Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1006: Random Drippings From My Brain Pan...

A group of writers for the Joan Rivers' show Fashion Police have filed suit saying the E! Network show is in violation of California's labour laws and owes them over $1 million in unpaid wages.

Now I have only seen commercials for Fashion Police, and those commercials give the impression that it's Joan Rivers and a bunch of other catty self-professed fashion experts sitting in a cheap little studio making catty comments about what celebrities are wearing.

Which raises the question: Just how lame are the people on that show that not only do they need writers to provide them with the cattiness they pretend is coming off the top of their heads, they work them to the point of owing them over $1 million in unpaid overtime?

I would ask Joan Rivers, a former writer herself, for a comment, but she is probably at a loss for words.


Both Paramount's World War Z and Marvel's Iron Man 3 are having specially edited versions released in China to appease the government's censors.

World War Z is reportedly removing scenes from the book that imply the communist country is the epicentre of the zombie plague due to a government cover up. However since the movie doesn't appear to have anything to do with the book, it might be a moot point.

Now I'm not sure what changes they have made to Iron Man 3, but I suspect that they're changing the name of arch-villain the Mandarin to the Englishman, and Tony Stark has a speech about the glories of Chairman Mao.

But seriously, this is a pitfall of what I call the Chinese Movie-Trap. China has a massive population, one that goes to the cineplexes to see movies far more regularly than people in North America and Europe, so it's a huge potential market.

However, like I always say, it is not a free market.

The Chinese government, despite recent market reforms, is still a dictatorship. It controls what people see, and how they see it, especially movies from the west, only allowing a handful to be released there each year. It also restricts the amount per-ticket that the studios can collect to some of the lowest levels in the world.

The Hollywood studios are facing declining numbers of theatre goers at home, and skyrocketing costs. Any attempt to reverse the negative trends in the west would require a lot of work and the challenging of some of Hollywood's fundamental shibboleths when it comes to their attitudes towards their own management practices and how they treat the audience.

It seems easier to just deal with a handful of elite politicians in China in the hope that they will provide the magic pill they need to save their jobs.


David Ellison, sibling of indie darling Megan Ellison, is expanding his blockbuster financier Skydance Productions into television.


Because that's where the real money is.

Sure, everyone likes to point at the hundreds of millions of dollars raked in by big budget blockbusters at the theatres, but those numbers are mostly an...
Because when a big budget movie makes big money at the box office the profits have a tendency to shrink into nothingness.

However, if you get a show on TV that has a long and healthy run you pretty much have a license to print money. You have the broadcast license fees, repeat fees, home video and streaming, merchandise licensing, and international broadcasting fees.

It all adds up to some sweet sweet greenbacks.

So if you're a producer it's just good business to get into television.

1 comment:

  1. Dirty Mcdingus sez:

    They've already written themselves into a dunghole with such noted works to be released like that end of the human race starring actors playing themselves!
    CG cartoons have more weight now than real life playing actors and they don't require more than a few hours of voices in a small booth!