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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old December 29th, 2003, 12:27 PM   #1
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No commercials at the movies!

"advertising prior to movies is a ploy to get moviegoers into the cinema to serve as unwitting subjects for annoying commercials"

Everyone should join the fight - even though we make livings producing commercials. I'm NOT in favor of ads before movies or inside movies (product placement) for that matter!

http://www.nomovieads.com/

http://www.captiveaudience.org/

Also, sign the petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/a101/petition.html

Murph
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Old December 29th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #2
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I also find this practice very annoying, and it's also arrived on DVD's and tapes. But I suppose it's understandable seeing the big shake up in the movie theatre business where there have been some recent big bankruptcies. I can think of several relatively new multi-screen cineplexes in this area that shut down a year or two ago and have never reopened.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 01:26 PM   #3
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The Regal Cinemas in my area have something they do called the Regal 20 (or 25 maybe). What's great about it is that they, for 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the movie, they broadcast on digital Christie projectors, various commercial programming. This includes a short film sponsored by the TNT channel, and music videos and other somewhat entertaining commercials.

What's good about this is that now, they barely do any advertising after the scheduled start of the film, if any. A lot of times it jumps right into trailers right after that.

I think this is a good compromise.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 01:39 PM   #4
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Yes, I think the longest stretch of actual ads I've witnessed at a single screening was 15 minutes long. Plus another 15-20 minutes for movie previews. It's a common gripe among moviegoers at my work.

I wish movie theatres would also list the actual start times for movies. If people still want to go in early for a good movie, fine - sit through the commercials, but I want my movie to start when it says at the box office!

Heck my local multiplex is showing commercials while you wait now as well. Gone is the fun trivia of movie info tidbits I used to see. Now it's all ads, all the time. The lights are deliberatly set so low you can't read a book.

I know people who no longer attend the theatres simply because they feel commercialism is being shoved down their throats.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 02:13 PM   #5
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I can't stand going to the movies any more because of these reasons.

Now we usually wait for the DVD, rent it, make our own popcorn and watch it on the home theatre system with no commercials. Not quite as dramatic as the big screen but good enough for us.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #6
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While I still use CRT based for viewing, my surround audio is superior to the experience I usually get in the theater. Once I get a projector, I'll go to the movies even less. Higher and higher prices, rude people, it's all getting to be too much.

I actually don't mind what regal is doing, since they are throwing in a short film with the ads. But 8 to 9 dollars a ticket, plus food? Not worth it.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #7
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I'm with you. I bought an HDTV, 5.1 surround sound and a kick-butt DVD player. I will only go to the movies for *must see* stuff like the new Star Wars coming out. Those just have to be seen with a crowd...the experience.

Otherwise, we're lining the pockets of Hollywood and being subjected to commercials on our own time. The bottom line? Hollywood is the #1 export in the US, so they can't tell me they need even MORE money.

The whole thing comes down to ENOUGH advertising for God's sake...leave us alone in the movie theatre.

Murph
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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #8
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I used to look forward to the part before the actual movie. The previews.

Now, it's car adds and BS.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:24 PM   #9
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I largely abandoned movie theaters over a decade ago, except for very rare exceptions. Even these exceptions, however, have only served to reinforce this decision. The last film I saw in a theater was Gangs of New York. The theater (which is relatively new) was filthy and smelled bad, the concession workers were undermanaged / undermotivated, and the film itself looked and sounded terrible.

I am certainly not alone in my abandonment of theaters within my age group. Ironically, however, I suspect that this abandonment by adults is having the effect of prompting Hollywood to produce even more films for adolescents.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:31 PM   #10
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I think you're right. It's a good thing home theatre is getting cheaper and cheaper. Also, I have Netflix which sends me 5 DVD's at a time throughout the month. I've got to tell you - it's awesome because they carry an amazing amount of DVD's. I've watched some films that I would never have seen, so it's a great service...just checkout their database on their site. You'll be amazed and probably never go to the movies again!

I'm excited to think that more people are being entertained in their living rooms...being an indie filmmaker it means I'll have more of a chance in the long run to get someone out there. The theatres are all scamming us with Hollywood schlock, so there isn't anyway for indie's to get in there. It's the home theatre that'll keep the indie voices alive. Hollywood is out of their minds now.

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Old December 29th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #11
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I don't go to theatres very often either, but that's just because I'm antisocial ;-) My daughter is 21, and as long as I can remember she and her friends have gone to the movies several times a week. I think you're right Ken, that demographic is what Hollywood aims for.

It is a little unfortunate though. Since I'm involved in a form of live theatre, I'm keenly aware of the difference between viewing something at home by yourself or with a few other people as opposed to attending a theatre. Going to the theatre is a social event, and it's a very different feeling. People get dressed up, go out for dinner, put on their best behavior. You can't press the pause button so your attention is more focused. But the main thing is that you are part of a group experience and when someone else starts to laugh it will influence your perception as well.

But I guess I'm really thinking more of the "good old days" when I was younger and went to the old movie palaces while they still had some class. Sadly, I guess you guys are right in that those days are gone forever. Most of the newer theatres are filled with rude people, they smell bad, the projectors are not properly adjusted and, price is too high and you also have to watch commercials! Too bad, I think we may have lost something of value here. And by extension I think we're seeing it carried one step further. People are sitting back in their caves watching DVD's and attendance is also falling for live forms of theatre as well.

To paraphrase something I heard the other day: "where are we going?... and why are we in this handbasket?"
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Old December 29th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #12
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I'd rather have the ads before the movie rather than in the movie.
Then, on home video, you can just fast forward through the commericials. Lately, I've become annoyed by in-the-movie advertising, such as focus and linger on a particular brand of orange juice. What's even more annoying is spotting the advertising slots that weren't filled up. This stuff is driving me nuts.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 05:00 PM   #13
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Boyd,
I think that you and I are very close in age, so I share many of your memories and laments.

FWIW, I'll go see a good opera or live theater over a movie any day. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Madam Butterfly in Feb at our local little shop, the Lyric Opera of Chicago! At over $300 for two box seats, it's not something you'd want to do each week. But I've never seen M.B. and the Lyric's productions generally leave me breathless. The Lyric smells much better than a movie theater, too. <g>
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Old December 29th, 2003, 05:16 PM   #14
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That's great Ken, keep buying those tickets... but of course you can take a date to the opera for a lot less than $300 :-) If you've never seen Butterfly you should be in for a real treat.

But sadly the numbers are telling their own tale. Opera companies across the US are experiencing an alarming drop in attendance, I don't know anything specific about the Lyric, but even the Met is feeling the pinch. Our own company is on the brink of some major cutbacks, and just a few days ago I read that Pittsburgh Opera is cutting a show from next season and lowering salaries. Opera Festival of New Jersey just went out of business. This is a national phenomenon, but of course there are regional differences.

Not a good time for the performing arts in general. And I just heard one of those sound bytes on the news, that this Christmas DVD players were the number one consumer electronics item. It seems that ever since 9/11 people are just more inclined to huddle with their families at home instead of participating in group activities.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 05:31 PM   #15
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Hey, that's funny you mention live theatre. I just took my girlfriend to a play last night! It was great and made me start thinking about all forms of media. (By the way, the play is called "Not on this Night" - its about an American and a German soldier who run into each other on Xmas eve in France at a farmhouse owned by a young girl in 1944. Definately check it out if you live in New England next year! www.notonthisnight.com)

It's really sad that theatre, movies and everything have become more than what it started out to be - entertainment. Although, the entertainment was always best when it had a message. It's horrible that the message used to be something about our moral place in society - now, it's a message about orange juice and spiffy cars we can buy.

I think the DVinfo community could address this issue by keeping the topic alive. Also, I think we should all thank Chris Hurd for making this site commercial free. I've gone out of my way to buy from his sponsors because of the attention he's paid to how he presents them. I'd bed 80-90% of the people who buy stuff would ALWAYS choose to purchase from non-invasive advertisers than invasive ones. We're already violated enough in this world, so knowing a company is backing off on purpose makes a difference to me.

Murph
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