Audio Edition – January 23rd 2006

Hey! The Audio Edition got nominated for Podcast of the Year at The Bloggies! Whheeeeeee. Today on the Monday round table, Doug, Darren and I talk about the Bloggies and being nominated with the likes of TWIT, the problems with studios making too many films and how to solve those problems. What’s more important in making a film… the Business of film or the Art of film? We talk about the success being enjoyed by Underworld 2, Disney buying Pixar and even throw in a little Battlestar Galactica for good measure.

You can download this installment of The Audio Edition here. And then go vote for us at the official 2006 Weblogs Awards site.

To subscribe to the podcast of The Audio Edition on iTunes copy this link and then paste it into iTunes-Advanced-Subscribe to Podcast.

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10 thoughts on “Audio Edition – January 23rd 2006

  1. First off, Darrin: Matrix 3 was good? You’re insane.

    Second, Darrin: you are right about there being two groups in Hollywood. One group concerned about money and one concerned about art and messages.

    If Hollywood was truly a bottom line business like John says, why would they nominate films like Brokeback Mountain, Capote, The Squid and the Whale, etc. for best picture? I can almost guarantee that none of the top ten grossing pictures of the year will be up for best picture (maybe King Kong). Why? Those are clearly the ones that are “best” in the eyes of the movie going audience.

    Also, of the top ten box office earners of the year, only one (Wedding Crashers) is rated R. So why are the majority of films Hollywood releases rated R? When clearly the money makers are G, PG and PG-13 (e.g. Batman, Narnia, Star Wars, etc.)

    I think Hollywood is far more interested in it’s “art” and sending out it’s “messages,” than it is about making money. Most of the big decision makers in Hollywood are already rich as hell.

    For example, why would a studio greenlight something like Brokeback Mountain? It is so obvious that no one is going to go see it. If the majority of moviegoers are young males and/or middle Americans, why release a film about gay cowboys? It doesn’t make any business sense whatsoever.


  2. Well done for the nomination guys. It is well deserved, and an indication that you have the perfect mix of fun, and demented irreverance (Dougie), and enthusiastic professionalism (John).

    Your site and podcast have altered the manner in which I view the web, and I appreciate it more now as a source of information that is free from the shackles of mainstream media. Your product is the epitome of that endevour and I hope that you go on to win the recognition that you deserve.

  3. The idea of studios making less movies does sound promising in in a “quality over quantity” kind of way. In reality though, knowing how all the studio people think, it could end up that they are just going to take less chances on riskier (and potentially more interesting) projects and instead stick to the guaranteed money makers and blockbusters.

    I have no problem with blockbusters (especially good ones), but I’d much rather put up with a bunch of extra crappy movies (that I can choose to avoid seeing) if it means getting a few gems along with that.

    In the end, I’d rather have variety and I think current trends are indicating that most people prefer that as well. The old way of bringing out products (movies, albums, books) that will appeal to everyone and their mom just isn’t realistic anymore, the market is heavily fragmented and everyone has different tastes.

    There was a very interesting article in Wired a while back that touched on the success that Amazon and online retailers have had by doing exactly what Doug mentioned… by selling a million different things for a dollar instead of one thing for a million dollars.

  4. John says, “Cinderella Man didn’t fail because it was badly marketed. It failed because people have started to really dislike Russell Crowe (which is sad, but nontheless true).”

    I beg to differ with you, but what’s the proof of this about Crowe John? Maybe it contributed to it but to say it was the reason why the film failed, is preposterous. I would buy the notion that since “Million Dollar Baby” was just released prior to Cinderella Man and people just dont want to see another film that involves boxing.

  5. Hey there Goon.

    Ok, you said:

    “oh god, the box office crap again”

    Well… sorry dude, but like it or not, it’s an important factor in understanding what drives the market, what audiences are looking for and what studios will invest in. It’s cetainly NOT the ONLY factor in all those things… but it is highly important. So yes… we’ll talk about it.

    I have to disagree with you about the Magnolia marketing campagin. I saw tons of ads/previews/commercials. It had a huge A-name cast and had lots of play. And, as a matter of fact, I saw it in Oakville at that theater in the plazza right off the Duval exit of the highway that is now a Staples Business Depot (yeah, I lived in Oakville for a while)


    Even if it hadn’t gotten the big marketing campaign that it did… then you disproved your own point… by pointing out that Napolean Dynamite didn’t have a big marketing campaign and yet still did ok. If a film is really good, AND (that’s a big and) is the type of film that can appeal to a large enough audience (doesn’t have to be massive) then word of mouth will get around and the film can have success.

    Magnolia’s failure was not because of the marketing campaign. It was because it was the type of film that didn’t have enough appeal.

    You seem to have (correct me if I’m wrong here) a presumtion that everyone would like Napolean Dynamite. But a LOT of people hated that film (I’m not one of them) and it made almost as many “Worst films of the year” lists as it did “Best films of the year” lists.

    You can’t just blindly blame marketing campaigns for film failures.

    Cinderella Man didn’t fail because it was badly marketed. It failed because people have started to really dislike Russell Crowe (which is sad, but nontheless true).

    You also said this:

    “basically, the film studios are run by people who are in the movie business yet dont know good product.”

    That’s a totally ridiculous statement dude. EVERY FILM YOU LOVE, was at some point recognized by studios as good product and green lit for production. The stuios knew Lord of the Rings was good and put $300 million behind it. Do they sometimes make HUGE mistakes? Yes, totally. But how is that different from any other walk of life?

    But here’s the problem that I think a LOT of people miss. A film CAN NOT JUST BE “GOOD PRODUCT”. It also MUST have market appeal. And sometimes good artistic films just don’t appeal to the wider audience. It’s really just that simple. Just because you or I like it, doesn’t mean anything.

    Do studios always get it right. No way. Could some films that bombed performed better with a different marketing campaign? Yes, totally. But usually (notice I certainly didn’t say always) the studios do “get it right”.

    At that point, it’s up to the movie going public to decide what kind of films they’re wanting to plop their money down to go and see in the theater. For some people it’s deeper more artistic films…. and for a hell of a lot of people it’s hot vampire chicks in tight leather shooting werewolves in the face. (go figure). :)

    Cheers! Good discussion.


  6. oh god, the box office crap again…

    movies like Magnolia didnt really get a marketing campaign until it started winning awards. it didnt see a lot of screens either, in Oakville the only theater it played at was the 2 dollar rerun theater, which i sorely miss.

    look at Napoleon Dynamite. that movie was released to almost no attention at all, and word of mouth made it a decent sleeper hit. if the studio had gotten behind their product it could have been a lot bigger.

    look at Donnie Darko. didnt get a real release at all, and is now considered a very very popular movie everyone has seen. could have been a hit on the big screen.

    you act like the companies know best. marketers, MARKETERS, who dont know how to sell films like Magnolia, have their share of the blame they need to take. sure maybe it still might lose money, but the very fact that they dont know how to sell a movie like Lord of War, or how help make an Emmy award winning show like Arrested Development a hit… if you have quality in your hands, you should be able to get enough people to go. Memento, another hit on video. the first Austin Powers…. could have made more money at the box office.

    look at Cinderella Man which I know you loved, John. Bomb. Didnt have to be, at least as much. now that i saw it, i see a big problem was they made it look like this wishy washy, wimpy looking movie. its grittier than it looks, and that would have brought in more viewers.

    basically, the film studios are run by people who are in the movie business yet dont know good product. they also sometimes think they know better than their audience. there are so many movies that do 10% on the tomatometer and dont make as much as expected… why dont they at least take one or two more and mix it in? at the rate they keep dropping big budget bombs, it certainly wouldnt hurt to take a chance on a movie like Ghost World, or a documentary with the appeal that March of the Penguins has.

  7. Great show as the round table ones always are guys :)

    So how much would it cost me to buy Doug as my personal errand boy then?

    And yes congrats on the bloggies, the chimp army I currently working way over time to get you guys to the number one spot :p

    Ohh and I am sure I was going to comment on some of the film related topics you guys talked about, but I can’t remember them right now, ohh well.

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