Saturday, March 29, 2008

Part IV - Book Review - The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein

You might want to begin with my first, second and third posts on The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein.

This is on the Social Logic of Hollywood.
Chapter 22 About the difference between only making movies for money, and those for social reasons.
Chapter 23 Hollywood community vs. the outsiders
Chapter 24 about the Elites of Hollywood (categorically)
(Stars, Directors, Agents, Writers, Producers, Execs, & Gurus)
Chapter 25 Reasons for work
Chapter 26 Hollywood Deceptions (Psuedoheroes, Psuedorealism, Psuedoyouth, Psuedoacting, Psuedopraise, Psuedo credits, & Psuedonews)

Political Logic of Hollywood
Chapter 27 Shaping the views of people watching
Chapter 28 Politics & social pressure groups and Hollywood
Chapter 29 Politics that affect Hollywood globally.

Epilogue The Future of Hollywood and movies.

I'm off to the library to get the book I read years ago that just arrived by inter-library loan, and there's another few books that I'll probably read next week, plus maybe a DVD or two.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Quotation Meme

I have been Tagged by Fun Joel for this meme.

Also quotes by
Emily Blake of White Board Markers
Maggie of Bootstrap Productions
Christina Ferguson of Developmental Hell

Original Rules:Look up 15 of your favorite films on IMDB and take a quote from each. List them below. When someone guesses the quote correctly, cross it off the list. NO CHEATING.

Hugo's Rules:Either look up 20 of your favorite film quotes on IMDB OR look up your the movie scripts online and take a favorite line. Only theatrical release movies. List them below. When someone completes information on the quote correctly, cross it off the list. NO CHEATING.
1 point for each of the first three categories (+1 point for each correct writer involved):

  1. Movie Title
  2. Actor/Actress who said it
  3. Character Name
  4. Writers

A little bit more difficult, but much more entertaining.

AGAIN ... No cheating.
I admit, sadly, that I can only occasionally get the writer(s) but can get the films, characters, and actor/actress quite a bit.

1) Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. Easy doesn't enter into grown-up life."

2) Ah, experience has conditioned you into thinking that all hearts are red and all spades are black because their shapes are similar. It's easier for your mind to interpret them based on that past experience instead of being open to the idea they could be different. We see what we expect to see, not necessarily what's really there. Children who have never played cards always pass this test. Makes you wonder how many other things are right in front of you - sights, sounds, smells that you can't experience because you've been conditioned not to. The good news is, if we do the test again, you'll pass. Once you're aware that there can be black hearts and red spades you'll be able to perceive them. Our brain's wiring is like the interstate highway system. It's easier to go from one well-traveled place to another. But the places in between, off the highway, even though they're there, most people zip right past them. 3) You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." But only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line."4) Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

5) I don't like warriors! They're too narrow-minded, no sublety. Worse, they fight for hopeless causes...for honor! Honor has killed millions of people but hasn't saved a single one.(pause)You know what -- do I like though, I like killer. A real dyed in the wool killer. Cold-blooded. Clean. Methodical. Thorough.

6) Yeah, I believe in love; I also believe in cancer.

7) Well Satan is in deep shit.

8) And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that's it, I'm done.

9) I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.

10) Hello Peter. What's happening? Um, I'm gonna need you go ahead and come in tomorrow. So if you could be here around nine, that would be great. Oh, oh, yea…I forgot. I'm gonna also need you to come in Sunday too. We, uh, lost some people this week and we need to sorta catch up. Thanks.

11) Oh, absolutely I believe in God. And I absolutely hate the fucker.

12) Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had a no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Oh, Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while I'm at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

13) Some of the best things in life are total mistakes.

14) If a friend borrows a twenty bucks and you never see him again, it was probably worth it.

15) We can't shoot a dog. People? Okay, but not dogs.

16) If I were dead and you were still fighting for life, I'd come back from the darkness. Back from the pit of hell to fight at your side.

17) Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now.

18) Summa cum laude. Magna cum laude. The radio's too laude. Adeste fidelis.

19) This isn't the state of California, it's a state of insanity.

20) To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three tigers.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Busy week : Reviews: Books, DVDs, ETC.

I'll be posting Part IV later on The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein. Meanwhile, I finished Hype and Glory by William Goldman. It's a good look into the behind the scenes on film festivals, in this case, specifically Cannes Film Festival. Though dated, I doubt much has changed in regards to judging for the festival.

I watched 10 epidodes (on 3 DVDs) of IFC's "FILM SCHOOL" which covered NYU students making their 10 minute shorts and all the problems they encounter, and how they overcome many of them. It's good for anyone trying to make a short for a film festival. My only real peeve was they did not include the entire 10-minute films that these people finished. It would have been enjoyable to watch them in complete after seeing the work put into them.

I 'I.L.L.'ed a book I read 19 years ago, that I could remember neither the author of, nor the title to, but since I remembered the storyline, I managed to discover it. I use the library to read it again, and see if it was as good as I remember it to be. If so, I'll get a copy, if not, I'll save a few dollars.

I am now on disk 3 of EDISON: The Invention of the Movies. I also managed to get this one at the local library. I had it on my wishlist, which I can now remove. It does have several things I'll note when I get done. For those who are interested, It's 4 Disks, costs about $80, and is available from Kino Video. I figure, to make a film above average, I should make it understandable without dialog or sound, those should only enhance it. Therefore, I'm researching quite a bit of the silent era. Also, some of their low-budget techniques could still be used today.

More later, hope you all are well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Part III - Book Review - The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein

You might want to begin with my first and second post on The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein.

We start with Production aspects.
Chapter 6 - details Developmental Hell.
Chapter 7 covers getting the green light.
Chapter 8 is a short synopsis of pre-production work, post-greenlight.
Chapter 9 is a synopsis of production shooting.
Chapter 10 is a synopsis on CGI and sound in post.
Chapter 11 covers editing and the costs of getting it caught up in a clearing house.

We move onto creating (or finding) the audience.
Chapter 12 covers the basis to create an awareness of a movie.
Chapter 13 covers the publicity and marketing campaign and costs for a film.
Chapter 14 covers theatrical release dates.

On to the economics of hollywood.
Chapter 15 deals with how theaters make (or lose) money, ratings, length of stay for a film, etc.
Chapter 16 deals with foreign market distribution and advertising.
Chapter 17 covers the the home video revolution (in all formats).
Chapter 18 covers television distribution.
Chapter 19 covers basic merchandising.
Chapter 20 covers why violence, or nudity may be added or subtracted to fit the audience, regardless of the story.
Chapter 21 talks about winning rough formulaes, especially those in relation to the billion-dollar-earning movies.

That's about it for now, tune in for part IV.


Apparently there was an earthquake here in Connecticut last night. I only found out about it this morning. It was 2.0 on the richter scale. This is only noteworthy as I had posted about feeling the 2.5-2.8 one in 2001, after the latest 2.0 had occurred but before hearing about it. Strange but true. Apparently Maine also had one a couple days ago. Looks like the lands getting lively on the east coast.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Part II - Book Review - The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein

In my first post on The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein, The first chapter covered 60% of the old system and 40% of the new system.

Then it moves into Part I: The New System which consists of chapters 2, 3, 4, & 5. Chapter two is about those who created the new Hollywood entertainment conglomerates and how they did it. Chapter three is on the problems with moving product into foreign markets, and how they overcame them. Chapter four covers the "Big Six" in entertainment. Detouring around problems, and creating the various axis of controlling the market. Chapter five covers, in a nutshell, how they make money while rarely making a profit.

It's truly interesting stuff, and while I can understand their wish not to pay the gluttonous governments of the world their over-taxation beyond the minimum due. It also serves to fill their greedy pockets. Well, if they avoid paying most of the taxes, the government raises business rates across the board to compensate, thus further burdening other businesses often most detrimentally, small businesses. Second it provides that they can shelter themselves from paying much in the way of back-end to anyone. Now I'm not against anyone making a profit, nor even a big profit. However, when it doesn't help your workers who are helping make that profit, or worse, you screw them to make your profit, then you are really just a greedy bastard.

Part of this can be stated because they are publicly traded companies & that their bonus' are paid in stock. Therefore rather than concentrating on dividends, they focus on raising stock price. Of course, the fact that the government always wants more in taxes, rather than coming up with ways to reduce spending, means that they are at least as much of the problems as the companies themselves.

Bah, anyways, 5 chapters down, 24 to go, plus epilogue, notes, acknowledgements.

I'm going to I.L.L. Planning the Low-Budget Film by Robert Latham Brown on Tuesday and probably be able to pick it up later in the week. If you haven't heard of it or him, I'll sum it up. He is a well known line-producer who doesn't go over budget. His book, contrary to it's title, covers budgeting any movie, regardless of budget, and is basically the industry bible as far as books on the subject go.

Film Review - Jumper

This is a pretty good escapist film, kind of a immature super-hero thing. Basically, the young protagonist has the ability to jump space. The antagonists are a group of religious zealots who kill any jumpers they find. Toss in love intrest, lost mother, drunk father, a bully, and stir. I'm still wondering why he has a passport, considering he can avoid customs anytime he wants.

DVD review - Waiting

I watched Waiting, which is both sick and funny, if you've ever done any kind of food service, and had to deal with people who existed to make others miserable, then you'll get the humor. Of course some of it is still pretty disgusting. Mainly about someone who finds themselves in the common rut of working in food service.

DVD Review - Cashern

I Watched Cashern on DVD. It's a good film, which is moderately unusual for a japanese film. Doubly so, when you consider that it only had a $6,000,000 or so budget. Sci-Fi anime that was turned into a live flick.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Part I - Book Review - The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein

I stopped by the library. I decided to invest some time in books. Mostly will have topics on either Film or writing. So for the first installment: The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein. The first 60% of chapter one is on The origins of Hollywood and the creation of the 'Studio System'. I figure this is about six hours of reading, but I'll be breaking it up over the next two three days before flipping it for another. I also have to put in some more time writing scripts.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

DVD Movie Review - Daredevil

Daredevil was a great flick. The copy I had was 2 disks and had lots of behind the scenes and commentaries. Good stuff.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

DVD Movie Review - "O"

Modern retelling of Othello. Actually pretty good. I passed it to a friend and will listen to the commentary later. It's definately worth a watch, especially if you're teaching Shakespeare at the high school level. Maybe your students will get this version easier.

DVD Movie Review - Monster's Ball

Watched Monster's ball. Starred Billy Bob Thornton, so had less than high expectations for it. His acting wasn't too bad. The movie was somewhat deep, but the pacing killed me. Way too slow, english ending. I'll probably listen to the director's commentary sometime, but it's not high on my list of things to be done.

DVD Movie Review - Shrek the Third

Watched Shrek the Third. Not a bad story, but not nearly as good as 1 & 2. They put alot more into the computer graphics end though. That looked great. It just didn't do enough for me in the laugh department. Made some French Toast. Not sure what I'll eat now.