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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Putting the fix in Netflix: a history

At Business 2.0, G. Pascal Zachary curates a gallery showing 13 steps across seven years in the evolution of the NetFlix envelope: “When the DVD first came out, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings had a key insight: The plastic disc’s light weight and small size would make it cheap and easy to send through the mail, letting him create a cross between Blockbuster and Amazon.com. By taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service, it could send rental DVDs to customers through the mail – and accept returns the same way. netflix13570.jpgBut before Netflix became a dotcom darling with millions of subscribers, it had to figure out the details of how to mail DVDs cheaply and economically. Learning the ins and outs of the post office’s operations was key: Every ounce of weight in the mailer added to postage costs – but if the mailer was too flimsy, DVDs broke in the mail.” [More at the link.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch