Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #543: Shrinking-Growing

Welcome to the show folks....

2 stories today, one about shrinking, one about growing, read carefully, because this material is going to be on the exam.


It's beginning to look like film financier Spyglass Entertainment is in the lead to take the leadership of the debt crippled MGM Pictures. Now normally I'd be happy to see someone taking an interest in doing something with MGM, but I'm not quite so sure now.

The reason why is talk that Spyglass is looking to turn MGM into just a production company, and dump its marketing and distribution capabilities completely.

I just have one thing to say...


Spyglass is already a production company, turning MGM into one will reduce the already minuscule company to just a name and a logo that doesn't sell as well as it used. The one thing MGM has going for it was that it could get movies on screens. The trouble was that it didn't have the movies to put on those screens. When I first heard that Spyglass was interested in running MGM I thought:
A-ha, they're tired of being jerked around by their distributors and want to be masters of their domain. Yet here they are dropping this damp turd of an idea.

But before I condemn it any further, let's look at the pros and cons.


-Marketing and distribution is expensive, and the money saved by dumping those departments can be put on paying off MGM's massive debt.


-Getting another company to market/distribute films for a fee is also expensive, a lot of the time much more expensive than doing it themselves. Any savings made by dropping the Marketing and Distribution departments will probably be lost very quickly.

-Getting money out of distributors is a pain in the ass. They take a long time, they fiddle with the numbers to bleed production companies out of every nickel and dime they can. It's the nature of the beast.

-Getting the best treatment for your movies out of a distributor that is essentially a competitor is not always guaranteed. They aren't going to burn the sort of calories that a company that's fully invested in the film will do.

Now that the pros and cons have been weighed, you are now free to condemn the idea as being a big steaming pile.


Elizabeth Murdoch (daughter of Rupert) and her Shine Group just keeps on growing. They recently added comedy producer Brown Eyed Boy Productions to their roster which also includes Kudos, Firefly, and Princess Productions, as well as the Reveille company from the USA.

The recipe for Shine's success is to make partnerships with successful producers that gives them the resources and
infrastructure they need to grow, but otherwise leaving them alone as long as they keep making money.

I think that it's only a matter of time
before Shine starts looking across the pond at the USA. It's a big market, and it already buys a lot of their programming, and it's always been the land of opportunity.

If they keep growing at this rate, they might be able to afford a run at MGM some day, if it survives.

No comments:

Post a Comment