Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh no...

The Irish Film Board is in Jeopardy
by Monika Bartyzel

There's a rather surprising and worrisome piece of news that's popped up over at The Hollywood Reporter (here and here). It seems that Ireland's department of finance is looking to save some cash and have recommended shaving €37 million (or $52.6 million) from arts and culture funding, which includes ending the Irish Film Board.

IFB chief Simon Perry has noted that the Irish media sector has boomed over the last couple decades, creating thousands of jobs. He says: "Closure of the Irish Film Board would mean that the production of Irish films will stop completely," which will not only end the industry, but hurt tourism as he claims nearly 50% of tourists visit Ireland after seeing it in a film -- a pretty fair estimate I'd say, given the number of people who drool when they see the country on the big screen.

The IFB was closed before, in 1987, but was re-established after a number of big-buzz Irish films found funding outside the country -- My Left Foot, The Crying Game, The Commitments. In recent years, however, you might remember the endearing and unforgettable Once, which was funded by the board.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I have nothing to say about the above picture from "Where the Wild Things Are" other than LOOK AT IT. Even if the movie is horrible, its sure as shit going to be gorgeous.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fios and the Social Media

from Open The Dialogue

"During a recent move, I bit the bullet and switched my cable and Internet provider over to Verizon’s FiOS. And while the 3 inch hole in my bedroom wall isn’t trendy, the cool new features that my TV gives me certainly is worth it. See I turned on my TV this last weekend and saw Twitter. And it wasn’t a story on the News about Chad Ochocinco’s latest tweet. Instead real tweets were appearing on my screen!

This is the type of social media interaction that I love to see pop up in the home. Not only could I see what was trending but I could see what other people were saying about the show I was watching. Plus I could log into Facebook, look at pictures and update my status for that my particular TV show. And while I cannot manually update anything or see my friends on Twitter, the foundation has been laid for great things to come.

What you may ask? Well if one of the goals of social media is to share views quickly and efficiently; bringing them into another screen is only going to expedite that process. This provides an excellent place for fans (and brands) to form a community around their favorite shows much in the same way that hashtags do already. If sense of community and interaction is a basic element in social media, then adding interaction to another screen shouldy increase social media’s usage away from the computer. We are already seeing how the mobile web is growing, could TV be another element?"

Would you use Twitter or Facebook if it was on your TV?

Friday, July 10, 2009

This is how you do it!

500 Days of Summer Release Schedule

If you read the SLASHfilm Blog regularly, than you know that they fell in love with this film at Sundance called 500 Days of Summer. It’s a wonderful indie comedy about falling in love and breaking up. It’s a Fox Searchlight release, which means they are doing their patented platform roll-out, which means that it may not hit your neck of the woods the same time that it hits some of the larger cities.

Friday, July 17th

• Boston
• Chicago
• Dallas/Ft. Worth
• Los Angeles
• San Diego
• New York
• San Francisco
• Seattle
• Toronto
• Washington, D.C.

Friday, July 24th

• Atlanta
• Austin
• Baltimore
• Cleveland
• Denver
• Detroit
• Houston
• Indianapolis
• Madison
• Milwaukee
• Minneapolis
• Montreal
• Philadelphia
• Phoenix
• Portland
• St. Louis
• Vancouver

Friday, July 31st

• Albany
• Albuquerque
• Ann Arbor
• Boca Raton/West Palm Beach
• Buffalo
• Calgary
• Charlotte
• Cincinnati
• Columbus
• Edmonton
• Fresno
• Halifax
• Hartford/New Haven
• Honolulu
• Kansas City
• Kitchener
• Miami/Fort Lauderdale
• Nashville
• New Orleans
• Orlando
• Ottowa
• Pittsburgh
• Richmond
• Rochester
• Sacramento
• Salt Lake
• San Antonio
• St. John
• Tampa/St. Petersburg
• Tucson
• Victoria
• Winnipeg

Friday, August 7th

• Anchorage
• Asheville
• Baton Rouge
• Birmingham
• Boise
• Champaign/Decatur/Springfield
• Charlottesville
• Colorado Springs
• Corpus Christi
• Dayton
• Des Moines
• El Paso
• Fort Myers
• Gainesville
• Grand Rapids
• Harrisburg, PA
• Ithaca
• Jacksonville
• Knoxville
• Lansing
• Las Vegas
• Lexington
• Louisville
• Memphis
• Norfolk/Newport News
• Northampton/Springfield
• Oklahoma City
• Omaha
• Portland, ME
• Providence
• Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill
• Reno
• Sarasota
• Santa Fe
• Spokane
• Syracuse
• Tallahassee
• Tulsa

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bits & Pieces: Why The Studio System only fails BIG.

If you made a good film for 100-150k (we know its possible, we have SEVERAL examples) and give it moderate advertising for a modest limited release, say 5 to 10 major cities, then, based on statistics from IMDb, THR, Variety and indieWire you're most likely going to make your money back, including distribution costs, which vary.

If you make a film for over 10 million, say "The Ugly Truth" or "The Accidental Husband" and others of that nature, and you only make 5 million in wide release, then yes, you have failed. And because your cost is so darn high, you fail BIG. (we are not including DVD and Cable distribution) The lower your production cost (quality contingent) the better your chances for high profit on a wide release.

Most studios don't make films for under 10 million.

The reason I bring this up is because just recently, as in TODAY, the studio film "Moneyball", starring Brad Pitt, was re-greenlit. It was previously shelved just a day before principal photography began. THR is reporting that the studio hopes to recoup the 10 to 14 million they have already spent. What can we gather from this? Only one thing; Moneyball's preproduction costs were at least 10 million dollars. This is certainly not the FIRST time that's happened. And this is not to knock the film, which I'm sure will be decent now that Aaron Sorkin is writing the script. This question is for all of us who have worked in production: What do you think could cost so much before shooting?

Indiewire's Mid-Year Report: Specialty Box Office Winners & Losers

Since it’s hard to give a run down of everything good and bad in six months worth of box office, here’s a chart of 2009’s twenty highest grossing films tracked by the iW BOT (including films that screened only as an Academy-qualifier in 2008), as of July 5. Hopefully it will help fill in any blanks this article might have missed, and to make more clear just how scarce the “winners” really are:

1. Sunshine Cleaning (Overture Films) - $12,055,108
2. Away We Go (Focus Features) - $6,077,303
3. The Class (Sony Pictures Classics) - $3,766,810
4. The Brothers Bloom (Summit Entertainment) - $3,270,242
5. Two Lovers (Magnolia Pictures) - $3,149,034
6. Sin Nombre (Focus Features) - $2,527,470
7. Easy Virtue (Sony Pictures Classics) - $2,272,691
8. Is Anybody There? (Story Island) - $2,010,237
9. Whatever Works (Sony Pictures Classics) - $1,911,001
10. Rudo y Cursi (Sony Pictures Classics) - $1,781,243
11. Gomorrah (IFC) - $1,579,146
12. Valentino: The Last Emperor (Truly Indie) - $1,533,077
13. Every Little Step (Sony Pictures Classics) - $1,313,372
14. Summer Hours (IFC) - $1,313,372
15. Food, Inc (Magnolia Pictures) - $1,286,693
16. Sugar (Sony Pictures Classics) - $1,063,833
17. Cheri (Miramax) - $1,023,909
18. Moon (Sony Pictures Classics) - $945,279
19. Management (Samuel Goldwyn) - $910,955
20. Tyson (Sony Pictures Classics) - $857,488

It is important to note that these are not ALL the speciality films released out there right now and the unmentioned ones are by no means any less successful, but remember that these are in very limited releases. Some are growing. The marketing for just about all of them has been small, and quite out of the mainstream.