MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland


8 Responses to “Strike!”

  1. mutinyco says:

    The aspect ratio is messed up.

  2. Sunday Silence says:

    Whistling past the graveyard.

  3. martin says:

    Dave, do you have a financial interest in this strike ending?

  4. David Poland says:

    Martin… does ANYONE have a tacit financial interest in this strike continuing past next week?

  5. martin says:

    Well, I guess a question is “how is film journalism/entertainment journalism” affected by the strike, financially?

  6. David Poland says:

    It’s being felt by the networks first, in some reduced ratings which lead to reduced ad costs, though shows like American Idol and The Apprentice, coming back for new seasons shortly will be able to raise rates as a result. (CBS should be rushing Big Brother into production… it is, unlike Survivor or The Great Race, a mostly live show, so it can be set up and started quick. All they need is a gimmick and some casting. Even if they haven’t had much rating success out of summer, it is cheap, quick programming that fills a lot of hours.)
    Major print outlets have probably been doing well with the strike, as the lack of talk shows mean a greater need to reach audiences by whatever means… including more web advertising.
    As for entertainment journalism in general, except for the cancellation of the upfronts, things have been pretty much as usual. There is still a full slate of movies to cover, though studios are cutting back on some costs, using the strike as cover. We will begin to feel a pinch in the spring… but by summer, strike on or off, the push for those films will still be huge.
    As for MCN, things are pretty much normal. We are sold out on ad space, which happened before the strike and locks buyers in on a favored nations basis through the entirity of Phase I. We will see if there is an effect on Phase II, which starts after the nominations.
    If The Globes are substantively damaged and there is a threat of the same from the WGA, studios will start formulating a reaction and a course for the future, which I suspect most will follow through Phase II. That might be more advertising, pretending the Oscars are coming no matter what or it might be extreme caution. Right now, it’s impossible to see what the wave will be.

  7. martin says:

    As someone outside the industry, to me that’s one of your most revealing and interesting commentaries on the strike. The rest of the strike discussions feel redundant to me… it’s all been said by now, it’s time to sit down and settle. I don’t know that Phase II is inevitable, I think we’ll know the answer to that by the 2nd week of January.

  8. T. Holly says:

    It’s amazing you haven’t addressed the nature, impact and consequences of packaging, a subject bought up by Scott Wilson in the original Part II you posted.

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima