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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Oh dear. Am I coming at this the wrong way?

Paul said recently (with regard to the position of writers in Hollywood) 'Why is it ridiculous if it works though?'. A kind of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Which, let's be honest, is sometimes a good policy. I mean, its not me that is making $200m at the US box office is it? But some films are - so what's my beef? It's only Hollywood films after all - the writer is much more highly regarded in say British TV. So maybe I have come at this the wrong way. The producers do know best. Get a writer in to do the job and let's package something up for the folks.

Fine - except for 3 pieces of evidence.

1: As we have seen - this summer was quite bad for films with regard to income. So something may in fact be broken and require fixing. The film business is fragile. A little bad streak bites deep.
2: The Media Guardian this week had 2 articles on blogging and 2 on the fact that audiences aren't in tune with summer blockbuster films. No link between these articles was drawn. But that is what I am trying to do! Show that a change is coming.
3: (and this is a cheeky one). I know that Paul loves the cinema. But I know that personally he finds a lot more interest in Asian, European and low budget films - albiet via his DVD player. I'm asking - is this the new way forward. More smaller films that communicate more directly with the audience.

Can we ride the change this is coming? Can Hollywood?

5 comments:

Paul Draper said...

Good points Tim -

1: "this summer was quite bad for films with regard to income."

I'm stultified by this - I agree with you but people should be putting in just a little bit of work and they could have seen some great films this year -

Downfall, Overnight, DiG!, Kung Fu Hustle, Devil's Rejects, The Descent, Howl's Moving Castle, Crash, Ray, Life Aquatic, Oldboy and so on

2: "audiences aren't in tune with summer blockbuster films."

I'm not sure who's fault this is. I think audiences get off too lightly when they complain about nothing being on - it's there if you look for it. If you keep going to the UCI you'll get what you deserve - much like eating at McDonalds instead of finding a restaurant you like - I'm not sure why the attitude isnt the same? It's an interesting question. Vote with your feet.

3: "is this the new way forward. More smaller films that communicate more directly with the audience."

Maybe - perhaps just more films overall. Let's have distributors take a gamble - of those 10 multiplex screens do we really need bland US romcoms on 9 of them (ok I know that's an exaggeration).

Tim Clague said...

All your perceptions are correct and I agree with them all. All of them come back to the same problem. Big marketing. Spending all the budget on conning people. This is even easier if you are Sony who make the film, own a distributor, own a cinema and even the DVD player, the TV you watch it on.

Small is the new big. If the audience and film maker could talk more directly better films would rise more naturally. Current marketing is artificial.

Here's the new slogan - Go Au Naturel.

Richard Stannard said...

Do you think that it's easier for audiences to make more in-depth decisions about films before seeing them these days? I mean, you can go to any number of websites showing the short, long and longer trailers giving people more information on which to base their cinema-going decisions rather than the short, high impact trailers of pre-internet times. Maybe the Marketeers are out-marketing themselves in this way and creating an 'I'll wait for the DVD' culture.

I agree with Paul that audiences have to work much harder to find good films, Howls Moving Castle being a case in point. I can only ever remember hearing about this on Film 2005. Johnathan Ross gave it a great review but at 11.30 at night how many people were there to see it.

Asking distributers to take a gamble is also a nice idea, and I think that it would probably pay off to give audinces a bit of credit, you have to work so hard to fit good films in to your life when they'd do so much better if you could get them at the times that you want them.

Changing the subject just slightly now though - nice use of teh word 'stultified' Paul

Paul Draper said...

Actually not sure it was a great word to use - the dictionary has it as:

* To render useless or ineffectual
* To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous

Perhaps it was the right word.

Rich S said...

I'm Stultified...