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Sleepless in Hollywood

morriscroy
06-11-2013, 07:10 AM
A new book "Sleepless in Hollywood: A New Abnormal" on how things have changed, by a movie industry insider.

Stuff that has been suspected all along, but not overly surprising.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/what_went_wrong_with_n0rJu0ygy4BMa7QEV3oc7H?utm_me dium=rss&utm_content=Books


TECHNOLOGY

Until 2009, DVD rentals and sales gave the film industry a 10% profit cushion, but the emergence of streaming video on demand via iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix has driven that margin down by half — at least.

Peter Chernin, who ran 20th Century Fox and Fox Broadcasting for two decades, tells Obst that no one really knows what the numbers look like and that “the big implication is that those studios are — not necessarily inappropriately — terrified to do anything.”



The tastes of moviegoers in China and Russia — the two largest overseas audiences — now determine what we see in America. As recently as the early ’90s, international receipts accounted for 20% of Hollywood grosses; by 2008, they generated 50%, and today it’s up to 70%. What translates best: movies with minimal dialogue, little cultural specificity and spectacular special effects — the latter remaining a unique and exclusive American export.

...

In China, which is predicted to be the No. 1 market by 2020, the demand for 3D and IMAX is so overwhelming that the government allows only films in these formats to be imported. Until such markets are able to produce high-quality blockbusters of their own, the United States remains a behemoth, and our studios are circumventing import quotas — China, for example, only allows us to import 21 movies a year — by forging co-production deals with Chinese studios.

So crucial are these markets that content is even altered. The new “Iron Man 3,” was re-edited specifically for Chinese audiences, with four extra minutes of footage featuring Chinese stars. The government also was allowed script approval.

This need to appeal to audiences all over the world, to offend no one, means that, in the near future, “we will have no bad guys in our action movies,” Obst writes. “Only North Koreans.”


If this indeed the case, then this could explain the existence of many 3D bluray versions of tentpole action/superhero movies. (ie. It has to be in 3D or IMAX, or it will never be shown in movie theaters in China).

bruceames
06-11-2013, 07:51 AM
Interesting. I guess we can expect more dumbed down movies in the future with minimal dialogue. Fortunately for myself I'm going the other way and watching mostly foreign and classic movies.

morriscroy
06-11-2013, 09:09 AM
Some older articles written by the author (Lynda Obst). Probably gives a flavor of what "Sleepless in Hollywood" is like. (Some read like venting rants).

http://lyndaobstproductions.com/content/2011jan05.html
http://lyndaobstproductions.com/content/2010may07.html
http://lyndaobstproductions.com/articles.html

HD Goofnut
06-11-2013, 02:29 PM
This would explain why we have been seeing plenty of needless and useless 2D to 3D conversions like Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Jurassic Park, and G.I. Joe.

ImRizzo
06-11-2013, 03:04 PM
This would explain why we have been seeing plenty of needless and useless 2D to 3D conversions like Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Jurassic Park, and G.I. Joe.

What your seeing is the money mongers of Hollywood cashing in a "new" $$$ maker.... nothing else and if a new 'craze' should avail itself then they'll be producing or repurposing more old shit again !

bruceames
06-11-2013, 04:39 PM
I think I'm going to sit out this so-called 3D craze and wait for 4K. I'm a detail guy, and 4K is right around the corner. My last TV was purchased 3 years ago, so I'm gonna hang for another year or two to get those extra pixels instead of spending on a 3DTV this year like I was planning. Anyway, if 3D is still around I can catch up later as the 4KTV will be 3D ready I'm sure.

bruceames
06-11-2013, 04:41 PM
In spite of what I said above, I actually like those blockbuster comic movies, like Avengers and Iron Man, but more for the comedy than the special effects. I understand that special effects is what sells, but it's not the primary draw for me.

HD Goofnut
06-11-2013, 06:01 PM
I think I'm going to sit out this so-called 3D craze and wait for 4K. I'm a detail guy, and 4K is right around the corner. My last TV was purchased 3 years ago, so I'm gonna hang for another year or two to get those extra pixels instead of spending on a 3DTV this year like I was planning. Anyway, if 3D is still around I can catch up later as the 4KTV will be 3D ready I'm sure.

I'd be in the same boat had I not found such a good deal on my 3D Panasonic, but with a 1080p monitor and 3 1080p TVs I think I will wait on a 4K physical format before I do any further upgrading.

ImRizzo
06-11-2013, 06:05 PM
I think I'm going to sit out this so-called 3D craze and wait for 4K. I'm a detail guy, and 4K is right around the corner. My last TV was purchased 3 years ago, so I'm gonna hang for another year or two to get those extra pixels instead of spending on a 3DTV this year like I was planning. Anyway, if 3D is still around I can catch up later as the 4KTV will be 3D ready I'm sure.

I saw the 4K display at The shootout with 4K content NOT Impressed I'm waiting for OLED.

morriscroy
06-11-2013, 08:51 PM
A segment on Bloomberg with the author Lynda Obst.

"Death of the DVD: How Hollywood Lost Its Mojo "

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/death-of-the-dvd-how-hollywood-lost-its-mojo-_5mPYukoRt2AHACgxejDZg.html

morriscroy
06-12-2013, 06:14 AM
A longer 25 minute segment with the author.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynda-obst/li-bing-bing_b_3422134.html
http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/lynda-obst/51b0e5affe34441ea50001d8

Stuff we already know, but coming from the mouth of a high level insider.

morriscroy
06-12-2013, 08:30 AM
More insight why only 3D and IMAX American made action/superhero movies are desirable overseas.

http://www.fastcocreate.com/1683197/the-new-abnormal-in-movies-why-charm-is-dead-sequels-reboots-and-marketing-moguls-rule-and-t


We will be seeing many, many more 3-D and IMAX movies, which will kill the comedy, the drama, and the film that’s about writing and not razzle-dazzle effects. It’s what the global market craves, on the one hand. And on the other hand, indigenous global films are starting to do so well in their own market, that the only American movies, that can only be made in America and transported, are the ones with the phenomenal technology. For example, the biggest blockbuster in China recently was a local Chinese film that made a billion dollars, and it was kind of a local comedy. So why do they need our comedies? Bollywood is making romantic comedies. Why do they need our little dating customs? The Internet has replaced movies as a cultural carrier. So what they need from us is what only we can provide, which is this spectacular, Cameron-inspired technology. As an adjunct to that, we will not be seeing Chinese bad guys. They don’t like 'em. They don’t even like laundry hanging. So they have great cultural sensitivities as well. There’ll be more censorship.

morriscroy
06-12-2013, 10:09 AM
An interesting recent one-hour lecture discussion and Q&A with Lynda Obst.

The first 12-13 minutes is about how the decline of dvd sales in the late 2000's, drastically affected the movie business. Interesting insider perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b79NqUm1t68

bruceames
06-13-2013, 09:56 AM
So if Hollywood movies are doing so much better overseas than before (while doing about the same here) then why is the industry being painted as being in such decline? That seems contradictory, the increase in global box office should offset the small declines in home video revenue (and they are very small).

Also, if Hollywood movies are gaining more traction abroad while local movies abroad are doing better as well, then theaters must be booming in other countries.

Perhaps the studios want their hired help to think they're hurting so they can give them pay cuts? ;)

morriscroy
06-13-2013, 10:14 AM
Perhaps the studios want their hired help to think they're hurting so they can give them pay cuts? ;)

For the big movie companies, a better question is how much of that $$$ is being shuffled around the conglomerate and how much of it goes into executive salaries (and coke, hookers, etc ...). ;)

bruceames
06-13-2013, 11:49 AM
For the big movie companies, a better question is how much of that $$$ is being shuffled around the conglomerate and how much of it goes into executive salaries (and coke, hookers, etc ...). ;)

I would think movie heads are very good at hiding things (an integral part of making movies), and that includes earnings I'm sure.

morriscroy
06-13-2013, 03:38 PM
I would think movie heads are very good at hiding things (an integral part of making movies), and that includes earnings I'm sure.

Or their bosses. Especially if any of them are licensed attorneys with a background in international tax laws. :gamer

I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least three sets of books:

1 - the IRS sees
2 - their bosses see
3 - the movie moguls see

(Books 2 and 3 are never completely written down on paper).

(The difference between books 2 and 3, will most likely be determined by how exactly the cash is flowing in the conglomerate, and who exactly has control and calls the shots on how the cash is dispensed).

From the way Lynda Obst describes things, it sounds like book 2 may very well reveal what the true state of finances is really going on, where the movie moguls' bosses completely control the purse strings. (ie. The CFO's office full of bean counters and tax attorneys possibly calling the shots).

Books 1 and 3 mind as well be smoke and mirrors. (Book 1 can't be doctored too much, without the feds eventually demanding an irs audit). If book 3 is completely doctored and the only thing the movie moguls are seeing, then it sounds they're being put on a equivalent of a "starvation diet" by their C-level suite bosses.