Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #319: Money Musings From the WTF Files...


There's a report going around the interwebs that a major studio is planning to do a big screen movie based on the Viewmaster.

I hope that it's a joke, not unlike my attempt at a Hungry-Hungry Hippos movie rumour, but a lot of people seem to be taking this Viewmaster movie seriously.

For those of you who don't predate Nintendo, the Viewmaster was a toy that looked like red plastic binoculars, but they didn't work like binoculars. You had to get a little cardboard circle, ringed with tiny photo-slides, shove it into the Viewmaster, hold it up to the light, look in, and you would see a 3D picture of the 1965 World's Fair.

Doesn't that just scream a big budget motion picture?

Which is why I hope it's a joke, because it's beyond ridiculous. Viewmasters may have pictures, but they certainly don't have any of the motion you need for a motion picture. They're the sort of toy that you use a little on Xmas day, toss in a box, and never think of again until years later and you're cleaning out your basement and say, "Hey, my old Viewmaster," look in it one more time, and then toss it back into the box until the scene repeats itself again when you're with your grandchildren and packing for you trip to the old folks home.

It's such a lame idea I'm certain that a studio is probably going to drop a few million on it.


This time it's the taxpayers of California who are shelling out a reported $2.5 million for the police, and other sundries overseeing today's media circus.

AEG, the concert promoter and host of this event, has refused to pay for these extras, even though they are trying to use this event to suck some cash out of Jackson's legacy.

Now any other state would have said: "Whoa there pardner, no moolah, no memorial."

But this isn't any other state, this is California, otherwise known as fame's doormat.

A state that's paying vendors and suppliers with IOU's because it HAS NO MONEY, is taking a $2.5 million hit that it can't afford because it involves someone famous.

If AEG refused to put up the money for the police, fire, and ambulance services that have to oversee such an event, I'd have given them a big fat no. They could do it in another city, I wouldn't care. And don't talk about tourists will somehow pay for it by spending money in LA, and boost the economy, but I can't see it having that much of an effect. The state's economy, tax system, and government has become a massive black hole, where if you don't get your money up front, you're probably not going to get it at all once it's been picked apart. It's like studio bookkeeping, but writ large, and as a philosophy of governance.

Also, it's the principle of the thing. The state of California has to stop being a doormat for anyone and anything that can rouse some media attention, and get down to business.

I'd have billed AEG, and then billed the major media outlets like CNN, Fox News, and the networks for the right to cover the event. If they complain, tell them to sue, and remind them who the judges work for, and that by the time they get it to court, the event will be long over.

Sure, it's extortion, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

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