Video Of The Week: New Tools For Filmmakers
Here’s a talk that my partner Andy did with our friend Jason Hirschorn last year about the changing landscape of filmmaking. It’s about 45mins long
Here’s a talk that my partner Andy did with our friend Jason Hirschorn last year about the changing landscape of filmmaking. It’s about 45mins long
Part of the problem that they identify are friction points. When we think about movie theatres, this summer revenue is way down. I think that is less about the friction point, and instead about the content on the screen. Most movies today suck.
REDEF took a 3 part look at the Film biz recently via a contribution from one of our readers. http://www.mediaredefined.c…
I don’t think that movies suck as much as there is so much more content now to compare them to and the market for movies has changed so much that studios can’t make the movies they used to be able to do because of all the content freely available they are competing with.Let’s look at the Flight of the Conchords song “The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” for inspiration :Well, looking ’round the room, I can tell that youAre the most beautiful girl in the roomIn the whole wide roomAnd when you’re on the street, depending on the streetI’ll bet you are definitely in the top threeGood looking girls on the streetDepending on the streetSo….. depending on the street..Much of life is like this. Philly would be thought of as a much greater city and so would Chicago for that matter if NYC didn’t exists, right? Everything depends on the competition. The best ball players are the best because there isn’t someone better playing at the same time that they are being compared withYale is number two because there is Harvard.As far as friction points the friction seems more like friction because of so many choices. I’ve heard that men in NYC have so many choices they won’t drive from east side to west side. Me on the other hand, when I was single, I drove from Philly to NYC  because there were so few choices locally. And I don’t mind putting in effort for things. Obviously that’s a ton of friction that men in NYC would never have to do and would laugh at. So friction is relative not absolute. https://www.youtube.com/wat… Similar, Fred is probably investing more globally than he used to just because of the increased valuations and competition in the states.
I disagree. Movies at the movie theatre generally suck now. Retreads. Unimaginative. 1/20 are decent. The real great things to watch are series on HBO, Netflix etc. They are breaking ground.
Movies at the movie theatre generally suck nowWell first, how do you define a movie that sucks? Is it one that a) you don’t like b) critics don’t like c) doesn’t make any money ?1/20 are decent.While there were a nice amount of “great” movies (as defined by either critics or $$ audiences) “back in the day” there were also a ton of really bad ones. Which you don’t remember. Like all that snow when we were growing up (don’t remember the days that it didn’t snow..) Would be interesting to calculate the percentages of product vs. success. (But even then w/o competition not sure it matters).But more importantly, the studios could, in a sense, iterate more and perhaps take chances back then because they had a captive audience as well as the studio system. They can’t do that now. Hey guess what? That is what HBO and Netflix have. A captive audience. I just plucked this one HBO film:http://www.usatoday.com/sto…The real great things to watch are series on HBO, Netflix etc. They are breaking ground.A film like the above (about AIDS) can make it on HBO because HBO has a captive audience  (you have already subscribed) and nobody is canceling or making a choice because of one or three bad movies. It’s a “gross” relationship. (Same with netflix). At the theaters you vote each time individually. Different. Certainly you can see the difference in the risk that you can take when you are HBO vs. a Studio? You don’t buy subscriptions yearly to a studio (or even monthly). And even if you did you have other content that floats you in the mean time. Totally entirely different thing behaviorally.Risk always has to be factored into things. A child in college who needs to get certain grades to get into, say, medical school, is not going to be able to take the same risks as someone who is going into their father’s business after graduating. Captive audience: Back in the day at Turnpike rest stops there was typically one food choice. And it sucked usually. Why? Because it could suck. You had no other choices and the restaurant knew that. They knew you’d be there in the seat even if the chicken was dry. You were captive.
Creativity in episodic TV reigns supreme, I agree.I find myself at a loss when I run out and invariably am in between binges.Over the last month or so, just rewatched the Sopranos. Talk about storytelling!
Did Boxee’s sale to Samsung come to soon? I wonder how Jason could have teamed up with the Boxee team..still possible?
The part that really had me nodding my head was the discussion about the cloud.My husband and I own about 300 DVDs. We’re extremely big movie consumers, and we want to watch what we want when we want. When we pay for a movie, we want to own it forever.Buying movies from Verizon gives me a lot of anxiety. When I switch to a different cable provider, do I still own that movie? Does it follow me to Comcast? I’m doubting it (but haven’t bothered to find out).When I buy a movie, I want to own *the movie,* not the piece of plastic it’s on. I want to automatically have it available on all my devices and services. If I want to copy it down to my tablet, I should be able to do that. It’d be cool to be able to lend my digital copy of a film to a friend for, say, 24 hours. I want a library of digital signatures, proving what I’ve purchased, that I can store anywhere I want and use anywhere I want, that isn’t at the mercy of any gatekeeper.If we could do this, I know we’d buy even more movies than we buy now.I think that’s one of the reasons that I am going to Amazon more and more for my movie purchases (and music). More options, and more security that my purchase isn’t going to evaporate.On the other hand, I wish they’d have compared how digital and online have impacted the music industry. I don’t understand very much about that business, but it seems like indie bands have been reduced to constantly touring because it’s the *only* way they can make money now.
I don’t like the whole idea of the decision process to get an online movie.I have FIOS and I won’t even consider getting a movie from them.Even on Amazon you are confronted with 4 choicesHD BuyHD RentNormal BuyNormal Rent (or whatever they call it).So I am confronted with 4 prices to consider. Not only that but rent timeconstraint is way to short.Even if you calculate if you have to pay again you will pay less than a buy it creates a disincentive because it’s a negative you feel as if you’ve wasted money.Better would be to simply charge a set price and offer a discount “if you get done watching early or decide to cancel”.So, say the price is $12. If you watch less than 10 minutes after the credit roll you can start to watch at any time in the future. If you roll less than 10 minutes you can still cancel and get a full refund. If you roll more than 10 minutes and finish within 7 days you get a discount. If you finish after 7 days you own it and can watch again anytime. (Gives you two Saturday nights.).This is similar to what video stores used to do. You rent for a price and are expected to return by X date. If you exceed X date you pay a premium. If you lose the disk you pay a bigger premium.
It’d be cool to be able to lend my digital copy of a film to a friend for, say, 24 hours.I’ve had really bad luck with this. People have lost things (one was an ex girfriends father) as well as others.Onus is on you to make sure the disk is returned. What has your experience been when lending? Do you have to keep on top of it or do you lend and then the friend cheerfully returns with no effort on your part?
How does that go? The person who lends is a fool. The person who returns it is a bigger fool?
Yeah, so if you’re lending a digital copy that is locked out after 48 hours, or something, a lot of friendships will be saved 😉 There’s no such thing as not returning it.
it’s like watching a therapy session between a drug addict and his counsellor.
who is who?
left to right.it also reminds me of the chat between Dick Costolo, Philippe Dauman, and Martin Sorrell.
I would think maybe Howard Stern and Babba Booie
Andy has provided me with therapy for years, but in fairness to him, it’s really an uphill battle.
Great Stuff. I read recently the the Chinese Box Office Gross is about the same as US. The chinese of course have wider access to pirated movies that we do in the US. This tells me that “on demand” and theaters can coexist. Why aren’t there ads on facebook, promoting the Theater Experience? In a way, Hollywood execs may be to blame, for the most part (and its pretty ironic), they don’t use the product (the theater experience) that they are so dependent on.
Given that, to a large extent Jason and I both grew up in 1980s club land NYC, I’d wonder who the duggy is and who the counsellor is?
group sessions help. invite your board.
Andy has a job and a family. So providing me with 7 sessions a week has honestly been a burden on him.
I’m totally going to take the time to watch this one. Good bait comment!
Distribution windows and layered rights worked far better in the pre-digital age when there were far less entertainment options avail in the home. Consumers were far more inclined to see a film during its theatrical release, while today there’s less of an immediate need w/ so many entertainment alternatives created via digital expansion, compounded by the fact overall film quality and the in-theater price/value relationship are both in decline. Television studios revised their cost structure by migrating to reality TV from costly scripted programs. Film studios and theater owners need to re-think the in-theater user experience from both a cost and entertainment standpoint if in-theater distribution is going to even modestly survive. Box office sales will continue to wane unless they reinvent the experience and re-price.
Can you give me any scenario where if the if is was released simultaneously you would go to the theater rather than at home?I go to films at the Sunshine cause it gets me east and i make an evening of it. In almost every other circumstance its a pain.
Answer: To much content.There is (what used to be) a solely art theater called Ritz that was both in center city philly as well as a few suburban locations. Way back this was the place where they showed films that weren’t in general release:http://articles.philly.com/…They opened up the suburban location (near where I am) and it did very well. However it isn’t doing well now because you can get that type of content in many places. Vs. when Posel opened up you could only see it in one place or two (his theater for example). The center where it is at has lost many tenants simply because the theater isn’t pulling in the crowds like it used to (this was in the mid 90’s when that opened). Not doing so well (a good marker for this type of thing is when they allow a medical office into a strip retail complex..)The fact is people went to theaters for multiple reasons (my parents would always go out on Sat night with friends for a movie and, say dinner) and I went to theaters when I was dating and in high school but I avoid it now at all costs. Because you didn’t have the comfort of your own home as well as so many entertainment choices. Not to mention that dining is now like entertainment, right <- Big factor. Dining was never as entertaining as it is now.This brings up an interesting point. We think of things dying like buggy whips and carriages because they are not needed anymore.But there are also things that die simply because enough people stop doing an activity that it no longer becomes feasible to offer it (say if business drops 35% which is way less than the buggy whip business did). I think this is often overlooked in business because people tend to see things as black and white and say “there will always be a need for” without considering that if enough people don’t need it to make it profitable for existing players people will stop offering it. Then you have in a sense a negative network effect.
I think certain films are unquestionably “big screen” films and lose considerable impact value on a (relativity) small screen. “Gravity” comes to mind. Shitty script, great EFX. IMAX films, of course. Drop the tix prices and add new amenities. Bundle the tix price w lunch/dinner provided in-theater by local chefs. In NYC you’re gonna spend $40 for 2 tix plus drinks, popcorn, etc. Charge $75/ $100 for 2 tix and provide me with a modest meal prepared by rotating neighborhood chefs, who get the added exposure to their craft and any restaurant affiliation. Convert one of 6 or 12 multiplex theaters into a bistro. Change the model and the experience. Make the experience more community based. In-theater is currently a losing prop vs. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Re-position in-theater against local entertainment, not vs. streaming services.
In my relatively short time in the movie biz as a branded tech provider and investor, I’ve had these discussion lots, seen some avenues tried but I don’t this is the direction we will see.The answer short term in International but I don’t think anyone has a clue how to handle the situation nor I think the guts to really take a stab.Thanks for your input on this!
That was a great interview. I couldn’t stop watching it. Yes to:- more mavericks – lower distribution costs (hint: Internet)- more disruption (hey, better to shoot yourself in the foot instead of waiting for someone else to shoot you in the head)- free content – cloud-based servicesThat’s it. The future is here. Let’s distribute it more evenly now.
I’ll make the time to watch this based on your remarks.Has distribution of movies really changed that much? We wait for things to cycle through the theaters and end up on streaming through whatever vehicle.Cost of doing biz? Cost of marketing? Really that changed?Funding yes. The rest, don’t know.
You’re right we’re still waiting! But there is hope.
I get criticized all the time for being too optimistic.Here’s the rub. The net is the change agent and the possibility for the future but it is not in itself the answer.Take a look at the Kickstarter funded flicks.Be interesting to see who marketed and distributed them. The funding was outside the system–is the distribution?
This is the first time I’ve seen Andy on Video (although I’ve read a lot of his stuff). He came across very well, as did Jason.
I just watched this.Really good and for me as well, the first intro to Andy.I’ve sent this along to some of the founders of RLD. We spent our lives thinking about these issues as we rolled out 3D back when.
Yes, it’s hard to disagree with anything that was said during the video.
I really enjoyed this video. I agree with the general concept that the industry is on the brink of change. It’s an exciting time. What I like – the idea that the ‘pennies of a lot of people can build something great’. Great line Jason. The Kickstarter model is interesting. Also that the ‘in theatre experience ‘ is very valuable (it’s social in a truly authentic way) but needs to innovate around the edges (better seats etc – Like the Electric in Nottinghill). If someone came up with an amazing theatre experience, I think people would flock to it.What I don’t agree with – is the concept of losing windowing or taking lightly the fact that a major film like Iron Man is easy to produce. I watched Star Wars tonight with my son (the original). It’s an amazing work of artistry. If anyone has produced even a 3 minute video before, they will know just how hard producing a Star Wars could be. As for windowing – people window on YouTube. Windowing is purely about creating excitement.There is change on the horizon driven by inefficiencies in the system and the fact that creativity is just beginning it’s ascent on the web. Storytelling is at an all time high and it will only increase in volume and richness and finally – yes finally – quality.But today’s tools (VOD plays, video curation apps like my very own Rockpack etc excluding Kickstarter) are part of the requisite false start that pre-dates true innovation in a sector. We need to focus on collaboration, data and creating a marketplace to drive niche interests across the distributed web. A great excerpt from a New York Times piece I read recently. LOVE IT. Sharing it.The Creative Revolution. A great piece of creative is no longer the work of a solitary genius. It is collaborative. Great ideas are the makings of many minds.From the New York Times – The End of Genius“WHERE does creativity come from? The lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon.”
“Taste, curation, recommendation”?Yup, broadly important.Andy wants a curation he will like: Not really. Instead he will want a different ‘curation’ for his different situations, interests, etc. So, a ‘curation’ cannot be accurate for Andy but only for something more specific about some particular situation, interest of Andy.Jason says that if Andy likes a movie, then that means that likely Jason will want to watch it. Generally not really: That’s trying to follow the ‘social Web’ and, then, trying to like some ‘playlist’ of some friend — too inaccurate in several respects.Can independent digital do a $200 million film, with KickStarter funding? Not right away, but in time:Here’s how: Some independent guy does something on his PC, in his living room, with a few thousand dollars of equipment, and otherwise for free, gets a niche movie, uploads it to YouTube, has it go viral, gets a lot of views, and makes some money.Then they take that money and make a $100,000 movie.Then they iterate and eventually make a $200 million movie.
I think this is interesting with the exception of ‘uploads it to YouTube and has it go viral’. Nothing on YouTube just ‘goes viral’. Or anywhere. Virality is a labour of love. And if you work the Kickstarter channel, you probably don’t need YouTube. It has become to broad a platform to drive specific behaviours.
As I recall, there have been many claims that some clips on YouTube “went viral”. So, where and how was the “love” applied to make those things happen? Coverage by the MSM? Tweets on Twitter? Followers on Facebook? Posts on popular blogs?Let’s start a course Virality 101 for Dummies.
Well, this showed up very appropriately in my Twitter stream this morning.
Anyone know of a company that can automatically produce a transcript from videos like this? Think that would be great for cases like today when I forgot to bring my headphones to work, would love to be able to skim through what’s discussed.
Once again…thank you AVC for being the pulse of so many marketplaces and educating us, your readers. This goes for your talk on Bitcoin too, enjoyed and learned from that as well.