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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Official Hobbit Trailer

"I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure." Ready to return to Middle Earth? The first full trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part of The Hobbit adaptation, has arrived online in high def tonight via Apple; it'll also be playing in front of Tintin. It's a full trailer and, for Lord of the Rings fans like myself, is everything you could imagine and truly feels like seeing an old friend again. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo, along with Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and many others, likeRichard Armitage as Thorin and James Nesbitt. Time to smile (and cry). Enjoy!

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit... The Hobbit, being directed by Peter Jackson in two separate parts, is set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in a trilogy ten years ago. The Hobbit films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera technology. The Hobbit follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters in 3D on December 14, 2012.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For the Lucky Few

Looking to generate the word of mouth that commercials, trailers and 3-D have failed to spur this year, studios are turning to IMAX, once the domain of spectacular documentaries.
On Friday, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol becomes the first big-studio feature to premiere on IMAX. The film hits 300 of the special screens five days before its nationwide release Dec. 21 on standard 35-mm and digital screens.
Some theaters also will feature a six-minute sneak peek of The Dark Knight Rises, also shot partly in the oversize format. The footage, which director Christopher Nolanunveiled last week, introduces the villain Bane (Tom Hardy). The latest Batman installment is due in theaters July 20, 2012.  To read more from USA Today click here.

What does this mean?  Well think of it like a movie trailer lottery.  For the lucky few who happen to see Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol in one of the random theaters selected to show the sneak preview, will make all others jealous.

This is an interesting strategy to try and entice people to go out and see the film.  And seeing how the type of audience that would go to Mission: Impossible, would also be interested in Batman.

Do you think this will help attract an audience?  Are you excited for the chance to see the sneak preview?  Or do you think this is more hype than any real chance to see the preview?


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Friday, December 2, 2011

They Come in Pairs

With the recently released trailers for the two Snow White films coming to theaters next year, one has to question the motives of Hollywood.  The production studio’s say it was just a coincidence that they both made a Snow White film to be released in the same year.  I mean they don't follow the same plot line so it must be random, right?

When was the last time we had a Snow White movie that was mainstream?  Think all the way back to seven dwarfs singing high-ho.

There must be one guy going around every other year to different studios pitching similar ideas, or the competing studios are so unoriginal they decide to do similar but different films to try and capitalize on the market.

It doesn’t take much to see other examples of films that haven’t been done before or since, but just conveniently we had multiples in the same year.  Look at some of these “random” coincidences:
  1. Armageddon vs. Deep Impact
  2. Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano
  3.  Finding Nemo vs. A Shark Tale
  4. A Bugs Life vs. Antz
  5. The Illusionist vs. The Prestige

This is reflective of the nature of the film industry.  They are taking less and less chances on original film’s, instead opting to look at the bottom line and hoping to capitalize on used ideas.  I talk about this more in “Where did creativity go?”.

It isn’t like there is a shortage of new ideas and fresh scripts being written, because I personally have written some great scripts.  The sad thing is since these new ideas are deemed to risky; we will get more and more of these similar films that only clog up the box office.

This is a big reason besides ticket prices why less people are making the trip out to the movies.  If this strategy was true years ago, as it is today we may be without films like Star Wars, E.T., and The Wizard of Oz.

What do you think?  Are you tired of all these similar movies that come out within months of each other?


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Investing in Entertainment Pt. 2

This post is an update to Investing in Entertainment.

Earlier it was discussed how an independent filmmaker might finance a film, and we looked at a couple expert opinions to find out how to attract investors.  One of the best things to take away is the fact that your approach should be the same as it would with any other business idea, and that is have a business plan!

Since a film idea isn't a typical business, treat it as a film treatment with more details involving the financing and what returns, if any could be expected.

As previously mentioned in Investing in Entertainment, I described how I just put a script together and now will incorporate these methods and utilize them for my film.  I will explain the process in a step by step way so you can see exactly how I have done it.

  1. Have an idea for a film.
  2. Put together a organized and finished script.
  3. Create a film treatment.
  4. Figure out your finances and returns.
  5. Gather other relevant data and demographics, like what kind of audience will see your film?
  6. Put together your business plan.
  7. Locate investors locally and nationally.
  8. Make sure all your best is on the table within 5 minutes of any meeting.
  9. Never give up.
The biggest things to take away is that you need more than just a script. Originally I thought all I needed was an awesome idea, but when investor's are listening to your pitch all they want to hear is how much you need, and how it will benefit them.

The most important section outside of the actual script, will be the finances and projections so make sure you have all your costs thought of and don't be shy. Remember that you will likely encounter more problems than you originally plan for, so you should also set aside a contingency fund in your finances.

The last and most important piece is to make sure before you ever reveal any important information, you have anyone who listens sign a non-disclosure agreement of some kind.  This will protect you from the possibility of your ideas being used without your consent.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

New James Bond Film Name Announced

It was just announced via iPad this morning, that the 23rd James Bond film starring Daniel Craig will be called Skyfall.  First reported by Cnet via the news conference using the Sky News app:

The new film has been languishing in a cell beneath a volcano for a couple of years as film studio MGM faced thespectre of bankruptcy. But now the film is ready to roll -- it pits the sexy superspy with the licence to kill and even more gadgets than our review section against the mysterious QUANTUM organisation hinted at in Casino Royaleand Quantum of Solace

The next film to feature Britain's top secret agent will again star blond-haired bruiser Daniel Craig as Bond -- James Bond -- with Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes as the villains and French stunner Bérénice Marlohe as the latest Bond girl. Albert Finney and Judi Dench are Bond's bosses, and it's directed by American Beauty and Road to Perdition helmer Sam Mendes. Read the rest of the article here.

What do you think of the new James Bond name?  Are you excited for the film, or are you thinking who cares about the name? I want the name of the car that will be featured.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Average Ticket Price Lowered

Congratulations viewers for this small victory is the first sign of better days.  It was reported today by the National Association of Theaters Owners that the new average ticket price dropped from $8.06 to $7.94 in the third quarter.

What does this mean?  Well for starters, the amount of 3D movies is down which plays a part in the lowering.  Also this is finally reflecting the fact that sales are down nationally.

Hopefully this is a continuing trend, because up until now the theaters have reacted to the bad economy by doing the unthinkable and raising prices.  This has created enough extra revenue to still show an increase in profit, but this came at a heavy premium because it continued to decrease attendance.

This is your opportunity to show you still care about the cinema and take advantage of lower prices.  Hopefully the National Association of Theaters Owners and production studios can keep up with the bad economy, and stop killing a source of entertainment that everyone can use to get away from their stress for a while.

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