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By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

DP/30 Sneak Peek: Bill Mechanic On VOD & Windows

Bill Mechanic was at Disney as President, International Distribution & Worldwide Video from, 1984 – 1994. In 1994, he went to Fox as Chairman/CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. He currently produces movies via Pandemonium Films. And he produced the Oscars 2 years ago.

“It’s not whether it has to happen or there’s a natural evolution of things. You can cause things to fail.”



“If you’re telling someone, ‘You’re going to be executed tomorrow,’ and there’s a gun pointed at our forehead, then you’re going to have problems. If you say, ‘There’s no problem… don’t worry about tomorrow,’ then you get to lure them into the execution without problems.”

“Piracy is stupid. If your business is still at record levels… then piracy is having an impact, but it’s not killing your business, so why would you kill your business to stop piracy?”



“If you fail in this market, you don’t fail all the way. You can make that clunker that doesn’t really work for $200 million, you’re still getting a large portion of your money back… you’re earning money in every subsequent market. You take away every subsequent markets and you fail (in theatrical) and essentially… cataclysm.”

One Response to “DP/30 Sneak Peek: Bill Mechanic On VOD & Windows”

  1. The Pope says:

    David, congrats on getting this interview BEFORE that list was published today. Great piece(s). Can we see the whole thing?

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato