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  • #16
    Re: Oscars

    Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
    What changed?
    Everything has changed.

    The mid-budget dramatic feature no longer exists.

    Streaming is doing nothing. Netflix is making Adam Sandler movies and Max Landis nonsense (and also, in my opinion, embarrassing themselves and damaging their brand by picking up distribution on other studio's mistakes-- like Mute).

    The old blockbuster model was that a film like Back To The Future or Jurassic Park or Titanic was allowed to open in a moderate number of theaters and remain there for months on end. It was not an ALL or NOTHING game. The summer that Jurassic Park came out there were a bunch of successful mid-budget studio films, like The Firm and The Fugitive and In The Line Of Fire (every one of them an Oscar-nominated blockbuster). There was room at the party for everybody.

    The great irony of this whole situation is that the very thing that was supposed to make mid-budget films MORE feasible (no more shooting on film and no more paying for film prints) has had a hand in killing them. Disney can open a film like Black Panther on 10,000 screens globally without the risk of paying for film prints on spec.

    Not only are they making more money, but they're making more money.

    If the Disney / Fox deal goes through, there's going to be 5 - 10,000 people unemployed, but no one cares because the X-Men can FINALLY be in The Avengers movies. Yay.
    Last edited by kintnerboy; 03-06-2018, 11:01 AM.

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    • #17
      Re: Oscars

      Originally posted by kintnerboy View Post
      The old blockbuster model was that a film like Back To The Future or Jurassic Park or Titanic was allowed to open in a moderate number of theaters and remain there for months on end. It was not an ALL or NOTHING game. The summer that Jurassic Park came out there were a bunch of successful mid-budget studio films, like The Firm and The Fugitive and In The Line Of Fire (every one of them an Oscar-nominated blockbuster). There was room at the party for everybody.
      I understand these changes. I am wondering what changed in the motivation and strategy of the studios that made them invest so much in these big movies. I remember Jurassic Park was a big event that even people who didn't watch it were aware of. These big hits were fewer and far between back then. Now, there is an endless string of blockbusters all earning around a billion dollars. Did they just figure out that they could make all this money in the last ten years? I doubt they were too proud to make bad movies in the 90's.

      Regarding streaming, I think it's too early to tell how things will end up. Both the streamers and the audience are still figuring it out.

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      • #18
        Re: Oscars

        Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
        I understand these changes. I am wondering what changed in the motivation and strategy of the studios that made them invest so much in these big movies. I remember Jurassic Park was a big event that even people who didn't watch it were aware of. These big hits were fewer and far between back then. Now, there is an endless string of blockbusters all earning around a billion dollars. Did they just figure out that they could make all this money in the last ten years? I doubt they were too proud to make bad movies in the 90's.

        Regarding streaming, I think it's too early to tell how things will end up. Both the streamers and the audience are still figuring it out.
        Think of movies like different kinds of investments.

        The big budget franchises are safer investments, like bonds or large company stocks. They may cost a ton, but while the upside is low (spend $500M to make $5M in profit after splitting everything), the downside is also low in that it's harder to *lose* lots of money. They're likely easier to predict +/- margin of error using quant forecasts (easier to use data to predict their profitability).

        Original material, particularly adult oriented dramas are like higher risk investments, or penny stocks (the small budget indies). For every 1 film that generates 10X its costs, the remaining 9 will lose money. Furthermore, it's harder to quantify/forecast the success of any any one adult oriented film - it's so qualitative, subjective and unpredictable at least compared to big franchise films. Now, when you net that all out, a studio *can* still make decent money over a portfolio of say 10 films (much like venture capital does investing in tech startups), but the big problem is this:

        The studio executives.

        They are terrified of *any* failure because their job performance is dictated by the *latest* film they're promoting. So they have every incentive to play it as safe as possible if they feel they're being judged for every at-bat, rather than over a series of say 20 at-bats for which 2 are homeruns. If you feel your job is on the line every time you're up at-bat, better to induce a walk or hit a single, than to go for a homerun.

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        • #19
          Re: Oscars

          Aside from what's been mentioned already, there's also a lack of directors who have any kind of unique thematic stamp. Nolan is pretty much the only mainstream one who has a particular perspective on the world that you see in all his films, and he's very hit-and-miss.

          Not to put too much emphasis on the auteur theory, but where are the ambitious filmmakers? Where are the new Camerons or Lucases?
          I see "from visionary Guillermo del Toro" in all his movies' trailers, but what on earth did he ever make that was visionary or had a huge cultural impact? "From visionary director" now means "uses lots of CGI" to me.

          Even original indie thrillers like Cop Car seem rote and half-developed, like the filmmakers just had an idea, shot it, and hoped it turned out watchable. Screenplays need to be thought out. You can't just have an idea and film it.

          Maybe it's down to simple cultural illiteracy. We're now almost an entirely visual cultural, and ironically, films have suffered because they need to be written first. Illiterate cultures really don't produce worthy art, or even entertainment.

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          • #20
            Re: Oscars

            Originally posted by entlassen View Post
            Maybe it's down to simple cultural illiteracy. We're now almost an entirely visual cultural, and ironically, films have suffered because they need to be written first. Illiterate cultures really don't produce worthy art, or even entertainment.
            Hadn't thought of it that way, but I think you nailed it.
            "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

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            • #21
              Re: Oscars

              Originally posted by entlassen View Post
              Aside from what's been mentioned already, there's also a lack of directors who have any kind of unique thematic stamp. Nolan is pretty much the only mainstream one who has a particular perspective on the world that you see in all his films, and he's very hit-and-miss.

              Not to put too much emphasis on the auteur theory, but where are the ambitious filmmakers? Where are the new Camerons or Lucases?
              I see "from visionary Guillermo del Toro" in all his movies' trailers, but what on earth did he ever make that was visionary or had a huge cultural impact? "From visionary director" now means "uses lots of CGI" to me.

              Even original indie thrillers like Cop Car seem rote and half-developed, like the filmmakers just had an idea, shot it, and hoped it turned out watchable. Screenplays need to be thought out. You can't just have an idea and film it.

              Maybe it's down to simple cultural illiteracy. We're now almost an entirely visual cultural, and ironically, films have suffered because they need to be written first. Illiterate cultures really don't produce worthy art, or even entertainment.
              ...I'm suckered back in.

              The new Cameron or Lucas is Denis Villeneuve. He nailed Blade Runner 2049 after the hot streak of Prisoners, Sicario and arrival. He'll go on to do some amazing blockbusters that will have his stamp on.

              As for del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth alone sets him apart as a visionary director.

              Apart from that I think everything else you said was trash as well.

              Here are some directors that are still active who I would class as auteurs.

              Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Lynne Ramsay, Harmony Korine, Spike Lee, Kenneth Lonergan, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Charlie Kaufman, Edgar Wright, Martin McDonagh, Kathryn Bigelow, Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Soderbergh, Hayao Miyazaki, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke, Steve McQueen, Sean Baker, Damien Chazelle.

              To name a few.

              In the coming years Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig and Taylor Sheridan will go on to do films that are uniquely them. You could argue against any of the above but I think you can put any of their movies on and know who directed it.

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              • #22
                Re: Oscars

                Originally posted by TheConnorNoden View Post
                ...I'm suckered back in.

                The new Cameron or Lucas is Denis Villeneuve. He nailed Blade Runner 2049 after the hot streak of Prisoners, Sicario and arrival. He'll go on to do some amazing blockbusters that will have his stamp on.

                As for del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth alone sets him apart as a visionary director.

                Apart from that I think everything else you said was trash as well.

                Here are some directors that are still active who I would class as auteurs.

                Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Lynne Ramsay, Harmony Korine, Spike Lee, Kenneth Lonergan, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Charlie Kaufman, Edgar Wright, Martin McDonagh, Kathryn Bigelow, Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Soderbergh, Hayao Miyazaki, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke, Steve McQueen, Sean Baker, Damien Chazelle.

                To name a few.

                In the coming years Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig and Taylor Sheridan will go on to do films that are uniquely them. You could argue against any of the above but I think you can put any of their movies on and know who directed it.
                Denis Villeneuve is nowhere near Lucas or Cameron. Nowhere. Most of his films are flavor of the year that are forgotten, since it lacks of style, flair, identity. It pushes no boundaries in storytelling or in movie making. To me, he's the perfect example of lower standard. Meh story, Meh Acting, Meh Directing - but great cinematography, thanks to Roger D. Look around the internet, look at which movies are quoted by "regular folks", look which movies are spoofed by others. Villeneuve is nobody. Even James Cameron weakest effort -Avatar- still has a place in the unconscious mind. You won't see that from Villeneuve, who, In my opinion, peaked with Incendies, which was a more than okay film.

                I'm onboard saying that Del Toro has his own favorite style, which didn't evolve since Chronos. It's weakest effort, Jeunet's PG14 Splash, his the one who received the Award. But you got this right, he likes Gothic things.

                Jordan Peel has no style as a director -neither as the writer. Yeah, he's black, that's the only thing he has going on for him. Horror didn't wait for him to have strong message behind a story (hello Romero), to tackle heavy subject (the Outer Limit). Gerwin is doing the same indie shtick that exist since the 90s , pace wise, directing wise, writing wise.

                Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Lynne Ramsay, Harmony Korine, Spike Lee, Kenneth Lonergan, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Charlie Kaufman, Edgar Wright, Martin McDonagh, Kathryn Bigelow, Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Soderbergh, Hayao Miyazaki, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke, Steve McQueen, Sean Baker, Damien Chazelle.

                That's really a mixed bag. PTA, the Coen, Del Toro, Wes, Payne, Linklater etc... are 90s filmmaker, not exactly current gen or 2000s gen filmmakers. Miyazaki-Sensei, Pedro, Haneke, Lee are even older. In the "new batch", I'm not sure they will all be remembered as Spielbergs, Coppolas and Lucas.

                But to me, it isn't all dark. We're in the dark age, good time will good, as it did in the 70s, 90s, we're just a little behind. Good things will come, with great films, new voices. We just have to wait, hope, and see.
                The question is : Do you work in the business?

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                • #23
                  Re: Oscars

                  I'm going to go back to my music business analogy for a minute and offer a bit of speculation about the future (and this post is not meant to be negative or doom and gloom in any way. Just how I see things coming to pass).

                  Hollywood probably has a fixed amount of time left (I'm not a tech guy, so I don't want to guess how long. Certainly years, but not decades) as an industry that generates multi-billion dollar revenue on a consistent basis before virtual reality supplants it as the primary narrative-based leisure time activity in the world.

                  Virtual reality is going to do to Hollywood what karaoke did to the bar band business. Why go to see a show, when you can be the show?

                  The idea of a 'movie star' will become as outdated as Robert Plant prancing around on a stadium stage with a stuffed crotch.

                  In another twist of irony, what's going on in Hollywood right now (re: lawsuits and production losses due to bad behavior) is going to SPEED UP this transition. What's viewed as 'progress' right now, will be looked back on as a harbinger of the end. Human beings have proven themselves to be an unaccountable liability, and they will be happily (and profitably) replaced with cgi avatars.

                  20th Century Fox's decision to get out of the film business might be looked back on as one of the most prescient corporate decisions of all time.

                  The good news is, even though there will likely never be another Casablanca or Chinatown or Apocalypse Now, we will always have them. Just like we'll always have The Beatles and Motown. Great work never goes away.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Oscars

                    Originally posted by TheConnorNoden View Post
                    Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Lynne Ramsay, Harmony Korine, Spike Lee, Kenneth Lonergan, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Charlie Kaufman, Edgar Wright, Martin McDonagh, Kathryn Bigelow, Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Soderbergh, Hayao Miyazaki, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke, Steve McQueen, Sean Baker, Damien Chazelle.
                    Just a quick observation about these guys (and obviously Cameron and Lucas).

                    Almost every single one of them has a pretty great story about the struggle they went through to get their first films made. I'll bet you already know a bunch of them by heart, because they are so epic. I'll even through Kevin Smith in there, because I'm feeling generous.

                    Those struggles are what forged the artists and made them who they are. The digital revolution was supposed to make everything easier, and it has, but now it's TOO easy. Without the struggle how do you know what matters?

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                    • #25
                      Re: Oscars

                      Originally posted by kintnerboy View Post
                      Just a quick observation about these guys (and obviously Cameron and Lucas).

                      Almost every single one of them has a pretty great story about the struggle they went through to get their first films made. I'll bet you already know a bunch of them by heart, because they are so epic. I'll even through Kevin Smith in there, because I'm feeling generous.

                      Those struggles are what forged the artists and made them who they are. The digital revolution was supposed to make everything easier, and it has, but now it's TOO easy. Without the struggle how do you know what matters?
                      I wanted to throw Kevin Smith in too. When I was a teenager I wrote an essay on why Kevin Smith is an auteur and I stand by that. I told a story once on here about meeting him and the inspiration he provided coming from a working class background. Point is I'm glad he survived the heart attack because I want to meet him again someday, hopefully when I've reached some of my goals.

                      I'm 25 and I understand the notion of millennials not having quite the same struggles. And I agree. But I would argue that the lack of struggle is our struggle. You brought up music before and I think that's another art affected by this. Poor kids used to have nothing to do but save up for a guitar and play until there was blood. Now? There's a slew of streaming options and cheap video games to shut out that voice that says "You have something better to do". It's easy to get complacent. And then there's the fact that with the rise of the internet everyone has a voice now. It's harder than ever for your voice to be distinguishable from the rest. But that makes me think that those special voices will work harder than anyone to make themselves heard and it will lead to some special work. I work full time and have a girlfriend with mental health issues which makes me time difficult. Naturally it can be a stressful life and I would love nothing more than to sit downstairs and play Shadow of the Colossus. But I'm here at the keyboard, spending every free moment writing. I believe in what I have to say enough to potentially waste my life on a dream when I could be enjoying life. I'm not the only one. The great storytellers of tomorrow are hard at work trying to cut through all the noise. They will all struggle in their own way. They will succeed in time too, you just have to keep an eye out.

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