Blog Posts

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Content Creation is Getting Better Because of the Pandemic

by / 10-Jan-21

          “You can't sign me, and I don't want to be signed.” -- Greta – “Begin Again,” Exclusive Media Group, 2013

Well…it’s about time!

For what? 

Have you seen the list of big Hollywood film projects that have started back up, again … finally?

Ooppss…put on hold again!

Good thing most of the smart folks chose work locations that cared about the work and workers.

After a lot of Zoom vetting on the part of crew members and actors, Universal finally convinced their crews they were going to do everything possible to keep them safe to restart work on Jurassic World: Dominion.

It’s definitely not your mom’s video story production world anymore. And with the new procedures going into place, it will never be again!

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Streaming Evolution Is Fast, Some Can Be Disingenuous

by / 21-Dec-20

 “Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!” – Margo, “All About Eve,” 20th Century Fox, 1950

Like the M&E industry, what is considered acceptable and what is frowned upon is constantly evolving.

We’re not certain if the changes are good/needed or we’ll simply become numb and ultimately accept it as the “new norm.”

Comedian and social satirist Lenny Bruce was thrown in jail in 1964 for obscenity.

In the early ‘70s, George Carlin developed a funny as h**l monologue - Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television - https://bit.ly/39WJiNK.

Right now, Oscar winner Nicholas Cage is busy working on a six-episode docuseries for Netflix, History of Swear Words - https://bit.ly/39WRGN2.

Sure, we know the words, there are times we’ve reached the point where we’ll occasionally use one or two (okay, three).

However, we often wonder what they really add to a movie or TV show script. 

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People Renewing the Big Screen Experience

by / 14-Dec-20

“They're after the place. They don't know why; they just remember. Remember that they want to be in here.” – Peter, “Dawn of the Living Dead,” Dawn Associates, 1978

 

Give us a hint, please!

What are all the market analysts and experts measuring when they track Warner’s Tenet in theaters and Disney’s Mulan streamed in the US and in select overseas theaters?

Or how about Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 and Netflix The Midnight Sky?

Both drew about the eyeballs and sales you’d expect … move along folks nothing to see here.

The world and industry are so different from 2019, any comparison of measurements, benchmarks or projections you make.

 

They’re probably as good as our neighbor’s kids’ guesses; and they’re in grade school.

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AI, ProAV Products Critical as the World Progresses

by / 07-Dec-20

AI, Personal Touch – AI technology can significantly advance AV and Pro AV solutions as long as they constantly have the human touch. 

At the end of last year, the more cautious industry analysts were recommending that Pro AV folks (hardware/software/integration/service) diversify into “more economically insensitive market segments” to ride out the economic downturn they saw coming.

That sounds like a logical recommendation – go where life is constantly good and easy.

The big problem is it’s tough to find a market that is economically insensitive; and if you find it, you can bet someone else found it as well. Especially since the global pandemic changed the global landscape for everyone!

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Mood Changes - It's Time to Streamline Streaming Services, Protect Content or ...?

by / 30-Nov-20

“I know we don't have any customers, but I thought that was a bad thing, not like, a business strategy.”  -- Barry, “High Fidelity,” Touchstone Pictures, 2000

Last Sunday evening, we played Twister with our daughter after she complained, “I’m bored and there’s nothing on TV. 

Are you kidding me? 

We have Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, Apple TV +, Hulu, Pluto, Tubi and Peacock streaming to us here in Silicon Valley; and you can’t find anything? 

You’re not trying!

But we rolled out the Twister mat and went to work climbing, stretching, falling over each other, getting some exercise and having fun.

We’re pretty sure we were more agile in “the old days” and despite the fun it sorta’ reminded us of the constantly changing entertainment world with everyone jumping from one circle to be at the right place at the right time. 

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Viewer Options Actually Benefit the Entire Entertainment Ecosystem

by / 23-Nov-20

 “I have no intention of taking a job. My work is going far too well - I can't afford to waste time earning money.” – Arthur Rimbaud, “Total Eclipse,” FIT Productions, 1995

Attention streaming video folks.

Yes, we really, really like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+, Disney + stuff.  

We like this and that on BritBox and HBO, or whatever you’re calling it today.

So why didn’t we throw Peacock, Pluto, Tubi into the pile?   They’re free.

If we lived in China, we’d like Youku, iQuyi, LeTV and Tencent Video stuff.

If we were in India, we’d like Hotstar, Hungama, Spuul and Jio Cinema stuff.

If we were in Europe, we’d like Cinesquare, Uncut and Joyn+ stuff.

If we were in Africa, it would be APAC, EMEA; yeah, different stuff.

Get the picture?

It’s not about you.

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Everyone in the M&E Industry is Evaluating Their Options

by / 16-Nov-20

“When you have access to the vastness of space, you realize there's only one resource worth fighting over... even killing for: More time. Time is the single most precious commodity in the universe.” – Kalique Abrasax, “Jupiter Ascending,” Warner Bros, 2015

Several weeks ago, on one of our forums, one of the participants was lamenting how streaming media was messing up the entire industry by showing all of the best content D2C, limiting options to filmmakers and leaving nothing but crumbs for movie theater owners and audiences. 

Wrong dude--just plain wrong! 

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Short Mobile Viewing is Nice but People Like Long Stories

by / 09-Nov-20

“I once asked this literary agent, “Uh, what kind of writing paid the best...” he said, "Ransom notes." – Harry Zimm, “Get Shorty,” 1995, MGM

I don’t know about you, but we’re getting awfully tired of looking up people’s noses during Zoom meetings.

It probably doesn’t bother you; but one of our college degrees was in radio & TV, so we were drilled on how to act, look and respond to a camera.

But today, everything is a closeup and we have to tell you…you need to trim your nose hair!

Seriously!

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Content Industry Players Need to Anticipate, Embrace Change or ...

by / 02-Nov-20

“Listen, you moron! I am here to stay and if you don't wanna be in my life, you've got two choices. Move out or Ring out! That's it! End of File!” – Lt. Jordan O’Neil, “G.I. Jane,” Caravan Pictures, 1997

We just canceled our fourth holiday trip this year … no warm water diving this year.

But we’re an optimist, so next year …  yeah!

Actually, we should have realized the entire M&E industry was going to change back in February when VIP Cinemas, the world’s largest producer of reclining movie seats, filed for bankruptcy but we blew the move off as just a knee- jerk reaction to a “temporary inconvenience.”

Fortunately, most of the industry took the time to examine every aspect of entertainment that actually hasn’t changed much since the end of the studio caste system back in 1948 (and probably before that but…). 

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TIFF Highlights Equality in Your Entertainment

by / 24-Oct-20

 “When no one is to blame, everyone is to blame.” – Pope Francis, “The Two Popes,” Netflix

Because of the global pandemic, we were unable to go to this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Couldn’t go in years past because we couldn’t afford it.

Nice to have a new reason.

Actually, we’ve never minded missing over the top film festivals like Venice and Cannes. But having to pass up September’s TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) hurt.

Next to Sundance, TIFF is one of the events where they really focus on new, different and great indie filmmaker projects. 

Plus, it reminded us we weren’t able to visit Amsterdam and IBC.

Next year? 

BAM! we’re there.