Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The best marketing tool ever: Host a Free Party. It's something everyone wants to attend and they will buy just about anything when they get there. I had the pleasure of eying several parties this weekend all of whom were sponsored by alcohol companies or worked with other coalitions to assemble location and names and brands. Everyone is looking for a Halloween party this weekend and if you are one of the smart filmmakers, fashionistas, or artists that wish to get the word out then assemble. All you need is sponsors, an up and coming DJ, and a location that will take 50% of the door (if you decide to charge).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3D TV's to Takeover>?

Remember Laserdisc? Remember VHS? Well how about 8 track tapes? It has come time for another revolution in home entertainment technology. A new medium 'Exact 3D' is now getting major backing by companies like Brosta TV and Japan Cable Television. Brosta TV which has a lot of experience in anime and JCTV has more experience in live action productions sound like a perfect myriad for experimentation on 3D television production. I'm curious as to whether or not we as a people will slowly be exchanging out flat screen and high definition televisions for a 3D one? Can you imagine going to the nearest electronics store to buy a 3D television set? I can and we all should, because in the next 10 years, it may become the norm. Though for many of us, we can't let go of the simple non headache inducing effects of watching a simple projection on a flat screen.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Potential Union Merger

SAG and AFTRA are continuing to negotiate the possibility of a merger and things are looking solid for that. Thursday night a 'Forum for One Union' meeting was held to prepare questions and answers from the heads of both parties involved, and another meeting may happen as soon as next month. The forum however is made up of 12 people and the meeting took place over the course of 3 hours. I would assume that parameters have to be set up for which union firstly takes the name...I can't imagine a world with the three initials SAG..but perhaps SAGTRA? There are both supporters and opponents to this merger. Opponents may consider that each union separately represents uniquely different items of concerns and supporters may say that a merger would help strengthen the coalition of 'talent' in the world in general.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Proper FIlm Education

Many people ask me for advice on where to go to school to become a film producer. Most trade film schools discuss art but rarely evoke upon the collaborative business minded sensuality that one must hone. USC Stark has a program that is like an MBA for filmmakers...with courses in marketing and distribution. NYU film school has a joint MBA/MFA program that allows you to properly prepare for the real world. Chapman University has a joint JD/MFA program that teaches one the world of entertainment law. A world that contains marketing dollars, finance, accounting, and strategies for development. Being a proper producer is being an ethical human resources manager. Film after all is still a collaborative art, and not just simply 'art.'

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Agent or Agency

What's more important the agent or the agency? This past few weeks, many actors, writers and producers found themselves swaying under new banners in order to either follow and agent to live the dream of being with a big name agency. Gersh agents leaving for CAA, CAA agents leaving for matter what the directional pull, one of the toughest decisions would have to be who to roll heads with. So if the power agent or spiritual head, "Jerry Maguire" of the company decides to leave, should an actor remain loyal to the agent or stick with the brand label he wants on the back of his resume?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Star Power Shuffle

All those rumours we heard of Hugh Jackman on his cell phone in Detroit battling the studio to bring aboard Darren Aronofsky to helm 'Wolverine 2' seem to be true as the ink is shuffling through the scratching pen. It used to be that the director was the star of the show but now it seems no matter how well respected you are as a filmmaker the studio system still exists however seems that the studio heads make movies with the directors used as instruments. This is called MBA filmmaking. A group of business grads who tackle the 3 piece suit positions at studios; we can't blame em, they do need to look out for their stakeholders - and mathematical equations that determine your box office worth are balanced against the possibility of a film making a certain amount at box office. So what equation beats that? The Hugh Jackman equation. He is a powerful actor who can stand tall and remain determined that a fellow auteur friend of his becomes the captain of his ship. So perhaps, it's the actors that hold the 21st Century power in decision studio decision making of a film, whereas it used to be the filmmaker himself?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Michigan Film Transparency

The Negative Impact of Michigan's Film Industry Pt. 1.

It has become increasingly apparent to me that indeed some people are hurting due to the windows of opportunity that some have found to slide right though and steal from citizens of Michigan. Locally in Detroit are being sold promises in return for hundreds and thousands of doll ars. Regional radio and television air spots in which companies promise that they are Hollywood talent scouts and go from city to city, hotel to hotel and say that their interviews are return the parents of these children of course must fork up thousands of dollars to attend conventions half a country away and come back home with nothing but empty pockets. Do we call this a scam? Is this a pyramid scheme that is built upon the loopholes that our politicians have allowed to remain open. In Allen Park, a recent movie studio was on the news for being kicked out for not paying rent after they had promised thousands of jobs when they first arrived (and used taxpayer money to build their infrastructure). Another supposed Michigan film studio (that I won't name) is accused of attempting to run away with millions in taxpayer dollars by way of a refundable credit loophole. Another story leaked about a contractor who is owed over $200,000 dollars from working at said studio. So what happens to people who work and don't get payed? Is that commonly referred to as slavery? Taxpayers are owed one thing for certain: Answers. Michigan is already dealing with one of the highest unemployment rates, we cannot afford to tear apart at peoples dreams.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Superhero Tout

A few decades ago, making a superhero movie would have been considered bad business. Thinking about it, I remember 'Captain America' (1990), 'The Flash' TV series (1990), and even 'Fantastic Four' (1994) was considered a B-Movie that you could only find bootlegs of in comic conventions. No one dared put real energy into the production marketing dollars until 1998....Wesley Snipes, David Goyer and Stephen Norrington gave us the dark vigilante 'Blade'. For the first time a comic book character was placed in a real world setting and taken seriously against the backdrop of film-noir like elements weaved into the fabric of the super-natural elements that make the hero. Since then we have seen X-Men, serious actors like Edward Norton taking on the Incredible Hulk (to be continued by Mark Ruffalo), and Marvel Studios putting hefty work into combining the world of Marvel Cinema into one unique environment. Film Auteur, Darren Aronofsky's name has come up on the set of Hugh Jackman's 'Real Steel' as a candidate for 'Wolverine' helmer; Can you just imagine how great that will be! Now we get to see a re-boot of 'Spiderman' with the same lesson's Marvel has learned from their previous films (Not hamming it up!) - Not to mention Chris Nolan's 'The Dark Knight', Idris Elba as a possible Luke Cage, next summers' 'Thor' and 'Captain America', the excitement is tipping over. We can't wait. With 21st century technology and 'real' screenwriters interested in writing the stories and 'real' filmmakers interested in making them, the comic book genre will hopefully only get better.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nom Name

Argentine's "Carancho" has been selected as their nominated film for the best picture in foreign-language category. With only 20 votes over its two competitors ("The Man Next Door" and "Dos Hermanos"). The project came in just moments before the deadline for countries to submit their films for foreign-language nomination. The film is a crime-thriller that set against a love story involving an ambulance chasing lawyer. The first thing that comes to mind is the potential that lies before Ben Affelck's "The Town." Perhaps 2010 could be the year that the Academy recognizes Crime-Thrillers as a theme.