymore going to see remakes or things like Jackass.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Starfelt
Probably good news for Hollywood as well.

Once they knock these ridiculous $10m+ paychecks down for everyone, they'll go back to making more manageable sized movies. This was years ago, but I had a friend who worked on Lethal Weapon II and they had 17 camera men on the set. I asked him what the purpose of that was, and he replied that as a producer, you do that to raise the budget to justify the salary that you want to earn.
That's a good anecdote, I suppose, but it's a little tongue in cheek. Just FYI:

"Cameramen" in this context likely would have meant all of camera dept. For each camera, on a feature, you would have:

1 Camera operator
1 1st Assistant Cameraman (to pull focus, change lenses, be responsible in general for the camera)
1 2nd Assistant Cameraman (to help get focus marks, handle slate, get camera pieces out of cases)
1 Loader (sometimes there's one loader for multiple cameras)

So on your average big stunt day on a movie like Lethal Weapon, you'd have at least 4 cameras, each with the people listed above. The layperson might wonder why one camera needs 4 people, but if you knew what was involved, you'd likely understand.

By the way, total Camera Dept. costs for your average blockbuster feature (including film stock, processing, prints, etc) would probably be under 15%.

Sorry Lori, not trying to be a jerk, it's just that this is exactly the place to point out exaggerations like that .
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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #11
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No, my friend was one of the producers

and was talking about the number of camera men - not camera department. I do know the difference. The point again, is to make decisions that drive the budget up, that allow the producer to collect the paycheck they are looking for.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #12
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I don't have a problem if someone like Jim Carrey makes $25 million a picture. Or some CEO making $100 million. It's capitalism. I'd like to make $25 million too, but if they make crappy movies, bad music etc,they will make less. People have more of a choice today and as someone who likes capitalism, it is a good thing. Just because you are J-Lo or Harrsion Ford, doesn't mean we have to go see your bad movie.

If one of these big stars only gets $15 million instead of $20 million I don't feel to sorry for them. Or if they have to sell one of their 5 houses I won't lose any sleep.

Times have changed. Like I said at the start of this thread and in the story it is not bad news for indie filmmakers.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #13
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Okay, I'm interested, what do you guys not agree with exactly? I admit, I was a little passionate this morning, so maybe I ranted a bit too much to one side, but hey, what's done is done.

Look, I'm not saying the examples I mentioned were good ideas or anything, I'm just saying that there's been a glut of "merely okay" movies and maybe someone should step back and take a look at what's been happening. We need some better movies out there and not settle for "just okay".

One other thing I forgot to mention that I remembered today as I went to see "Accepted" (which is a great comedy BTW, especially if you're a college student). Studios should stop putting out trailers that show the whole movie, like "Open Season"'s trailers, it shows you everything practically, the squirrels, the fight at the end between the animals and the hunters, and too many funny moments, the first trailer was fine but they went overkill on the second one. I'm sure that whole middle could be great but I really would have liked to have seen the ending for myself during the movie and not the trailer. It's like saying "Hey, the movie 'Troy' shows the Trojan war and it had Achilles fighting in it and he dies in the end!"..... yeah... great. The best trailer was the "Lord of the Rings" trailers, they showed hardly anything and got you excited all at the same time, same with the "Pirates of the Carribean" trailers.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #14
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Nothing worse than wasting good money on a ok film. Saying that was good but I wish I would have waited for the DVD. Most are like that anymore. I still like the big blockbusters on the big screen. Just not many anymore. At least not good ones.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #15
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lord of the ring was ok, just to long, theres no reason to ever sit through it again. Think of gollum, the peter jackson one was ok, but to me gollum is the gollum of the rankin-bass version (thats the animate doen with singing). I grew up with it, and it's the one I know.
Is it fancy like peter jackson version, no, but it's still good.
so i don't need flashy anything for a good movie.
as for trailers, they show you all the good stuff, because if they showed you the other parts, you wouldn't go to see it. Thats what happens in a lot of movies, and yes there is a guy who's job it is to edit trailors, and yes he probably make 300,000 a year and i htink ther's andoscar for trailers (previews actually).

the reason i don't go to thearters (or is this a differnet thread) is that the movies are all so bad TCM (turner classic movies) plays more then enough to keep me happy.

The majority of good movies was made under the studio system
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