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Old September 12th, 2002, 08:37 AM   #1
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Hollywood - - "McDonalds Era" of filmmaking

I have included a few links to Dustin Hoffman's remarks about the movie making machine of Hollywood.

Change... Filmmaking is very young...

Inspiration for us and what you already know, however, you decide...

http://www.msnbc.com/news/799008.asp?0dm=N14JL

http://www.therecord.com/entertainment/e090921A.html

Anyways, just igniting an age-old conversation/argument.

Cheers!

Derrick
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Old September 12th, 2002, 01:47 PM   #2
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Comments:

- he has said nothing new. Perhaps because he has refused to play along he doesn't have the clout to get his pictures produced. By playing along I mean do what some stars have done and quietly slipped in a personal or prestige project in with the more marketable movies.

- and what stops him from becoming a producer? In his generation De Niro and Robert Redford took that step. Neither are completely removed from Hollywood but they also have provided avenues for projects more to their own tastes.

- Hoffman's career took off in the last golden age of American cinema when you had Lumet, Coppola, Schlesinger, all making great gritty films for adults. But you know, these were all studio films made at a time when the studios were also struggling for audience. The pre-Star Wars audience.

- interesting that Hoffman made a film with Sarandon, who is known for her politics and perhaps has suffered because of it
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Old September 12th, 2002, 02:39 PM   #3
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Yes, I do believe he should involve himself in producing so he can act in a film that he cares about.

The public critcism... He may not have the clout or who-ha to get it done, but I do agree with his assessment of mainstream entertainment movies. They are formula and meant to feed the unthinking masses. Provocative-no. Entertaining-yes. If an actor can vampire off them and fuel his/her own heart projects would be ideal.

An actor/artist whose work has dried up is a very sad state of affairs indeed. Without necessary tools to free themselves or cope...
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Old September 12th, 2002, 05:13 PM   #4
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I think Hoffman is just riding the pity wagon with Sarandon and looking for some scapegoats to make themselves feel better waaah waaah waaah.

Funny thing is I thought the phrase McDonald's Era of filmmaking referred to all this cheap digital equipment that's becoming affordable for the average person! I'll take some fries with that.
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Old September 12th, 2002, 05:26 PM   #5
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Well, there's McDonald's distribution/marketing and there's McDonald's production. I don't think McDonald's would be the right analogy to use for DV filmmakers. We are not part of any large chain pushing out the same fastfood at the lowest common denominator.

I like a Fruit Stand analogy better because it encompasses wholesome goodness and at the same time a hillbilly approach to reaching the public. "Maybe if someone comes by today they'll see my little fruit stand and sample my wares."
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Old September 13th, 2002, 10:01 AM   #6
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Indeed! HAR HAR.

I do think they whine a bit short of an ocean. However, with the right person a little complaining can go a long way. Its the people who get stuck complaining...

I think the DV community is excellent. Because of its diversity and variety of projects that almost anybody with a will can do.

The hope is that the public gets tired of the same ol churned movie formulas and craves something else. Trading the shells of characters that no-one can relate for the characters that deal with life's obstacles... Here's a Mango...

The "McDonald's" comment made, is supportive to all those underdogs with story ideas that can be done, DV community and visual media. You don't need a million plus bucks. A call to empower. Since I am on the outside, and yet to experience the inside....

Blathering a bit...
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Old September 13th, 2002, 03:40 PM   #7
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In my opinion, Dustin Hoffman's remarks are dead-on correct. He's not whining; he's made more than enough wealth for many lifetimes and he's certainly made his mark on both the film and theater worlds.

The majority of wide-distribution films today are crap written and crafted to entertain attention deficit disorder sufferers and aimed at the lowest level of thought and language. But it's hard to say that this is wrong; it rakes in several billion each year. But is sure is tiresome and rather sad.
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Old September 13th, 2002, 05:50 PM   #8
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In general, the movie going public doesn't know any better. An engineer who spends 40 plus hours a week "engineering" things is not gonna have the same level of appriciation we do. He is gonna open the paper, see the biggest movie ad and take the wife and kids to the flick cause its pg-13.

HOWEVER!!!! CHANGE IS COMING!!!!

Movies are getting cheaper to make, cheaper to distribute, and new avenues for exhibition are opening up. HELL even straight to video isn't that bad considering DVD's and HDTV allow an almost equivalent viewing experiance as the multiplex!!

A cold cup of coffee is waiting for hollywood, a cold cup of coffee.
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Old September 17th, 2002, 12:43 PM   #9
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< - - - Ken and Atomic...

Wholeheartedly affirmative cheers! Regarding your observation.

The pool of heart driven stories which call the talents of actors and not shell or face (Which notably, can't act their way out of a paper bag.). Quality roles which require an acting talent like D. Hoffman are sparse... Not to say they are not out there... There are many variables...

The DV Community can rally up these talents and get them involved. Open up the engine and fly...

If I could employ Britney Spears in a DV Film than I will. I will know that I will make the money that I need to continue on with working with interesting people and work.

Though I would chalk a film like that up as vomit. Maybe I should develop a front, pseudonym for something like that... HAR HAR...

Doing what we need to do... Blathering quite a bit today... Frothing at the mouth...

Hammering a sign up on the OLE TOTEM POLE...
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Old September 30th, 2002, 05:41 PM   #10
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Just remember, Cassavetes said it's alright to work in crap once in awhile to pay the bills, as long as you know the difference.

I talk to a lot of people in line when I go to movies (not much anymore). Just about all of them had one thing in common. their personal lives are so boring/scary/desperate they come to the moves to forget and escape.

In other words, the blame lies just as much with the movie going public as it does with large studios. Think about it. How many of us went and saw Spiderman. (dont answer,hehehe). If the movie going public demanded better films, I'm sure the large studios would make them. We don't, so they don't. After all, for most of the people, it's 'show business' not art.

Instead of blaming Hollywod, I prefer to get on with things. Hoffman needs to shut up, get a camera, a portable light kit, a protable sound kit, a starving but brilliant screen writer, surround himself with some new but excellent screen talent and make a film. With his rep, he could get at the very least limited distribution.


When people are spending very large amounts of money with no garauntee of return, they tend to get timid and afraid.

Cassavetes made a film called 'Faces' that dealt with his unpleasant experiences with the studio system. Still, he realized they were only human and forgave them. Then went on to make his films his way, for little money. (When you could get camera and film for cheap).
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Old September 30th, 2002, 06:20 PM   #11
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You make some very keen points. As with public governance, we get the entertainment quality that we ask for. We vote with our dollars. But unfortunately, also analogous to the democratic process, we generally don't know what we need to know when we pay to peek. And our admission price "vote" is not refundable.

It will be interesting (for our grandchildren) to see how history views the past 10-15 years of films. During the 1930's when almost everyone faced woeful economic times movies made their way by providing a diversion. Many of that period's films were similar in writing quality and shallowness to today's fare. But many subsequently became "classics" because of their ability to entertain people over and over far beyond their expected lives and far beyond what their initial box office draws would have suggested. Who knows, maybe Spiderman will become similarly enshrined in 2050.
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Old September 30th, 2002, 08:28 PM   #12
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Ken you have a good point. With the world economy getting worse, the fear of terrorism and war growing, the desire to escape to the movies will become stronger, not weaker. Sort of what happened furing the great depression. During that time, people rarely wanted to see films that depicted anything remotely resembling reality.

The only thing that will put a kabosh on all this?

The ever growing price of movie tickets and the cost of the theater experience itself. It's becoming high enough to become a factor in what movies get seen and what ones don't.

The big blockbuster films get seen, but the lesser ones are suffering because of it. For many, especially those with families, they simply can't afford to see several movies a month. I can't count how many times I decided to wait for cable on movies I would have like to have supported at the theater. I'm not rich enough to do it. Hell, I quit smoking (saving lots of money each month) and I still can't afford to see all the movies I would like to.

This make sense to anyone?

Lots of young kids still go, but even they are spending less now days.
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Old September 30th, 2002, 09:54 PM   #13
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* * WOO WOO * *

I like bringing Cassavetes into the mix. His focus on problems that pertain to him and the people around him echo through his films.

This is a good place for me to step off.

Time to work! Excellent to hear everybody and listen to POV's.

Keep it up and keep on with your work...

Cheers!
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