While I try to stay pretty tightly focused on business and marketing on this weblog, those of you that also read my parenting blog have noticed that every so often I’ll write a film review or publish an article about something happening in the world of movie production or technology.
What you might not have realized if you haven’t talked with me in person is that I’m actually a
big huge fan of movies in an intellectual, business and purely visceral sense. Let’s face it, a good film is a wonderful thing, a sheer delight and something that can impact your speech, thinking and even dreams for years to come.
Film also serves as a fascinating communications medium because it engages us on so many levels and with more senses than just about anything else I know. You can dabble with this by listening to a movie without watching it, or watching a movie without the sound, or even comparing the sensory experience of an evening movie in a packed, excited theater versus watching that same movie mid-afternoon at home while laying on the couch.
It’s also the case, in my experience, that the more you know about editing, pacing, cinematography, soundtracks, and such, the more you can appreciate a brilliantly crafted film. Go watch the crowd scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s master work North by Northwest (they’re in the cafeteria at Mt. Rushmore) and freeze the frame. Then ask yourself “why are these people dressed in these clothes with these colors?”. Remember, any good filmmaker composes every element in every scene of a film. From the cars that “happen to be” parked on the street to the skirt length of the lead actress, nothing — nothing — is just random coincidence.
Movie making is also a very unusual business because it operates on so many levels and seems to be such a crap shoot. $85 million to produce and market a film that collapses its first weekend in the box office? Is that a failure? Quite probably not, at the end of the day. You might be surprised how Hollywood can account for costs and recoup losses in many instances. From a business perspective, it’s amazing to see the risks of moviemaking and the resultant risk averse strategies used by the major studios (hence, for example, the preponderance of remakes).
And finally, there’s something about seeing a brilliant, heart-warming, exciting film like Slumdog Millionaire that invigorates my soul, makes me glad to be part of the greater humanity, and helps me recognize that there’s a bright new tomorrow trying to peek out of the muck that we’re surrounded by. Or, failing that, just makes me feel like it was a few hours very well spent!
That’s some lead in to my informing you that I’ve launched a new business called FilmBuzz that I call “movie news for the mobile generation” built entirely upon the popular Twitter service.
Here are a few recent messages that you could have received on your computer or even your mobile device yesterday if you were following FilmBuzz:
Haven’t even heard of this one: Universal just signed to bring “Bakugan Battle Brawlers” to the big screen, it’s a Cartoon Network show.
Universal confirms this surprising fact: “Mamma Mia!” has become the highest grossing film of all time in the UK box office. Impressive!
“Tron” sequel continues to move forward for its 2011 release, now has female lead cast: Olivia Wilde. TR2N is the marketing name for it.
Director James L. Brooks and Reese Witherspoon set to team up on an as-yet untitled comedy for Columbia Pictures. Photog to start in March.
Film Trivia! Was the movie “Memento” released in 2000, 2001 or 2002?
Careful, Lionsgate: they just bought rights to “Loving Frank”, a historic novel about Frank Lloyd Wright, by Nancy Horan. Could be very cool
Just got the greenlight: “Halloween 2” (aka “H2”) from Rob Zombie and Dimension Films. Scheduled release date? Halloween 2009. Zoom!
Luis Berdejo and Gold Circle Films are reteaming for “POD”, a sci-fi thriller that Berdejo will write and direct. It’s his first English gig
As you can see, it’s not focused on celebrity gossip but rather the industry, the business of filmmaking and cinema. If you want to be the one in your social circle who knows what films are coming out in a week, a month, a year, for example, its a great service for you.
That’s all. I just wanted to invite you, dear reader, to also subscribe to FilmBuzz and feel free to spread the word too, especially with your movie industry connections, if you have any.
And don’t be surprised to see FilmBuzz live-tweeting some film festivals in the next twelve months…