The Changing World of Movie Viewing Part II

In the first post on this I discussed how actors/actresses are judged by an audience and how a film critic’s views no longer represent the public as much as they do the marketing execs.  They don’t represent the academy, that’s for sure. I will not rehash that here.  I want to discuss another aspect that Hollywood seems to trip  itself over.

Many marketing execs claim that they make films to appeal to teens and ‘tweens because they think that the older audience tends to “stay home”.  The logic is nothing more than a smokescreen to justify how they tend to make a lot of crappy films now.  Why? Because they are marketing the same type of crap to home viewers.  With the exception of a few shows, like “Hardcore Pawn” people are getting really sick of “reality TV“.  The fact of the matter is that many of these shows highlight what is wrong with society rather than what is enjoyable about it.  Some even tend to glamorize behavior that society should never tolerate from anyone for that matter–especially the authorities…For example, take the latest case:  Honey Boo Boo…What parent in their right mind would jeopardize the health of their own child by pumping him/her full of energy drinks and let them gain so much weight just so they can act the way this kid does?  The fact of the matter there is that they feel sorry for the kid and want to kick the parents’ asses, and I think many watch just to see if CPS will knock on their door…

Now back to the point of this post.  IF these execs knew what they were doing, they would market real movies with logical plots and believable story lines AT LEAST to the home viewers since they tell the public that the older audience tends to “stay home”…The bottom line is: They want the kids because they think most have only a two second attention span. Not only is that an insult the entire audience as a whole, but they insulted the entire Academy of Motion pictures with that line of thinking.  Do they really think when deciding for the Oscars that that is the logic of the members of the academy?  Seriously? If so, they should all be fired and replaced.

It seems to me that it is the performers and a handful of  directors and producers who have the real audience and fans in mind.  Both the Academy and the audience want original ideas, innovation, characters that COULD exist, believable story lines and even a little old-fashioned romance from time to time–and even HUMOR–REAL HUMOR–not this crap that always goes back to sexual innuendo either.  The innuendo and such has its place but it should not be on Prime-Time TV. THAT should be reserved for when the kids are in bed.  There is nothing illogical or “archaic” about that.  It is those execs who promote the bull shit that have limited their own potential by buying into their own crappy perception of the world they live in.  IF that were not the case, they wouldn’t be advising stock holders and producers to put money into pictures and TV shows that are not worth a damn.

When shows like “Harry’s Law” and “Memphis Beat” get cancelled, something is definitely wrong.  A network with a wiser CEO should work to get those shows on it.  I’ve got $10 that says with the RIGHT marketing and the RIGHT time slot, those two shows would be runaway hits for investors.

It is also time to stop with the sequels, prequels and remakes (or as some now call them “reboots”) that tend to deviate from original classic shows. NOT one of these has succeeded on TV this year or at the box office.  The only movie doing well in that category this year is “The Expendables 2” because it is a continuation of an ORIGINAL IDEA!   Thank God for Sly Stallone and Dolph Lundgren.  At least those guys have some idea of what an audience really wants…The only other fairly recent film which did well was “Star Trek” (2009).  J. J. Abrams did that one right–regardless of what some think.  He captured the essence of the original characters using new actors and did not deviate from their traits in the least.  That is more than I can say for the  “Dark Shadows” movie that was released this year.  Every reason that movie flopped is in a book written by Tom Laughlin  which you can find here:

http://www.billyjack.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BK9S&Category_Code=BOOKS&Store_Code=BERSERK

And I still say that had the Dark Shadows Revival series went beyond 12 episodes, it would have lasted.  That was one remake that did stick to Dan Curtis’s vision of what he thought his own creation should be.  He always knew what his fans wanted, that’s for sure.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday, everyone! Until next time…

 

The Changing Tide of Movie Viewing

If you read my earlier post, you know why I support the actors/actresses that I do and why I do NOT read a critic‘s review of a film on them.  It is simple. It is not the critic who will decide the success or failure of an actor/actress but the viewing audience.  The viewing audience is the performer’s harshest critic, but there are times when after gaining some knowledge that they realize the performer is only as good as the director(s)  and/or the screenwriter(s).

In general, the critic truly speaks for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).  While they are dedicated to the advancement of motion pictures and boasts a membership of over 6,000 members, they do not represent the viewing audience–who buys the majority of the tickets. In short, their usefulness is in question since times have now changed.

More and more, bloggers and independent websites are promoting the independent films and the actors and actresses willing to support those.  There are many reasons for this, but a lot of people in the “real world of the working class underdog” are really sick and tired of the fact that the movie industry in Hollywood is so entrenched in politics that it has lost the meaning of what it is to make entertaining films for the most part.

Lately the viewing audience has been bombarded with remakes, prequels, sequels and such–but very few pictures with new plots and original story lines.  The actor or actress may be playing a good role, but predicting what an audience expects has to be hell.  Well, the audiences are tired of the same old politically charged, status quo.  They are tired of remakes, chick flicks and the saturation of movies for the teen market.  It’s time for these marketers and CEO’s to grow up and it’s time for directors and producers to read ONE book…If nothing else they should read “9 Indispensable Ingredients” (that are ALWAYS present in every hit film but always absent in failures) by Tom Laughlin…Here’s a link to the site:

http://billyjack.com/

The topics covered in here hit the nail on the head as to what AUDIENCE expectations are…The critics do NOT represent the audience any longer and by ignoring that fact, that is where Hollywood is screwing up.  This is a fact that should be clear since they are  marketing and making so many crappy movies that flop.  For those of you who are screenwriters, it’s a godsend.

There was a time when an audience held the critic’s word almost as gospel.  That is now changing.  Audiences now want to decide for themselves rather than rely on some else to give a view as if speaking on their behalf when their reviews only truly garner the attention of the Academy now.  I’ve been told that even VOD and DVD sales aren’t exactly great but part of it has to do with the economy.

These marketers and CEO”s that have invaded the entertainment industry are part of the reason I left my band years ago…The music industry and it’s critics aren’t different–they just deal with another aspect of show business. Again, the assumption is that they can sway an audience to support or not to support and with the advent of modern technology, they cannot. Viewers can decide for themselves what they wish and it has given them the power to make or break any actor, musician, screenwriter and/or songwriter.  However a lot of viewers do realize the actor has to do as the script and director demand…That is why viewers tend to judge an actor/actress on one thing alone: BELIEVABILITY.  After that it is the story that is judged, and the actors and actresses on a film are NOT the ones to be held accountable for trashy script writing in this day and age.  The 50’s and 60’s are over. The blame has now shifted for the most part and the crap trickles up the ladder at the major studios now–not down.  They can’t threaten the audiences by saying “IF X does well we’ll do this with the classic version…” either and YES this did happen recently.

The public is not easily manipulated and fooled anymore.  It is time for the CEO’s to wake up and realize it. Many have and have moved to the indie market which will flourish in the next 10 years. I do believe that in my lifetime, if things keep going the way that they are, that Hollywood will one day be known as the place that USED to be the film capital of this country and the world.
I also want to point out that many of  the older actors and actresses tend to do a better job than the younger ones. They come from different schools of thought and approach their characters differently, it seems.  A good actor/actress allows that character to come to life through him/her–regardless of how the script itself was written.  If that actor/actress can evoke strong emotion of some sort as the character comes through them, then (in my opinion) they have done THEIR job correctly. That being said, I invite you to discuss your favorite actors and actresses here, your favorite movies and what you think of the trends in Hollywood now.  Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/354427947959295/

There are rules but the main one is, don’t get upset and start getting out of control in there….Trust me.  It’s okay for everyone to have their favorites and others not to agree, but there isn’t any reason to fuss over it because different performers reach different people in different ways.