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PoMoTy
01-03-2011, 10:35 AM
What does 2011 hold for (the New) Hollywood?

Predictions?

Resolutions?

SuperScribe
01-03-2011, 10:52 AM
My screenwriting-related resolutions:

1. Write two new scripts under the watchful eye of my manager.

2. Finish the selling/reading draft of an old script that I abandoned prematurely and that has been sitting on my hard drive for a while now. (And no, it's not a pet project -- not something I plan on tinkering with for years and years. It's a legitimate script that got lost in the shuffle but is still viable.)

PoMoTy
01-03-2011, 11:37 AM
I resolve to produce, on paper, a fantastic, mind blowing, and amazing screenplay, as validated by my industry peers.

I predict major and accelerating changes to the landscape and business of Hollywood, and global film production and distribution platforms.

Major contracts are up this year, SAG and WGA (right?), and the merger of TV / Computer / Phone / internet machines will no doubt change the business models (further), and the balance of power.

It's a brave new Hollywood out there.

MacG
01-03-2011, 03:09 PM
What does 2011 hold for (the New) Hollywood?

The same sh!t will get made, the same people will get paid gobs of money to do it, the spec market will be as hard to crack as 2010 was, and we'll be back here in a year asking what 2012 holds for (new) Hollywood....

snwrist
01-03-2011, 03:27 PM
The same sh!t will get made, the same people will get paid gobs of money to do it, the spec market will be as hard to crack as 2010 was, and we'll be back here in a year asking what 2012 holds for (new) Hollywood....

Sadly, I think this is spot on and will always be this way.

joe9alt
01-03-2011, 04:16 PM
I love me some MacG but he's wrong on this one...at least in my case :cool:

PoMoTy
01-03-2011, 06:44 PM
The same sh!t will get made, the same people will get paid gobs of money to do it, the spec market will be as hard to crack as 2010 was, and we'll be back here in a year asking what 2012 holds for (new) Hollywood....

The rich will get richer, but the spec (and media biz) is changed; if you don't see that, it will be far harder to crack for you in 2011 than it was in 2010. It's not going to get simpler, or go back to the way it was, that is for certain...

The rules have changed, they players have changed and the game has changed. Selling "projects" -- don't get stuck on spec screenplays, that is so 'first 10' as I call the 2000-2010 decade -- or getting them made and distributed is actually getting easier. It's getting $100 million cash to make a movie that has gotten harder in the last 5 years. This could be changing.

In my mind, social media, "crowd sourcing" and other tech driven innovations are going to make raising capital a whole lot different; in some ways, for some people/projects, a whole lot easier.

Once the studio distribution model for +$100 million Features is figured out, -- 2010 brought big changes to it -- and the Major studios find a method that works, the cash and economy of the film biz will kick into gear. 2011 will likely give rise to distribution models that can work for more than just "known brands".

2009 & 2010 was the virtual implosion of the old studio model:

Theater > DVD > HBO > TV

I'm not going to try and map what I think the new model looks like, but obviously the INTERNET has shattered the old model for good.

2011 -- as I see it -- will be about rebuilding. Better, bigger, faster, global, and more efficient means of distribution. This will free up money and a "New Wave" of cinema will be born.

That is my predictions for 2011 and 2012.

Arroway
01-04-2011, 12:59 PM
2009 & 2010 was the virtual implosion of the old studio model:

Theater > DVD > HBO > TV

I'm not going to try and map what I think the new model looks like, but obviously the INTERNET has shattered the old model for good.


It's been more than a decade since Napster and so far no one has been able to convincingly "map out the new model". The simplest answer is usually the right one and in this case what that means is the supposed "new model" doesn't actually exist. It's a myth perpetrated by the various tech companies in order to further supplant our industry for their own financial gain.

My predictions for 2011 and beyond:

The number of theatrical Hollywood films will continue to decrease and skew even harder toward the big budget tent pole side of the spectrum. For a while the increased revenues from 3D and IMAX will hide the fact that less tickets are being sold, but only for a while...

DVD sales will continue to fall and the combined proceeds from Redbox, Netflix, Hulu etc will continue to be a comparative drop in the bucket.

For-profit torrent sites, for-profit unlicensed streaming sites, for-profit file locker sites, Google, etc will continue to reap what they haven't sown to the tune of billions while our government stands idly by, and despite all evidence to the contrary punch drunk morons will continue to bleat their proclamations of a new renaissance somehow spurred on by all this freeloading...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

:D

MacG
01-04-2011, 02:49 PM
I love me some MacG but he's wrong on this one...at least in my case :cool:

And I loves me some 9alt, but I think even you would have to admit, Joe, that your (much deserved) success is the exception rather than the rule....

joe9alt
01-04-2011, 04:24 PM
What success?

I still work a day job like almost everybody else that posts on here.

Each year I register another blip on the radar screen and each year that blip gets a little bigger.

This is the year I set it off and explode.

That's how I go into every new year thinking.

Not saying you should but that's what I do.

PoMoTy
01-04-2011, 04:27 PM
It's been more than a decade since Napster and so far no one has been able to convincingly "map out the new model". The simplest answer is usually the right one and in this case what that means is the supposed "new model" doesn't actually exist. It's a myth perpetrated by the various tech companies in order to further supplant our industry for their own financial gain.

Apple seems to be mapping it out to the toon of billions. Netflix as well. Hulu has potential. But you are right, the "new model" does not completely exist. YET.

The tech industry, think PIXAR is actually a saving grace of the Hollywood studios and the driving force behind the effects driven movies that are the only thing keeping the theatrical market alive. You could not be more wrong. Sorry.

My predictions for 2011 and beyond:

The number of theatrical Hollywood films will continue to decrease and skew even harder toward the big budget tent pole side of the spectrum. For a while the increased revenues from 3D and IMAX will hide the fact that less tickets are being sold, but only for a while...

DVD sales will continue to fall and the combined proceeds from Redbox, Netflix, Hulu etc will continue to be a comparative drop in the bucket.

The number of films being made worldwide is exploding however. As developing countries "come on line" they will produce ever more. Combine this with the fact that the average Joe can now get and use camera, and editing equipent that was top of the line 20 years ago. In that sense it's a cinematic renessiance. This is also what is raising the bar in Hollywood, pushing us to demand ever bigger and better. The cost has out paced the market, but the market will catch up. You'll see. It's global.

For-profit torrent sites, for-profit unlicensed streaming sites, for-profit file locker sites, Google, etc will continue to reap what they haven't sown to the tune of billions while our government stands idly by, and despite all evidence to the contrary punch drunk morons will continue to bleat their proclamations of a new renaissance somehow spurred on by all this freeloading...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

:D

Google is in the advertising business, just like the TV industry. The two business are going to stop being rivals and start being friends, to the benefit of all.

Piracy is more of a problem abroad, and it is being addressed as best as is possible. Google, Apple, Netflix and probably Facebook need the content from the studios to feed their growth and goals in the media biz. Enter 2011... A time to get creative, create content, and get smart if you want a piece. Bitterness and negativity towards the changes will leave you with nothing.

Happy New Year indeed!

Terrance Mulloy
01-04-2011, 05:02 PM
I can't predict what will happen this year - no more than PoMoTy or anyone else, but as dire as MacG's posts usually are, he seems to be right - based off what the past few years have shown us. Things are hard in the spec world, and getting harder. It's crucial to remain positive, or at least try to be, but no amount of positive thinking changes that fact - it's fvcking hard. The best and only thing you can do is keep writing great scripts, and keep chasing that dangling carrot.

PoMoTy, I really see no evidence that the internet alone will cause a radical paradigm shift in the way writers break into Hollywood, and the way studios produce films. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just that I've seen no evidence to solidify your claims.

However, I do think it is becoming a lot easier for people to make their own content and use the internet as a delivery system - which in turn - can get the studios interest. Of course, we all know this, and it's old news and has been the 'buzz' for a while now. Film making tools and tech is getting cheaper and more accessible to the masses. We've seen a few examples of people shooting their own shorts and landing major feature deals as a result. But again, that's the exception, not the rule. There may be thousands of shorts out there, but how many are actually any good - and also show immense talent? Same can be said about tweets and blogs.

MacG
01-04-2011, 05:38 PM
What success?

I still work a day job like almost everybody else that posts on here.

Each year I register another blip on the radar screen and each year that blip gets a little bigger.

This is the year I set it off and explode.

That's how I go into every new year thinking.

Not saying you should but that's what I do.

You may not be sleeping atop a large pile of money with many beautiful women (yet!), but it's hard not to consider this at least a modicum of success...at least over, say, 99.999% of us here:

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/showthread.php?t=58016

:D

MacG
01-04-2011, 05:42 PM
I...but as dire as MacG's posts usually are, he seems to be right...

Thanks, T. I figure someone's gotta be the voice of pessimism on these boards to counter all this ridiculous optimism. ;)

PoMoTy
01-04-2011, 06:13 PM
So are you the Devil's advocate or am I?

PoMoTy
01-04-2011, 06:25 PM
I can't predict what will happen this year - no more than PoMoTy or anyone else, but as dire as MacG's posts usually are, he seems to be right - based off what the past few years have shown us. Things are hard in the spec world, and getting harder. It's crucial to remain positive, or at least try to be, but no amount of positive thinking changes that fact - it's fvcking hard. The best and only thing you can do is keep writing great scripts, and keep chasing that dangling carrot.

No one can predict or control what the future holds, though some have great power to influence it. But the reality is, you can take part in shaping it. That is the best thing you can do.

See the curve, know how to swim (be tough) and surf the wave, or be crushed and churred until you drown.

PoMoTy, I really see no evidence that the internet alone will cause a radical paradigm shift in the way writers break into Hollywood, and the way studios produce films. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just that I've seen no evidence to solidify your claims.

I beleive this blog post is evidence enough of my claim. But I will point to Inktip, Pitch sites, Myspace, Facebook... The internet and Social Media has beyond a shadow of a doubt, fully and completely changed the way Hollywood works, and the way writers can and do break in. If people don't think that is the case, I say good luck with the mailers.

However, I do think it is becoming a lot easier for people to make their own content and use the internet as a delivery system - which in turn - can get the studios interest. Of course, we all know this, and it's old news and has been the 'buzz' for a while now. Film making tools and tech is getting cheaper and more accessible to the masses. We've seen a few examples of people shooting their own shorts and landing major feature deals as a result. But again, that's the exception, not the rule. There may be thousands of shorts out there, but how many are actually any good - and also show immense talent? Same can be said about tweets and blogs.

Any good is a matter of opinion. How many make money? Lots. More and more everyday.

Arroway
01-04-2011, 07:39 PM
Apple seems to be mapping it out to the toon of billions. Netflix as well. Hulu has potential.

Drop. In. The. Bucket.

The music industry has taken a real beating and there's no reason to think we won't be joining them soon.

But you are right, the "new model" does not completely exist. YET.

Again, it's been over a decade, to what do you attribute the almost complete lack of web 2.0 success stories so far?

The tech industry, think PIXAR is actually a saving grace of the Hollywood studios and the driving force behind the effects driven movies that are the only thing keeping the theatrical market alive. You could not be more wrong. Sorry.

No, you just couldn't be more dense. Obviously, I wasn't referring to digital effects houses or electric toothbrush makers, but internet tech companies who have directly or indirectly benefited from piracy.

The number of films being made worldwide is exploding however. As developing countries "come on line" they will produce ever more.

Yes the signal to noise ratio is increasing exponentially to the eventual detriment of all.

See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ZevWuxrNE

Combine this with the fact that the average Joe can now get and use camera, and editing equipent that was top of the line 20 years ago. In that sense it's a cinematic renessiance.

Technology may be democratized but talent isn't and never will be.

"Cinematic Renaissance"? More like "Youtube Cat Video Renaissance". Who is our modern day Michelangelo, I wonder? Youtube's Annoying Orange perhaps?

lol

This is also what is raising the bar in Hollywood

There is nothing on Youtube "raising the bar" in Hollywood. Sorry.

Google is in the advertising business, just like the TV industry. The two business are going to stop being rivals and start being friends, to the benefit of all.

They're starting to go down that path, that's for certain. What's not certain is the kind of terms they'll offer. I suspect it won't be dissimilar from the recent Amazon announcement, which is to say: "sh*tty".

They've been hard at work on devaluing the content setting themselves up for a great buyer's market.

Piracy is more of a problem abroad, and it is being addressed as best as is possible.

As you stated earlier, "it's global". Problems abroad are no different than problems at home. Do you realize how important the foreign markets are to this business? And no, these issues are not being "addressed as best as possible", not even close (although recently there have been some small signs of progress). It's opposite world out there. The internet has made kings out of leeches. The owner of Megaupload just bought a $20,000,000 mansion. A sewer would be too good for him...

Terrance Mulloy
01-04-2011, 09:21 PM
The internet and Social Media has beyond a shadow of a doubt, fully and completely changed the way Hollywood works, and the way writers can and do break in.

How exactly? You keep saying this, but never seem to articulate why.

How many make money? Lots. More and more everyday.

Actually most shorts make no money at all. Zip. Nada. They're mostly used as a career springboard, or, at best, a talent showcase which will lead to a career.



Technology may be democratized but talent isn't and never will be.



I think we have a winner here. This is the quote of the decade. Check is in the mail, Arroway. ;)

fisherman
01-04-2011, 11:02 PM
Actually most shorts make no money at all. Zip. Nada. They're mostly used as a career springboard, or, at best, a talent showcase which will lead to a career.


I can vouch for this. I've got about twenty rentals in 11 months on this sucker I made last year, for example:

http://www.amazon.com/Salmagundi/dp/B002XLNPCO

Shorts tend not to make money. Even when they're good. :cool:

PoMoTy
01-05-2011, 09:56 AM
Drop. In. The. Bucket.

I disagree. Or Rather I beleive the bucket is very large, and Apple can increase it's stream dramatically, and will.

Apple will sell $2 billion in Apps in 2011. Just apps. Not music or TV.

The music industry has taken a real beating and there's no reason to think we won't be joining them soon.

The reason we won't is the reason we haven't already. See "Internet Nutrality Debate". New laws were just passed in December. The American Media establishment (which owns the studios) is not going to let that happen, and they have significant to power to do so.

The record biz was the wakeup call.

Again, it's been over a decade, to what do you attribute the almost complete lack of web 2.0 success stories so far?

There have been tons of internet success stories. Have you read an article in the last ten years?

The writing success stories are not a well disseminated, but the obvious example it Twitter feeds. Just Beiber is also a bona fide internet success story.

The true Web 2.0 success stories are coming from the 'Tech' side obviously. The Facebook, Netflix, Google side, because they are the ones building the new Model. The Studios are struggling to keep their model intact; and they have failed. Their failure does hurt writers, and the tradditional screenwriting business, but the new model will be a boon to it.

No, you just couldn't be more dense. Obviously, I wasn't referring to digital effects houses or electric toothbrush makers, but internet tech companies who have directly or indirectly benefited from piracy.

Like Napster?

Technology may be democratized but talent isn't and never will be.

But the world is flattened, as they say. Billions more people, statistically means millions more talented individuals. Many of them with access to billions of people via the internet.

In fact now, screenwriters from any part of the globe can query, video chat and compete with local LA people far better and more effectively than ever.

"I'm against a homoginized society, I want to see the cream rise to the top." So I totally agree talent will/can never be democratized.
I'm against a

"Cinematic Renaissance"? More like "Youtube Cat Video Renaissance". Who is our modern day Michelangelo, I wonder? Youtube's Annoying Orange perhaps?

lol

There is nothing on Youtube "raising the bar" in Hollywood. Sorry.

It's a postmodern renaissance.

:bounce:

Once the internet bandwidth is finally opened up, high quality video will begin to manifest. That goes back to preventing a 'Napster' for movies. We spent the last 5 years rehashing low quality videos from phones and low res cameras and ability. That will soon change.

So will the movies.

They're starting to go down that path, that's for certain. What's not certain is the kind of terms they'll offer. I suspect it won't be dissimilar from the recent Amazon announcement, which is to say: "sh*tty".

They've been hard at work on devaluing the content setting themselves up for a great buyer's market.

Wrong. They have been hard at work fighting for the way to liscence and distribute it in the way that is most benificial to them. No easy or clear task. Content is king. It can make or break the Hulu's, Netflix, and the like.

As you stated earlier, "it's global". Problems abroad are no different than problems at home. Do you realize how important the foreign markets are to this business? And no, these issues are not being "addressed as best as possible", not even close (although recently there have been some small signs of progress). It's opposite world out there. The internet has made kings out of leeches. The owner of Megaupload just bought a $20,000,000 mansion. A sewer would be too good for him...

Do I know how important foreign markets are... I have clearly stated how important they are on numerous occations and at least twice in this thread already.

Asia is the big offender, namely China, but they also have unprecidented control over thier countries internet. Literally the state can do whatever it wants in regards to the internet over there; unlike West. And even with these powers, the problem is difficult to manage; constantly changing. Such is the digital age.

Who are these 'Megauploader's buying $20 million mansions?

jamypac
01-05-2011, 10:10 AM
Probably not a good idea to be writing $100 million specs anyway. I'm working on a single location suspense thriller that could be shot in one take with a couple of camera angles.


The rules have changed, they players have changed and the game has changed. Selling "projects" -- don't get stuck on spec screenplays, that is so 'first 10' as I call the 2000-2010 decade -- or getting them made and distributed is actually getting easier. It's getting $100 million cash to make a movie that has gotten harder in the last 5 years. This could be changing.

PoMoTy
01-05-2011, 11:00 AM
>> The internet and Social Media has beyond a shadow of a doubt, fully and completely changed the way Hollywood works, and the way writers can and do break in. <<

How exactly? You keep saying this, but never seem to articulate why.

Funny, I think I keep articulating why and you keep saying this.

:)

Terrance Mulloy
01-05-2011, 02:17 PM
>> The internet and Social Media has beyond a shadow of a doubt, fully and completely changed the way Hollywood works, and the way writers can and do break in. <<



Funny, I think I keep articulating why and you keep saying this.

:)

Umm, no, you just keep making these statements, but never explain how or why. I keep asking, but you never answer and always refer me back to your original quotes.

So I'm asking, how EXACTLY will the internet and social media change the way writers work in Hollywood?

Kermet Key
01-05-2011, 03:13 PM
I'm predicting worldwide economic collapse. In the US, by spring, state's will shut down operation due to deficits (no more federal bailouts0. China will dump the dollar as reserve currency. Gas prices will soar to $5 a gallon. Hyper-inflation. Mass-hysteria. Dogs and cats, living together!

And I'll make my first sell. :D

PoMoTy
01-05-2011, 05:14 PM
Umm, no, you just keep making these statements, but never explain how or why. I keep asking, but you never answer and always refer me back to your original quotes.

So I'm asking, how EXACTLY will the internet and social media change the way writers work in Hollywood?

If I knew EXACTLY how the internet and social media will change the way writers work in Hollywood I would be (already, of not soon) a very very rich man.

But I am not aware of anyone, who even claims to know EXACTLY the answer to that question. I only know of people/powers with a lot at stake in the answer/outcome, and people who can put the peices together. It's all speculation.

What will the stock market be in 5 years? EXACTLY? (if you knew that you would also be very rich).

Knowing how social media is changing Hollywood, and specifically screenwriters, is like knowing how climate change is going to play out. It ranges from, "everything is the same, change is a myth", to little real change, to full on topographic makeover. It's all theoretical and full of variables and patterns, like the weather. Short term prediction is pretty accurate, but the further out you try and look, the foggier it gets.

All you can is see the flow, the current, the direction things are going. If you can't see the flow, ride the current, you will never be able to keep up.

At least that is how I see it.

Arroway
01-05-2011, 09:53 PM
I disagree. Or Rather I beleive the bucket is very large, and Apple can increase it's stream dramatically, and will.

You can't (empirically) disagree. The revenue from mp3 sales is unequivocally a drop in the bucket compared to the analog revenues its displacing. It is also irrefutable that MP3 sales are slowing, not "dramatically increasing" as you say.

The reason we won't is the reason we haven't already. See "Internet Nutrality Debate". New laws were just passed in December.

New laws that did what exactly for the future of filmmaking?

There have been tons of internet success stories. Have you read an article in the last ten years?

Twitter feeds are an obvious writing success story? What are you talking about?

Justin Bieber is the furthest thing from an internet success story you could possibly imagine! He's an old industry, big label darling, completely taken under their pterodactyl wing. That he was discovered on youtube is irrelevant. If he was discovered in a mall would he be "bona fide mall success story"?

The Studios are struggling to keep their model intact; and they have failed. Their failure does hurt writers, and the tradditional screenwriting business, but the new model will be a boon to it.

A boon according to whom? Where's the evidence? There isn't any!

Like Napster?

Or Google. Or The Pirate Bay. Or other torrent sites. Or file locker sites. Or tube and streaming sites. We've been over this already.

But the world is flattened, as they say. Billions more people, statistically means millions more talented individuals. Many of them with access to billions of people via the internet.

Hasn't happened. The Panasonic DVX100 was the first affordable 24p capable camcorder. It's been out forever. The result? A churning sea of mediocrity.

In fact now, screenwriters from any part of the globe can query, video chat and compete with local LA people far better and more effectively than ever.

Oh lord...

Wrong. They have been hard at work fighting for the way to liscence and distribute it in the way that is most benificial to them. No easy or clear task.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Content is king. It can make or break the Hulu's, Netflix, and the like.

If anything, the internet has shown that (freeloading) content is king.

PoMoTy
01-06-2011, 08:41 AM
@ Arroway > Agree to disagree.

Slappynipsy
01-06-2011, 05:47 PM
The same sh!t will get made, the same people will get paid gobs of money to do it, the spec market will be as hard to crack as 2010 was, and we'll be back here in a year asking what 2012 holds for (new) Hollywood....

thankfully we won't have to worry about this happening in 2013 though, thanks for the heads up Mayans.

PoMoTy
01-07-2011, 09:37 AM
2012 is not the end of the world (or Hollywood).

It is the (un) official begining of a new (Hollywood) world.

By late 2012, the remaining vestiges of "the old world" will be mostly gone, or mostly mute.

2011 is the shift from 'more falling apart' to 'more coming together'.

As I see it. But then, I am an optimist.

Paradis
01-07-2011, 09:55 AM
Tree of Life is the only thing that really matters... about anything in 2011.



...well that and me selling scripts. Nooge.

Mycroftbrett
01-12-2011, 08:57 AM
More bandwith, real estate and oxygen, will be wasted by a culture of baseless optimism.

PoMoTy
01-13-2011, 09:40 AM
More bandwith, real estate and oxygen, will be wasted by a culture of baseless optimism.

Bandwith and real estate (think China) are growing exponentially.

Oxygen is easily manufactured from water.

Optimism is never baseless.

Pessimism is what dissolves the base.

JibJib
01-21-2011, 03:24 PM
I am going to write 3 scripts and rewrite each one as best as I can before starting the next one.

schnipple
01-21-2011, 08:58 PM
Studios control distribution because no matter what -- it is going to cost tens of millions of dollars to market a film globally these days. That's just the price of entry to play ball. No one can compete on that level no matter the technology. All technology has become in the bigger picture is another barrier for new players to join the field because the technology has given the old guard more ways to create and control global brands for again tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Add to that production costs are going up. Remember, cameras, film and editing tools were never the barrier to entry for commercially viable film products. Its just some myth created by a few but vocal on the fringe filmmakers who hate Hollywood and never understood how the industry really works. I remember the mini-DV craze ten years ago. How it was going to change filmmaking back then. It was also when FCP came out becoming a threat to Avid. Honestly, it was always pretty cheap to shoot on 16mm and edit off a flatbed.

Anyone in the industry knows that for professional filmmakers the most important things is, in order...

- the expensive actor who can open the film.

- the expensive distribution deal with marketing budget.

- the expensive crew with talent and experience.

- the expensive sets and locations.

- the expensive lights.

- the expensive production design.

- Sure, the choice of camera is important but its more of an aesthetic decision between DOP and the director. Really.

- and editing was always more about the cost of paying a good editor.

- oh, and the cheap script, of course, because we all know that is the least important.

People keep saying technology is going to start some new model, but unless new tech can give amateur filmmakers tens of millions of dollars to market their films globally and to make commercially viable films to compete with the 'old model' then no, I don't see it happening.

Probably the biggest paradigm shift has been email, for obvious reasons. And the kids who make those alien ships blowing up buildings on youtube and getting studio deals.

I think people who worship on the altar of technology are similar to people who believe in conspiracy theories. They are intelligent, but it seems misguided.

Arroway
01-22-2011, 04:53 AM
Great post.

A web 2.0 creative renaissance has been and continues to be a false prophecy. People who continue to believe in it, continue to look evermore like idiots.

jtwg50
01-22-2011, 09:19 AM
Here's my take -- and I speak as a marketing and media expert (but only an aspiring screenwriter) and longtime professional journalist and magazine writer who has covered the movie business for 20 years (I now write an article for every issue of SCRIPT, too). I ran an ad agency in L.A. for 10 years and Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Island Pictures were among my clients.
If you look at it strictly as a BUSINESS -- as widgets rather than movies -- the industry is slowly DYING in the U.S. -- just as the music business has (but for different reasons). The music business was upended by iTunes and other digital distribution channels. And amazingly, the change empowered bands, musicians and songwriters to EASILY open up a global audience for their music -- WITHOUT having to do business with major record labels. It was a true revolution that is still happening. And it's driving traditional record stores -- even major ones -- out of business (just as e-books are now driving bookstores out of business).
Unfortunately, it can't be replicated in the movie business yet -- because anyone with a guitar and a Mac can make a good album at home, or write and self-publish a book.
It's not possible yet to really create a Hollywood-quality movie on the cheap AND get it in 1,000 theaters. And unlike in the music or book businesses, the traditional distribution channel -- theaters -- has not been replaced yet.
That said, Hollywood studios are all owned by media conglomerates now.
And the people running the movie divisions -- not creative or development executives, but top execs and managers -- are MBAs who know business fundamentals.
And the one business fundamental not lost on any of them is that their business is SHRINKING EVERY YEAR. Fewer tickets are sold here, but at higher prices (or with 3-D premiums), so the "annual gross" is up (slightly). But the business is still shrinking in terms of the number of customers who want their products (in-theater moviegoers). Every year for the past few years, fewer and fewer people are buying movie tickets -- and the studios have all but abandoned intelligent adult moviegoers in favor of vampire-crazed teenagers.
Now, the studios are slowly figuring out that comic books and video games might not be their salvation after all. By definition, a comic book or video game is NOT a movie. And adapting one INTO a movie has proved very difficult -- hence all the big-budget flops (in U.S.).
The real problem for us scribes is that the business model is changing -- the major studios are now much less reliant on U.S. box office than the global box office. In effect, U.S. distribution (and box office) have become "loss leaders." BUT: That's why you see total flops in the U.S. (like Last Airbender and a number of others last year) making a sh**load of money overseas (despite horrible reviews in the U.S.).
And that's because even though the American audience (even teenagers!) is largely tired of the garbage the studios are putting out, international audiences love it -- simply because it's "Hollywood" (a brand that still sizzles in places like China and the rest of Asia).
THAT is "our" real problem -- and challenge. It is very unlikely that the studios will ever again depend on the U.S. market for their profitability, because they know they can't.
Instead, they are focusing more and more on the global market.
And that means we have to write stories that are universal enough to "play" (attract audiences) all over the world. If you read articles that quote studio heads, or see what they say at conferences, you will see that they are fully aware of that -- and doing that.
If WE can do that, we break in. If not, we continue to whine and lament.
But the opportunity is there if we know how to cash in. And deliver great work.
And it's all about great ideas based on truly universal themes -- NOT a guy buried in a coffin (despite its "heat" Buried was a total bomb financially). Reason: There's no real humanity or character -- just a clever "gimmick." And as long we we scribes focus on clever gimmicks rather than great human stories (and characters) that will play globally, our work is worthless, IMHO. We're just pretenders.
That's just my opinion. But it's a fairly well informed one. And the facts of the market bear out the argument in general.

MJ Scribe
01-22-2011, 09:43 AM
JT, thanks for taking the time to provide that thoughtful post/insight.

Cheers!

sc111
01-22-2011, 09:52 AM
2011 -- as I see it -- will be about rebuilding. Better, bigger, faster, global, and more efficient means of distribution. This will free up money and a "New Wave" of cinema will be born.

That is my predictions for 2011 and 2012.


I'm going by memory here, perhaps I'll research it later, but isn't it true that historically, every "new wave" of cinema became absorbed by Hollywood when it started to look profitable?

sc111
01-22-2011, 09:57 AM
Drop. In. The. Bucket.

Technology may be democratized but talent isn't and never will be.



This is the ultimate truth. And it applies to talent across the board. And true talent wants to be paid.

Terrance Mulloy
01-22-2011, 04:39 PM
Here's my take -- and I speak as a marketing and media expert (but only an aspiring screenwriter) and longtime professional journalist and magazine writer who has covered the movie business for 20 years (I now write an article for every issue of SCRIPT, too). I ran an ad agency in L.A. for 10 years and Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Island Pictures were among my clients.
If you look at it strictly as a BUSINESS -- as widgets rather than movies -- the industry is slowly DYING in the U.S. -- just as the music business has (but for different reasons). The music business was upended by iTunes and other digital distribution channels. And amazingly, the change empowered bands, musicians and songwriters to EASILY open up a global audience for their music -- WITHOUT having to do business with major record labels. It was a true revolution that is still happening. And it's driving traditional record stores -- even major ones -- out of business (just as e-books are now driving bookstores out of business).
Unfortunately, it can't be replicated in the movie business yet -- because anyone with a guitar and a Mac can make a good album at home, or write and self-publish a book.
It's not possible yet to really create a Hollywood-quality movie on the cheap AND get it in 1,000 theaters. And unlike in the music or book businesses, the traditional distribution channel -- theaters -- has not been replaced yet.
That said, Hollywood studios are all owned by media conglomerates now.
And the people running the movie divisions -- not creative or development executives, but top execs and managers -- are MBAs who know business fundamentals.
And the one business fundamental not lost on any of them is that their business is SHRINKING EVERY YEAR. Fewer tickets are sold here, but at higher prices (or with 3-D premiums), so the "annual gross" is up (slightly). But the business is still shrinking in terms of the number of customers who want their products (in-theater moviegoers). Every year for the past few years, fewer and fewer people are buying movie tickets -- and the studios have all but abandoned intelligent adult moviegoers in favor of vampire-crazed teenagers.
Now, the studios are slowly figuring out that comic books and video games might not be their salvation after all. By definition, a comic book or video game is NOT a movie. And adapting one INTO a movie has proved very difficult -- hence all the big-budget flops (in U.S.).
The real problem for us scribes is that the business model is changing -- the major studios are now much less reliant on U.S. box office than the global box office. In effect, U.S. distribution (and box office) have become "loss leaders." BUT: That's why you see total flops in the U.S. (like Last Airbender and a number of others last year) making a sh**load of money overseas (despite horrible reviews in the U.S.).
And that's because even though the American audience (even teenagers!) is largely tired of the garbage the studios are putting out, international audiences love it -- simply because it's "Hollywood" (a brand that still sizzles in places like China and the rest of Asia).
THAT is "our" real problem -- and challenge. It is very unlikely that the studios will ever again depend on the U.S. market for their profitability, because they know they can't.
Instead, they are focusing more and more on the global market.
And that means we have to write stories that are universal enough to "play" (attract audiences) all over the world. If you read articles that quote studio heads, or see what they say at conferences, you will see that they are fully aware of that -- and doing that.
If WE can do that, we break in. If not, we continue to whine and lament.
But the opportunity is there if we know how to cash in. And deliver great work.
And it's all about great ideas based on truly universal themes -- NOT a guy buried in a coffin (despite its "heat" Buried was a total bomb financially). Reason: There's no real humanity or character -- just a clever "gimmick." And as long we we scribes focus on clever gimmicks rather than great human stories (and characters) that will play globally, our work is worthless, IMHO. We're just pretenders.
That's just my opinion. But it's a fairly well informed one. And the facts of the market bear out the argument in general.

Excellent post. Totally agree with this. Pretty much closes the argument.

Mycroftbrett
01-23-2011, 10:07 AM
Despite it's origins, this has turned into an insightful thread.

PoMoTy
01-24-2011, 10:07 AM
Here's my take -- and I speak as a marketing and media expert (but only an aspiring screenwriter) and longtime professional journalist and magazine writer who has covered the movie business for 20 years (I now write an article for every issue of SCRIPT, too). I ran an ad agency in L.A. for 10 years and Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Island Pictures were among my clients.
If you look at it strictly as a BUSINESS -- as widgets rather than movies -- the industry is slowly DYING in the U.S. -- just as the music business has (but for different reasons).

I would say it is changing, not dying. Similarly how the music business was not dying, it was just going through change. The record/CD business was what was dying.

It’s the same with movies. The movie business and film production (think YouTube) is booming, it’s the distribution model that is dying/changing. The markets are there, it is tapping them effectively that will require a new model. The old model is no longer effective and thus will need to be discarded before it does die; completely.

The music business was upended by iTunes and other digital distribution channels. And amazingly, the change empowered bands, musicians and songwriters to EASILY open up a global audience for their music -- WITHOUT having to do business with major record labels. It was a true revolution that is still happening. And it's driving traditional record stores -- even major ones -- out of business (just as e-books are now driving bookstores out of business).

You don’t see this paralleled in the movie business? I do.

First you said the music biz was dying/dead. Then you say the Music Artists are empowered and freed them from the record labels, and have opened up “global audience” creating a ”true revolution” for their music. Both of these cannot be true.

The film business is being upended by Netflix, Apple, Google and the like as well, but the difference is, they are not out to destroy or kill it. Napster and the like were happy to destroy the record business.


Unfortunately, it can't be replicated in the movie business yet -- because anyone with a guitar and a Mac can make a good album at home, or write and self-publish a book. It's not possible yet to really create a Hollywood-quality movie on the cheap AND get it in 1,000 theaters. And unlike in the music or book businesses, the traditional distribution channel -- theaters -- has not been replaced yet.

I also disagree. With the technology available on a $1000 Mac and a $1000 camera you can make movies that would rival the quality of movies made 20 years ago.

You may not be able to get theatrical distribution, but you can distribute on the internet for just as great if not greater an audience (maybe not as much money as yet).

Theatrical distribution will not be replaced (in my mind) it will be complimented, or competed against by digital distribution models.


That said, Hollywood studios are all owned by media conglomerates now. And the people running the movie divisions -- not creative or development executives, but top execs and managers -- are MBAs who know business fundamentals.
And the one business fundamental not lost on any of them is that their business is SHRINKING EVERY YEAR. Fewer tickets are sold here, but at higher prices (or with 3-D premiums), so the "annual gross" is up (slightly). But the business is still shrinking in terms of the number of customers who want their products (in-theater moviegoers). Every year for the past few years, fewer and fewer people are buying movie tickets -- and the studios have all but abandoned intelligent adult moviegoers in favor of vampire-crazed teenagers.
Now, the studios are slowly figuring out that comic books and video games might not be their salvation after all. By definition, a comic book or video game is NOT a movie. And adapting one INTO a movie has proved very difficult -- hence all the big-budget flops (in U.S.).

In the US, the recession has impacted the box office. For sure. But the media business, as a whole is very much growing. Movies as a percentage of media consumption is falling, naturally, as video games, internet and TV channels and viewing grows.

Making a profit in a rapidly changing landscape, such as the movie business today, is going to take much more than an MBA. It takes creative, market, and business insight. It takes an Executive “Tripple threat”.

The real problem for us scribes is that the business model is changing -- the major studios are now much less reliant on U.S. box office than the global box office. In effect, U.S. distribution (and box office) have become "loss leaders." BUT: That's why you see total flops in the U.S. (like Last Airbender and a number of others last year) making a sh**load of money overseas (despite horrible reviews in the U.S.).
And that's because even though the American audience (even teenagers!) is largely tired of the garbage the studios are putting out, international audiences love it -- simply because it's "Hollywood" (a brand that still sizzles in places like China and the rest of Asia).

True. The foreign box office has long been a crutch and subsidy of the Domestic. Once India and China are over 50% modernized, and free markets, Hollywood will profit handsomely. I totally agree on this point. The US Box office will always be important (filled with potential), and bona-fide success in it is the Holy Grail, but the studios will certainly settle for cumulative world-wide success, in lieu of US domestic success.

THAT is "our" real problem -- and challenge. It is very unlikely that the studios will ever again depend on the U.S. market for their profitability, because they know they can't.

I think they can, and for some projects they do. But yes it is not good business to ignore rapidly growing markets for our products.

Instead, they are focusing more and more on the global market. And that means we have to write stories that are universal enough to "play" (attract audiences) all over the world. If you read articles that quote studio heads, or see what they say at conferences, you will see that they are fully aware of that -- and doing that.

Me too : )

If WE can do that, we break in. If not, we continue to whine and lament.
But the opportunity is there if we know how to cash in. And deliver great work.
And it's all about great ideas based on truly universal themes -- NOT a guy buried in a coffin (despite its "heat" Buried was a total bomb financially). Reason: There's no real humanity or character -- just a clever "gimmick." And as long we we scribes focus on clever gimmicks rather than great human stories (and characters) that will play globally, our work is worthless, IMHO. We're just pretenders.
That's just my opinion. But it's a fairly well informed one. And the facts of the market bear out the argument in general.

I totally agree!

sc111
01-24-2011, 11:25 AM
Once India and China are over 50% modernized, and free markets, Hollywood will profit handsomely. I totally agree on this point. The US Box office will always be important (filled with potential), and bona-fide success in it is the Holy Grail, but the studios will certainly settle for cumulative world-wide success, in lieu of US domestic success.

...I think they can, and for some projects they do. But yes it is not good business to ignore rapidly growing markets for our products.




re: boldfaced.

Funny you should mention this. I was watching a discussion, just this weekend, where an economist pointed out why your comment -- especially where China is concerned -- is woefully optimistic and unlikely to happen.

He pointed out a huge chunk of China's population is barely living in early 20th century conditions. He said the modernized areas, the coastal cities -- those people with consumer dollars to spend - are in no rush to modernize the rest of their country. For political reasons. They wouldn't want an uprising now would they.

According to him, chances are you (I checked your website, young-un) will not see 50% of China modernized till you're way past retirement age yourself and collecting social security. Well - if S.S. hasn't gone bankrupt by then.

Which brings me to my next point -- as you relish the closing of record stores, video stores, theaters, not to mention the destruction of the "old model" music and film industries, you're celebrating the disappearance of thousands of jobs. Those paychecks, and those Fed Tax deductions taken from those paychecks, are a big chunk of what keeps this country going.

In essence, you're looking forward to bankrupting those very same people who would spend money in your brave new digital world. As Spock says: Does not compute.

I too work in the advertising business. I have for years. I'm among those folks labelled "the creatives." Writers, artists, designers, photographers ... and as advertising media continues to shift more and more to the net, all I've seen is the downgrading of salaries and/or per diem rates of these associates.

For some reason, there's this bizzare notion that if a creative product can be delivered digitally, "we" (the creatives) should charge less for our creative expertise. If we refuse to -- there's someone in India or China who's happy to do the work for $1 per hour. Maybe the quality isn't as good as yours -- but it's the internet, it's good enough.

Okay -- maybe this is simply economic evolution at work. Maybe it will all sort itself out over the next few (many?) decades. But in the meantime, I don't see the logic in putting people out of work when these are the same people you depend on to buy your product.

The US is still the most powerful, most reliable, consumer market in the world. Where's the logic in bankrupting your own customers, Julian?

NikeeGoddess
01-24-2011, 11:50 AM
aside from all the business aspect there is an art form and storytelling side that, while it does change and evolve will never go away. there will always be a market for this, hence the huge upsurge of independent films in the last twenty years. now the range of independent films is huge, from the cheapest youtube to widely distributed flicks that were made for a few thousand dollars to near blockbuster proportions. as screenwriters each of us must discover where we fit in as artists. if your only reason for writing is to focus on the business aspect of it then so be it. but i think most of us would agree that this as well as the other end of the spectrum and only focusing on the artist side alone is not enough to achieve success. find your balance. and that balance is different for everyone.

Kermet Key
01-24-2011, 12:06 PM
I think of what Radiohead did with "In Rainbows" and see what Kevin Smith is attempting with "Red State" and the correlation seems to be - build an audience that will support your art and you have a better chance of self-distribution. If filmmakers stop thinking purely as artists and combine the two hemispheres of their brain then they can make a profitable career outside of Hollywood, it just doesn't happen over night.

Look at Christopher Nolan for one example. His first film - "Following" was made for $6,000 I believe. It made a small profit that allowed him to make "Mememto." Now, $6,000 to $5 million is a big leap, but the key is proving you can make a profit. A more natural, expected leap, would be $60,000 on the next film. While the filmmaker(s) are hoaning their craft outside of Hollywood (e.g. George Romero) they're building an audience that will support their work (this was Kevin Smith's pitch at Sundance). And as they're able to increase their budgets with their proven track records they're able to pull talent out of LA for 20-30 day shooting schedules. So far Romero seems to have pushed the "glass ceiling" to about $5 million, but it took him a couple decades to get there; Kevin Smith the same.

However, the technology, I believe, is allowing filmmakers to get there in shorter time. 16mm film does not match 35mm film even when you transfer it, but HD, like on the Red, does. Throw in Adobe's software and simple production cost is reduced. All that is missing is talent. And other than money, talent attracts talent. And that talent attracts money. A $10,000 film with a great story can look like a $2 million film with bad acting, amateur editing, but great sound. But if it makes a profit then the filmmaker can find new investors (and original investors have more capital to reinvest), make a $100k film the next time and get 1-4 talented LA actors and now her film looks like a $5 million film with so-so acting, quality editing, acceptable cinematography and award winning sound. If that makes a profit...$1m on the next budget, and so on. Once these young filmmakers realize that it's a marathon and not a sprint they'll learn how to play in their local sandboxes and expand one film at a time. And they'll be able to self-distribute if they choose. What will be the next watershed moment is breaking that ceiling that Romero established.

Too bad the guy made "Survival of the Dead." :mad:

sc111
01-24-2011, 12:56 PM
Kermet --

I'm thinking the guys you mention above, their ultimate goal had always been to make hollywood films (in the existing business model) at some point in their progression, no?

It seems to me PoToMy is talking about dismantling the current model.

PoMoTy
01-24-2011, 01:23 PM
aside from all the business aspect there is an art form and storytelling side that, while it does change and evolve will never go away. there will always be a market for this, hence the huge upsurge of independent films in the last twenty years. now the range of independent films is huge, from the cheapest youtube to widely distributed flicks that were made for a few thousand dollars to near blockbuster proportions. as screenwriters each of us must discover where we fit in as artists. if your only reason for writing is to focus on the business aspect of it then so be it. but i think most of us would agree that this as well as the other end of the spectrum and only focusing on the artist side alone is not enough to achieve success. find your balance. and that balance is different for everyone.

+ 1

PoMoTy
01-24-2011, 01:33 PM
re: boldfaced.

Funny you should mention this. I was watching a discussion, just this weekend, where an economist pointed out why your comment -- especially where China is concerned -- is woefully optimistic and unlikely to happen.

He pointed out a huge chunk of China's population is barely living in early 20th century conditions. He said the modernized areas, the coastal cities -- those people with consumer dollars to spend - are in no rush to modernize the rest of their country. For political reasons. They wouldn't want an uprising now would they.

According to him, chances are you (I checked your website, young-un) will not see 50% of China modernized till you're way past retirement age yourself and collecting social security. Well - if S.S. hasn't gone bankrupt by then.

Which brings me to my next point -- as you relish the closing of record stores, video stores, theaters, not to mention the destruction of the "old model" music and film industries, you're celebrating the disappearance of thousands of jobs. Those paychecks, and those Fed Tax deductions taken from those paychecks, are a big chunk of what keeps this country going.

In essence, you're looking forward to bankrupting those very same people who would spend money in your brave new digital world. As Spock says: Does not compute.

I too work in the advertising business. I have for years. I'm among those folks labelled "the creatives." Writers, artists, designers, photographers ... and as advertising media continues to shift more and more to the net, all I've seen is the downgrading of salaries and/or per diem rates of these associates.

For some reason, there's this bizzare notion that if a creative product can be delivered digitally, "we" (the creatives) should charge less for our creative expertise. If we refuse to -- there's someone in India or China who's happy to do the work for $1 per hour. Maybe the quality isn't as good as yours -- but it's the internet, it's good enough.

Okay -- maybe this is simply economic evolution at work. Maybe it will all sort itself out over the next few (many?) decades. But in the meantime, I don't see the logic in putting people out of work when these are the same people you depend on to buy your product.

The US is still the most powerful, most reliable, consumer market in the world. Where's the logic in bankrupting your own customers, Julian?

If only 25% of China's population gets to the US level of "Middle-Class", that would be a larger market than all of North America. Most companies are already banking on this happening; it is very much in the US interest and it is most likely to happen.

There is no logic in bankrupting your own customers. There is logic in finding, nutruing and selling to new customers/markets. The two are not mutually exclusive; it is not a zero sum game.

PoMoTy
01-24-2011, 01:38 PM
Kermet --

I'm thinking the guys you mention above, their ultimate goal had always been to make hollywood films (in the existing business model) at some point in their progression, no?

It seems to me PoToMy is talking about dismantling the current model.

The "current model" is a model in flux. The model of 10 years ago is virtually totally dismantled already.

It will be interesting to see how it comes back together, what vestiges will remain, and what/who will not.

sc111
01-24-2011, 01:46 PM
If only 25% of China's population gets to the US level of "Middle-Class", that would be a larger market than all of North America. Most companies are already banking on this happening; it is very much in the US interest and it is most likely to happen.

There is no logic in bankrupting your own customers. There is logic in finding, nutruing and selling to new customers/markets. The two are not mutually exclusive; it is not a zero sum game.

According to what I've heard and read, your 25%/Middle Class guesstimate is unlikely to happen in your lifetime.

Not to mention the American middle class is rapidly shrinking -- guess why?

What's likely to happen first -- a global shortage of potable WATER changing the entire economic landscape.

Google 'global water shortages" and peak into the future.

ETA: Forgot to add -- google, specifically, China's water shortage.

PoMoTy
01-24-2011, 02:44 PM
According to what I've heard and read, your 25%/Middle Class guesstimate is unlikely to happen in your lifetime.

Not to mention the American middle class is rapidly shrinking -- guess why?

What's likely to happen first -- a global shortage of potable WATER changing the entire economic landscape.

Google 'global water shortages" and peak into the future.

ETA: Forgot to add -- google, specifically, China's water shortage.

In the late 1800's economists in London looked at the growth of the city, and the horses and carriages in use and projected that London would be burried in manure by the mid 1900's. It was huge problem.

Then the "automobile" -- the horseless carriage -- was invented.

***

The middle East has almost no fresh water resources. How do they support thier population growth?

Delsalinization.

China can do the same. Water is abundant on the planet, any shortage of it is the result of politics and/or poor planning.

***

I have friends living in China, and I respectfully disagree. From my (albiet limited) understanding, bringing at least 25% of China's population out of desolate poverty is essential to the success of China as a nation.

If they are unable to do that, the world will have a BIG problem on it's hands.

Kermet Key
01-24-2011, 10:05 PM
Kermet --

I'm thinking the guys you mention above, their ultimate goal had always been to make hollywood films (in the existing business model) at some point in their progression, no?

It seems to me PoToMy is talking about dismantling the current model.

That may be the case, but why? George Romero made "Land of the Dead" for $15m and regretted it due to all the strings that were attached. I believe there will be a new rise of independents - like Miramax was in the 90s - that are able to carve out a substantial niche in the under $25m budget within the next decade and that by the half century mark it will easily double. Hollywood will still generate the big $50m-plus films and have the A-list actors and those independent filmmakers will, on occasion, take a big check to make a Hollywood film, but if the industry is to survive - and thrive - then this type of diversity is a must.

Kermet Key
01-24-2011, 10:07 PM
According to what I've heard and read, your 25%/Middle Class guesstimate is unlikely to happen in your lifetime.

Not to mention the American middle class is rapidly shrinking -- guess why?

What's likely to happen first -- a global shortage of potable WATER changing the entire economic landscape.

Google 'global water shortages" and peak into the future.

ETA: Forgot to add -- google, specifically, China's water shortage.

Water will not be the only problem. But we're talking Hollywood and big budget movies where the rich will continue to eat cake. Remember, the studio system was a boomin' in the 30s.

Takeshiro
01-25-2011, 12:43 AM
I'm with PoMoTy on this one. The market is changing, as the world is coming to a new "era", "geopolitically".
The UNASUR is soon going to be the biggest, most reliable market. Deals are in the making, the market is growing. Add China, India to the Mix, and you got plenty of New Market.
If Europe wasn't obsolete, they could have been the biggest market, but they can't/don't want to make movies together, and act as One Nation.
Sc111, at the moment, the USA is in a pretty bad shape ( well, a terrible shape) economically. China; India, and soon UNASUR are going to be more important economically. Does it change the business?


Kind Of.


Only Kind Of.


Why?

Because the USA knows how to create “stars”, the USA knows PR, marketing quite well (the best in the world). You create stars of anything. Most of the time they suck big time, most of the artist/educated people hate them, but the vast majority of middle /low class people worldwide (especially teens) likes it (think Lady Gaga/Paris Hilton/Robert Pattinson/etc...)


The PR Skills of the USA will save them.

sc111
01-25-2011, 06:45 AM
I find geopolitics fascinating. What I'm saying is -- the predictions PoMoTy made about emerging markets in China and India were made 10+ years ago. All of the required benchmarks for those predictions still haven't been met.

It's not happening any time soon. And certainly not in 2011.

At the moment, companies are pulling out of China for a myriad of reasons including -- massive pollution, water and enegry shortages, corporate espionage/patent theft, lousy product quality (tainted pet food, medicine and baby formula) plus HUMAN RIGHTS issues which are a turn-off to the consumers in Western nations.

As for delivering content -- look at the problems Google had with China. India? They've got problems too. They may fix them before they reach critical mass -- but then there's those nukes, you know.

Add to this -- the predictions PoMoTy made about the net blowing the film market open for any Joe with a camera -- that was predicted to happen- what - five, eight years ago? It's not even close.

And the ultimate problem IMO -- the generation that could be this digital age market -- is the same generation that likes to get content free.

Successful marketing depends on the mindset of your market.

sc111
01-25-2011, 07:16 AM
I'm with PoMoTy on this one. The market is changing, as the world is coming to a new "era", "geopolitically".
The UNASUR is soon going to be the biggest, most reliable market. Deals are in the making, the market is growing. Add China, India to the Mix, and you got plenty of New Market.
If Europe wasn't obsolete, they could have been the biggest market, but they can't/don't want to make movies together, and act as One Nation.
Sc111, at the moment, the USA is in a pretty bad shape ( well, a terrible shape) economically. China; India, and soon UNASUR are going to be more important economically. Does it change the business?


Kind Of.


Only Kind Of.


Why?

Because the USA knows how to create “stars”, the USA knows PR, marketing quite well (the best in the world). You create stars of anything. Most of the time they suck big time, most of the artist/educated people hate them, but the vast majority of middle /low class people worldwide (especially teens) likes it (think Lady Gaga/Paris Hilton/Robert Pattinson/etc...)


The PR Skills of the USA will save them.


Again -- do some cursory research on the economic problems in China & India and you'll see none of this will happen "soon." That's the problem when nations try to rapidly modernize -- it's like putting a super-charged engine into a Model-T Ford. All the weak spots start to crumble.

And what both of those countries have in common right now -- the "growth" has only benefited a small percentage -- the lion's share of their populations are still without basics like electricity and running water. I don't think those folks will be downloading indy films and using a Visa card to pay for them any time soon.

UNASUR? I have (had) clients in what's considered this "region," two, three years ago it looked like it was booming. Both clients have pulled out.

A little thing like that Swine Flu issue two summers ago in Mexico? Uh-oh.

One of those clients is tottering on pulling together a deal with European investors for the Caribbean - maybe - I don't think it's going to happen. Investors worldwide are being very very careful.

You forget how much these nations depend on the North American/Canadian consumers and tourism. And you also forget the current economic issues -- thanks to banks/lending issues/inflation -- are global problems.

As for the USA's economic problems? Here's the thing we have over "emerging" nations -- we're more nimble in terms of solving those problems. We can make adjustments faster and rebound faster. Far quicker than nations where half the population is still in abject poverty.

I'd rather vote for adjusting the Hollywood model and making it better. I think it's a safer bet than yours.

NYNEX
01-25-2011, 09:37 AM
What Fortune 500 companies are pulling out of China? Not even Google moved out, they still have a Mandarin language website in Hong Kong.

GE just announced a deal to make certain systems for the new Chinese aircraft manufacturing company, Comac. General Motors just announced for the first time, they sold more cars in CHINA than in the United States.

In politics, people like to project whatever issues they have onto their political opponents (and of course they'd like to demonize them). Someone who has issues with economic development will want to believe that the Chinese are doomed to inferiority, that no one has money, that its all Western corporate exploitation, etc.

China, despite its pollution problems (and we've certainly had many pollution problems in the United States) is still the world's second biggest economy, and no significant foreign companies have pulled out. With over one billion people, you don't even need half of them to have a decent standard of living to provide a huge consumer class. Quite clearly if GM is selling more cars in China than in the US, it means there's enough of a middle class there to make a huge market.

An Indian company, Tata, purchased the Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, while Shanghai Automotive now owns MG Rover. Lenovo (Chinese company) purchased IBM's pc division. Haier (a Chinese company) sells appliances around the world.

In terms of renewal energy, in terms of manufacture, the Chinese have far outpaced the US, and the Chinese now have the world's biggest high speed rail network. They also have very rapid expanding subway/mass transit networks. In some ways, they are going ahead of the United States. Don't get me wrong, the US has its own advantages. But that doesn't mean that countries like China, India, and Brazil aren't rapidly moving ahead.

sc111
01-25-2011, 09:58 AM
Look -- believe what you want. But also know, when dealing with China, you're dealing with a communist country that controls the press and forbids accurate reporting of it's social and economic problems. There are many. For every happy economy story you find -- controlled by the government -- there's a lot that goes unreported. In my line of work, I talk directly to the business folks who jumped onto China's "cheap factory labor" train; folks who rushed to send customer service jobs to India; and so on and so on. You keep hanging your hat on those CNN headlines. For now. I'll go out on a limb and say China as an "emerging nation" has plateaued in this moment and the backsliding will begin. And India will begin to wobble soon, too.

NYNEX
01-25-2011, 10:15 AM
China is not a communist country, it is an authoritarian/militaristic regime (much like Tokugawa Japan/Japan during the Samurais or Showa Japan/Japan before and during world war ii). This type of regime has been quite common in East Asian history.

Back to the economics, there are plenty of business failures in ANY country, during both good and bad economies. I'm sure a business that FAILED in China would love to believe its the world's worst market, instead of owning up to their failures.

China and India, among those who are leftists, are seen as enemies of the American working class, so there's certainly the HOPE that China and India will backslide. There's no indication in GDP growth, sales, or economic figures that this IS HAPPENING.

GM is a publically traded US company, and as such, they do have to disclose how many cars they've sold in China, so GM annual report is indeed a credible source. So are other American companies that do large amounts of business in China, such as General Electric.

Then again, if you have issues with capitalism, in your mind annual reports are suspect as well.

There have been desperate hopes, by those who hate the current world financial system, that the governments in Beijing and New Delhi would be overthrown. It hasn't happened yet, nor is there any indication that it will happen any time soon (all countries have some political unrest, but there's a difference between unrest and a successful revolution).

sc111
01-25-2011, 10:46 AM
NYNEX --

I looked it up. GM sold 136,000 more vehicles in China than the USA.

You're making it sound like it's millions more.

This has more to do with banks giving fewer car loans in the US, in 2010, than it is proof China's middle class is exploding.

Inflation and lack of affordable middle class housing is slowing the growth of China's middle class consumer market.

Check out these articles and you'll see what I mean by backsliding:

China's Surprising Unemployment Problem - The country Is Failing to Educate It's Growing Middle Class
http://www.forbes.com/2010/09/07/china-economy-unemployment-leadership-managing-rein.html (mhtml:{F32A3F9B-7F07-40D9-8DAE-373FF6AD1458}mid://00000100/!x-usc:http://www.forbes.com/2010/09/07/china-economy-unemployment-leadership-managing-rein.html)

China's prosperous surface masks a rising sea of joblessness that could threaten the country's stability
http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/1101020617/cover.html (mhtml:{F32A3F9B-7F07-40D9-8DAE-373FF6AD1458}mid://00000100/!x-usc:http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/1101020617/cover.html)

Kermet Key
01-25-2011, 11:17 AM
I find geopolitics fascinating. What I'm saying is -- the predictions PoMoTy made about emerging markets in China and India were made 10+ years ago. All of the required benchmarks for those predictions still haven't been met.

It's not happening any time soon. And certainly not in 2011.

At the moment, companies are pulling out of China for a myriad of reasons including -- massive pollution, water and enegry shortages, corporate espionage/patent theft, lousy product quality (tainted pet food, medicine and baby formula) plus HUMAN RIGHTS issues which are a turn-off to the consumers in Western nations.

As for delivering content -- look at the problems Google had with China. India? They've got problems too. They may fix them before they reach critical mass -- but then there's those nukes, you know.

Add to this -- the predictions PoMoTy made about the net blowing the film market open for any Joe with a camera -- that was predicted to happen- what - five, eight years ago? It's not even close.

And the ultimate problem IMO -- the generation that could be this digital age market -- is the same generation that likes to get content free.

Successful marketing depends on the mindset of your market.

Back to film and technology - "the predictions PoMoTy made about the net blowing the film market open for any Joe with a camera" - it has happened, only in that same way that radio expanded through tons of ham radio operators of the early 20th century. It will take a while for the cream to rise and even when it does it will be outside of the Hollywood bubble and receive little press. No one is going to consider a $50k, independently distributed film (with a $5 p & a on the back end) the herald of the new age if it makes $100k. But there are quite a lot of these ultra-low budget films out there that are turning a profit and receiving no press. It is taking time for the wheat to separate and for new filmmakers to learn the business side of filmmaking in the, as you pointed out, free digital age. If this were not happening then we there would be no IndieGoGo or Kickstarter or other crowdsourced films. Will it all happen in 2011? No. But I believe in this decade - despite the economic collapse this country is facing - there will be a return to the independent glory days of the 90s.

sc111
01-25-2011, 11:28 AM
. Will it all happen in 2011? No.

Thank you! That's all I'm saying. As for the independent film glory days coming back by the end of this decade... I do hope you're right.

****************************************


NYNEX:

Let me clarify something before I quit this thread ... I'm not some leftist worried about the manufacturing jobs that went to China. Those jobs first went to Mexico in the 80s. And as Chinese workers continue to demand higher wages (commiting suicide in factories to make their point), those jobs will up and shuffle off somewhere else in the world offering cheaper labor.

I was commenting earlier about the OP's celebratory tone in his prediction that the American Film industry will collapse, taking related industries down with it. I was talking about those jobs.

NYNEX
01-25-2011, 02:53 PM
Some of the cheapest jobs have already gone to cheaper places, such as Vietnam or the interior of China (which is a lot cheaper than the coastal regions).

However, the technology transfer and the development that has occurred as a result is permanent. Airports, new seaports, highways, rail networks, will remain, as well as the knowledge gained (Chinese companies are making increasingly high tech items, such as airplanes, high end computer systems, etc.) Ditto for India.

Arroway
01-26-2011, 04:08 PM
I think of what Radiohead did with "In Rainbows" and see what Kevin Smith is attempting with "Red State" and the correlation seems to be - build an audience that will support your art and you have a better chance of self-distribution. If filmmakers stop thinking purely as artists and combine the two hemispheres of their brain then they can make a profitable career outside of Hollywood, it just doesn't happen over night.

"The Radiohead example" is anything but. They owe their current audience to a decade of big label marketing muscle. Without that where would they be? Probably they'd be making lattes somewhere, or selling insurance...

Additionally, the whole "pay what you want" thing will never sustain an industry. Charity is not a business model. I find it somewhat insulting whenever this proposition is raised because it's essentially saying that professional artists must resort to digital busking in order to make a living. If that's the future, you can keep it.

It will be interesting to see how the "Red State" experiment goes.

Kermet Key
01-26-2011, 09:13 PM
"The Radiohead example" is anything but. They owe their current audience to a decade of big label marketing muscle. Without that where would they be? Probably they'd be making lattes somewhere, or selling insurance...

Additionally, the whole "pay what you want" thing will never sustain an industry. Charity is not a business model. I find it somewhat insulting whenever this proposition is raised because it's essentially saying that professional artists must resort to digital busking in order to make a living. If that's the future, you can keep it.

It will be interesting to see how the "Red State" experiment goes.

That would be the "build an audience" part I mentioned. I didn't say how they built their audience. ;)

one seven spectrum
01-26-2011, 10:15 PM
Just make sure 2011 is action packed, in the life you live away from the desk and writing. Or for some, both living and writing is life.

Maybe there won't be anything left in 2012. We've all seen the movie, so it's gotta be true!
:bounce:

tuukka
01-27-2011, 09:30 AM
And what both of those countries have in common right now -- the "growth" has only benefited a small percentage -- the lion's share of their populations are still without basics like electricity and running water. I don't think those folks will be downloading indy films and using a Visa card to pay for them any time soon.

I don't know how much they download, but the theatrical business in China is growing 50% every year. With the current growth rate, it will take only two more years for it to become the 2nd biggest movie market in the world.

PoMoTy
01-28-2011, 11:13 AM
I don't know how much they download, but the theatrical business in China is growing 50% every year. With the current growth rate, it will take only two more years for it to become the 2nd biggest movie market in the world.

I heard about that as well. China's box office is growing rapidly.

What's funny, what I was just thinking is, the rampant Piracy of Hollywood films in China in the past ten years may actually have an upside, in that it exposed people in China to our products who may not otherwise have been exposed, and thus wetted their appetite for our movies now that we can actually distribute them in China.

There was a time that China was closed off to Hollywood in terms of selling our products, but they stole and watched them, and now they want more and are willing to pay.

Billions in profits were lost (or rather unable to be gained) in the past, but this is slowly ending.

Hello 2011!

Arroway
01-28-2011, 12:30 PM
I don't know how much they download, but the theatrical business in China is growing 50% every year. With the current growth rate, it will take only two more years for it to become the 2nd biggest movie market in the world.

I tried googling this figure and couldn't find anything on it. Have a link?

What's funny, what I was just thinking is, the rampant Piracy of Hollywood films in China in the past ten years may actually have an upside, in that it exposed people in China to our products who may not otherwise have been exposed, and thus wetted their appetite for our movies now that we can actually distribute them in China.

Probably not. Before rampant digital piracy there was rampant physical piracy.

Do you have a citation for the claim that more Hollywood movies are being distributed into China now?

tuukka
01-28-2011, 12:46 PM
I tried googling this figure and couldn't find anything on it. Have a link?

I don't know if there are any articles about overall growth. I follow the weekly/yearly reports on Worldofkj, including China, which is why I know about this. Here are a couple of links relate to the subject. My 50% was just a rough estimate based on the past couple of years, but here are more accurate numbers:

64% growth in 2010:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12150041

44% growth in 2009:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2010/01/08/china-box-office.html

27% growth in 2008:

http://asiaprofessor.blogspot.com/2009/01/chinese-box-office-2008.html

26% growth in 2007:

http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/dailybriefing/2008_01_16/China_sets_box-office_records_in_2007.html

As you can see, the growth has been accelerating. Whether the strong growth continues, remains to be seen.

PoMoTy
02-11-2011, 06:50 PM
Egypt will rise from the ashes of oppression. It will eventually flower into something great. Following in the footsteps of Turkey, with the support of the US and Israel, it can become an amazing and wonderful place once more.

Egypt is filled with well educated, worldly and interesting people. I've never been, but I know people who have, and I have read a lot of articles and stories in the last couple weeks. The country is filled with potential, and promise. I look forward to going.

Change can happen fast, as is well demonstrated. The world wants Egypt to be engaged, strong, and a beautiful place to be. This is possible. This is what the people want.

It will ripple through the Middle East.

Ah, the power of social media.

Welcome to 2011.

Mycroftbrett
02-12-2011, 09:59 AM
Israel does not support Arab democracies(Egypt 90% Muslim) - which is why they were so vocal in their support for Mubarak.

Those "well educated" people you speak of, are demanding the Egypt/Israel peace treaty be torn up. Israel has begun re-fortifying it's border.

Social media cannot compete with 1000's of years of history

Terrance Mulloy
02-12-2011, 05:08 PM
Egypt will rise from the ashes of oppression. It will eventually flower into something great. Following in the footsteps of Turkey, with the support of the US and Israel, it can become an amazing and wonderful place once more.

Egypt is filled with well educated, worldly and interesting people. I've never been, but I know people who have, and I have read a lot of articles and stories in the last couple weeks. The country is filled with potential, and promise. I look forward to going.

Change can happen fast, as is well demonstrated. The world wants Egypt to be engaged, strong, and a beautiful place to be. This is possible. This is what the people want.




One of the key organizers for the demonstrations was a Google employee, who was imprisoned for days. So yeah, people power eventually got Mubarak out - yep, that's all great, but don't forget that the likely successors to Mubarak is the Muslim Brotherhood, a well funded, well organized political party, which has anti-western policies, and a deep hatred for the west. No wonder the US government (along with its allies) are a little edgy about this.

As bad as Mubarak was, they were willing to turn a blind eye to his oppession because he was a key ally in the middle east, and he kept the radical Islamists at bay.

Change is not always the best thing - at least for us in the west.

RyanJackson
02-12-2011, 05:18 PM
One of the key organizers for the demonstrations was a Google employee, who was imprisoned for days. So yeah, people power eventually got Mubarak out - yep, that's all great, but don't forget that the likely successors to Mubarak is the Muslim Brotherhood, a well funded, well organized political party, which has anti-western policies, and a deep hatred for the west. No wonder the US government (along with its allies) are a little edgy about this.

As bad as Mubarak was, they were willing to turn a blind eye to his oppession because he was a key ally in the middle east, and he kept the radical Islamists at bay.

Change is not always the best thing - at least for us in the west.

Well truthfully the Muslim Brotherhood is not that influential in Egypt. That's really propaganda put out there by Mubarak as justification of him staying in power longer. Egypt favors a secular government (Mubarak ran a secular regime while he was in power). The military and the people both want a secular government. They also want basic human rights and freedoms. They will not be turning to some hard line Islamic group who believes in stoning women to death. The Muslim Brotherhood will not be taking over power in Egypt.

YBandali
02-12-2011, 08:16 PM
Oh, those revolting Egyptians.

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 05:46 PM
Israel does not support Arab democracies(Egypt 90% Muslim) - which is why they were so vocal in their support for Mubarak.

Those "well educated" people you speak of, are demanding the Egypt/Israel peace treaty be torn up. Israel has begun re-fortifying it's border.

Social media cannot compete with 1000's of years of history

Israel would support a secular democracy government in Egypt. No question. They supported Mubarak because he was supportive of Israel, but he was also a brutal oppressor (or his regime was), which is no longer necessary for Egypt as a country.

The treaty with Israel will not be torn up. One rip in it and the Egyptian army would lose it's billion in funding from the US so fast, their army would be powerless in about two weeks. They would be at the mercy of a well funded, strong military neighbor; Israel. Not something they want to risk, in my mind.

Social media doesn't have to compete with 1000's of years of history, it can literally undue it in click of a mouse.

1000 year old history books cannot compete with the instant/rapid/viral dissemination and stirring powers of social media. Millions of people under 30 years old, care little about past history, they want to make their own history, and they have.

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 05:50 PM
One of the key organizers for the demonstrations was a Google employee, who was imprisoned for days. So yeah, people power eventually got Mubarak out - yep, that's all great, but don't forget that the likely successors to Mubarak is the Muslim Brotherhood, a well funded, well organized political party, which has anti-western policies, and a deep hatred for the west. No wonder the US government (along with its allies) are a little edgy about this.

As bad as Mubarak was, they were willing to turn a blind eye to his oppession because he was a key ally in the middle east, and he kept the radical Islamists at bay.

Change is not always the best thing - at least for us in the west.

Egypt knows that it has no future as a Muslim Theocracy. The US will not give aid to a government that supports terrorism. Egypt needs the aid of the west, and the youth of Egypt have tasted freedom. They know how to make it at home now; and they will.

Nobody said it would be easy. But Egyptians have demonstrated (literally) that it is worth it to them.

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 05:50 PM
Well truthfully the Muslim Brotherhood is not that influential in Egypt. That's really propaganda put out there by Mubarak as justification of him staying in power longer. Egypt favors a secular government (Mubarak ran a secular regime while he was in power). The military and the people both want a secular government. They also want basic human rights and freedoms. They will not be turning to some hard line Islamic group who believes in stoning women to death. The Muslim Brotherhood will not be taking over power in Egypt.

+ 1

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 05:52 PM
As a screenwriter, with a script that has scenes that take place in Egypt, and would ideally be filmed there, Egypt is something of great interest to me.

Mycroftbrett
02-14-2011, 08:06 PM
Can you name the last Arab democracy in the Middle East the US supported? Iran? Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Kuwait? Egypt? See a pattern?

emily blake
02-14-2011, 08:07 PM
Tread lightly here, guys.

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 10:35 PM
Can you name the last Arab democracy in the Middle East the US supported? Iran? Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Kuwait? Egypt? See a pattern?

Turkey is 97% Muslim, many of it's people are of Arab descent. It is a TRUE democracy. It is fully supported by not just the US, but also Europe.

Egypt can be the same.

PoMoTy
02-14-2011, 10:36 PM
Tread lightly here, guys.

Indeed!

Terrance Mulloy
02-14-2011, 11:12 PM
1000 year old history books cannot compete with the instant/rapid/viral dissemination and stirring powers of social media. Millions of people under 30 years old, care little about past history, they want to make their own history, and they have.

Exactly why I can't stand Generation-Y. :rolleyes:

Single-handedly the weirdest thread ever. I hope Emily (or someone) locks it up soon.

OtisLovesUs
02-15-2011, 12:29 AM
Good gravy, PoMoTy, are you actually praising those who have no interest in learning from history? Your futurist utopian glasses have gotten so fogged up with your breathless excitement for 2011 you may not realize just how rose-tinted they are. As a writer, you should be ashamed of yourself.

What I've taken from this thread is that some people are way too optimistic about the future of screenwriting and film, some are way too pessimistic, and everyone is an expert on China and Egypt. I know for a fact that half of you are wrong. (And yes, I also know which half, because I'm an expert too.)

Jiminho
02-15-2011, 02:01 AM
Seriously PoMoTy?
Israel, The US to support Egypt for the "well being of democracy"? The Internet which "liberates" the world with a Click? That's... nonsense. It's sad.

Do you know at least a bit of Foreigns politics? It seems you don't have the basic of the Middle Eastern politics (and I won't talk about the US "helping" democraty in the world... God that they love to use this word all the time.) So why do you talk about it? I don't want to be rude or something (on messageboard, it's kinda hard to figure the tone) but when you talk with so much "faith" in your ideas about the subject that matters, and that you don't control it, you hurt a lot of people.
I guess the numerous people who were shot and murdered in Egypt will digg you "the click change it all.

emily blake
02-15-2011, 09:27 AM
Okay everybody. We're glad you're being civil, but this conversation has gone off the rails. Either bring it back to screenwriting or wrap it up.

Mycroftbrett
02-15-2011, 09:29 AM
Turkey is 97% Muslim, many of it's people are of Arab descent. It is a TRUE democracy. It is fully supported by not just the US, but also Europe.

Egypt can be the same.


You are incorrect. Turkish "democracy" is not a result of American support but rather a result of UN support.

Obviously fantasy is a genre you write but a fantastic take on historical subject has to be carefully tempered with an eye on reality. I know this, as I happened to overhear young boys talking about how Hitler died-apparantly he was machine gunned to death in a theatre.

tucsonray
02-15-2011, 10:40 AM
... and how about those Packers? ;)

ComicBent
02-15-2011, 11:23 AM
This thread has run its course, since it has now shifted focus to Egypt, Israel, and world politics. Let's move on.