Monday, 12 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #553: Miscellaneous Musings

Welcome to the show folks...

I'd like to thank The Incredible Hulk for being my guest blogger earlier today. Though I wish he used the door instead of just smashing his way through my wall. Anyway, it's time for serious business news...


“Am I excited about making movies? No. Will we have no alternative but to make a certain level of movies? The answer is yes because a library of this magnitude will require it.”


It was:

For those who don't know, he's the billionaire builder who kicked $200 million of his own money into the $650 million purchase price to buy Miramax from Disney.

Which begs the question:


I mean the independent film business is the one business actually requires some excitement on the part of the owners. It's a stressful, feast or famine, roller-coaster ride of a business that requires someone to feel some passion for the field. Sometimes it's the only thing that will keep you alive.

I can understand if he's hoping to make money off the deal, but unless he's solely looking to flip the company for a quick profit from another buyer he's going to need some excitement. Otherwise he's going to toss the whole damn thing away in frustration and rage within six months.


Hoping to smooth the way for their big merger, cable giant giant Comcast and broadcaster/ TV-movie producer NBC-Universal have signed an agreement with the Independent Film & TV Alliance. Basically if the merger goes through Comcast-NBC will spend $6 million over 4 years on independent productions.

Here is a video comment sent to me by a spokesman for Comcast--

Okay, I'm just being silly again, so let's get serious:

Now that amount is basically pocket change for this deal, and I think they should spend more, and not just because I want to support indie TV producers, it's just good business.



During the recently passed age of mega media mergers folks were sold the snake oil that they could do everything in house. The idea was that every aspect of the creation, production, broadcast, and future sales of a TV show could be done within the conglomerate, with lots of remakes, product placements, unicorns, and lots of money, without a penny going to any outsiders.

But there's a problem with that.

It doesn't work.

Corporations in the creative industries of TV, film and publishing have a point where they can only go so far with what they already have. They hit a saturation point where they can go no further, and end up doing really stupid things. Things like remaking Knight Rider and trying to put a 1 hour prime time variety show every weekday to get out of buying out a late night talk show host's massive contract.

They need to go outside the reservation, for fresh blood, and fresh ideas. Fresh ideas that can only be created by the chemistry between two previously unrelated elements.

The proponents of synergy in network TV will tell you that such talk is treason and heresy, because it will deny the network the nice profits from syndicated reruns and DVD sales. How did the networks survive without them for the first 50 years of the industry? Quite well apparently. If they can't then they need to look at their own business model, because that is the real problem, not someone else making money.

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