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December 7 at 8:15am

Simple Observation: One Reason It Is Hard To Finance Films

Movies don’t have the same value as they used to, but they now cost much more to market.

Okay, maybe this simple observation is not as simple as I first thought.

When I started out in the film business, it was considered reasonable to value North American rights on a feature at 50% of negative costs.   If I was asked to value such rights today, on the average, I would say they were either zero or they would be a negative.

When I started producing movies, a well packaged and developed project could anticipate get 80% of it’s negative cost from licensing foreign rights.  The value of foreign rights has been dropping consistently for years.  What were once major territories in terms of revenue they returned, now seem virtually impossible to do deals in.  Television rights abroad supported acquisition prices for years, but now those slots are increasingly difficult to obtain everywhere.  If an independent film can piece together 50% of its negative cost from international, I think they are pretty fortunate. [...]


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October 16 at 9:02am

Completion Urge Fulfilled: A Viral Set

I skipped the nod to the Woodman this week, but Burns did not leave his prime inspiration out of his set:

And here’s the original (and yes, Eddie left off the opening VO):

[...]


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October 14 at 8:32am

Old Is New Again

I have often felt that you could do a shot for shot remake of Godard’s A WOMAN IS A WOMAN and win Sundance with it. It feels as fresh today as it did when it came out — which is both a testament to the quality of the film and condemnation of our current culture. We haven’t exactly moved forward in terms of our art forms and storytelling.

One thing that has reinforced my conviction that remakes could be the freshest thing on the planet, is Eddie Burns’ series of “homage” trailers he’s done around his latest film NICE GUY JOHNNY. If I saw this trailer without the context of what Eddie is up to, I would run to the theater to catch the feature. Even knowing that this is the third in a series of trailers that Eddie has done, it still makes me want to see what he’s been up to lately. Clearly he’s been inspired, and is having a lot of fun.

Okay, so this homage is not to the french new wave, but it is to a film that was heavily informed by all that those folks were up to, and filtered it through a big Hollywood lens. Did you name it? Got it after the jump. [...]


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October 13 at 8:31am

The Next Big Thing? Homage Trailers

Yesterday, I posted how Edward Burns has found inspiration in the classics, or at least in the classics’ trailers.  I get a huge kick from his “remakes”  that he has created around his new film NICE GUY JOHNNY.  ”Homages” to the greats are both funny to watch and a great discovery tool.  So if you had a jones for more after yesterday’s serving of Antonioni’s L’AVVENTURA, why stop there?  Here’s Eddie’s remake of Godard’s CONTEMPT:

[...]


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October 12 at 8:33am

Let’s Remake The Greatest Movies Of All Time!

Okay, let’s let the the great movies be the great movies (at least for now), but who says we can’t have fun with their various extensions?  Eddie Burns is on a role.  He’s always gotten a great deal of inspiration from the greats.  THE BROTHERS McMULLEN had a bit of Woody Allen — in Irish drag — as it’s patron saint.  He’s found new inspiration and energy from an embrace of DIY and social media, and as much as he’s looking forward, he’s drawing on the past.  To get us all ready for his new film NICE GUY JOHNNY (opening on all platforms Oct. 26), Eddie has looked at  the greatest movies ever made, but hey he’s a busy guy, so he doesn’t have time to watch the whole feature and has settled on the trailers.

Does this trailer remind you of anything you’ve seen before?

[...]


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April 19 at 7:21am

More Thoughts On The New Film Festival Model

“Blood Simple” was the first film I bought a ticket for at a film festival.  It was screening at the NYFF and I soon came to recognize that the films accepted to that fest were of a exceedingly high quality.  The curatorial taste behind that festival choices was something I had confidence in.  They gained my trust precisely because they have never tried to be all things for all people, and for that I have always been willing to pay a premium for. The NYFF was, and is, a trusted filter.

Too many festivals these days program too many films without revealing, or reveling in, their curatorial hands, diminishing the power of their brand in the process.  If festivals are going to become the new curators, that will have to change.  Festivals must emphasize their unique taste, if not overall, then within sidebars at the festival. [...]


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March 9 at 9:03am

Should Movie Poster Tag Lines Be Transformed

“Earth.  It Was Fun While It Lasted.”  Armegeddon’s tag line sticks with me, because I instinctively substitute “Earth” for “Indie Film” when I read it.

In these days of RampantFilmBizChange,  everything is ripe for reconsideration.  MCN hipped me to AdWeek’s collection of “66 Great Movie Taglines“.  Sure the list gets a smile regularly from me, but I walk away deadened and jaded.  The sell is obvious.  The dominant clever factor feels like a child beauty pagents’ related icky. “Look at me!  Look at me!  Give me a trophy!  Now!!!”.  Get me outta there.

Can’t we do better?  Or at least do different? [...]


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