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February 12 at 8:15am

Nobody Knows Anything #4: Rethinking Franchises and Sequels

By Charles Peirce

OldBatmanv4It would seem, to the eyes of Hollywood, the high form of film has become the franchise. It satisfies the two poles of conventional business wisdom: limiting risk as it promises more of the same, maximizing profit as it entices investors with that self-same prospect.[1] The Hobbit is stretched out to encompass three movies, hordes of young adult novels are on the horizon, and Bob Iger suggests Frozen will now be a franchise after its huge success, but it’s hard to imagine that wasn’t always the plan. Strangely, though, two of the pioneers of the form, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, both predict doom for what they helped create. And the recent failure of The Lone Ranger (and John Carter before that) suggest they might just be right. [...]


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January 29 at 8:15am

Nobody Knows Anything #2: What Makes A Film Good?

By Charles Peirce  

Nobody2-300

Everyone, I’d hope, has some thoughts about what makes a film good. Perhaps it displays a degree of craft or a particular aesthetic sensibility, covers specific subject matter, has a quality story, certain stars, etc. As you get older and your exposure to cinema becomes both richer and more refined, that definition probably becomes more nuanced. Still, if further pressed most people will also have some few “guilty pleasures” — films that don’t fulfill all their own requirements of what makes for a good film but which they like anyway. Perhaps they were childhood favorites, particular genres or kinds of stories that give comfort, or they just have an indescribable something. It can all seem very subjective, but that discrepancy, between our self-defined tastes and our secret loves, is a telling one.

[...]


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October 31 at 12:10am

“Hopefully It Will Be An Inspiring Package Of Entertainment” aka Disney’s Star Wars Franchise

George Lucas has always been an “inspiring package of entertainment”.  To me, he represents a distinct strand of indie: the entrepreneurial artist.  A great vision that recognized how to maximize the business proposition inherent in a story world and it’s execution.  How much money did his model draw into the industry, dreaming of a repeat success?  I suspect it has given birth to thousands upon thousands of cinema babies.  Once we start recognizing the affinity that the creative industries have with start ups and general entrepreneurial ventures all share, we will be able to properly measure Mr. Lucas’ effect — and it will be awe-inspiring indeed.  But that is not the only reason I remain optimistic at this latest stab at media consolidation.  Or should I say “despite” this latest stab? [...]


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