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David Poland

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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“I was a brat back when I made Pootie Tang. I was dealing with people every day whose pressures I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t very nice about how I said no to them. I put myself in a position I didn’t have to be in. A lot of what makes this kind of stuff work is empathy. If you’re taking money from somebody, they have a right to look after it. It’s all just trying to be clear about the arrangement. That’s why when I set up ‘Louie,’ I just said, ‘This is what I’m comfortable doing, and if you don’t want to do it, I don’t blame you. But in exchange, I’ll take very little money.’ I was only getting $200,000 per show from them, which is insane, and it goes up just by tiny increments every year. The other part of the arrangement with FX is that if this stops working for them, they should just tell me and we’ll stop doing it. Contractually, FX has a right to demand that the scripts be filtered through them before I shoot them, just like any other show. But from the beginning, they haven’t read anything, and they like the show. If I start turning in shit, then they’re going to start asking to see scripts, and that’s perfectly fair.”
~ Louis C. K.

BOMB: Do you give a lot of direction?

ASSAYAS: I give zero indications. Nothing. To me, it’s all physical. It is all about getting the right actors. They understand the part. They’re not idiots. They’re going to sit down, and they’re going to work. They don’t need my explanations. The problem is that actors listen to directors. They respect them. So, when you say something, it becomes gospel. In a certain way, this limits their imagination. I’d rather say nothing. Then, when we shoot, I fix whatever I don’t like. I channel it as softly as I can in a direction where, maybe, there’s something to gain. But, usually, if you are working with the right people, their instinct will be correct. They will bring something of their own to the character, and to the situation. Ultimately, there will be some kind of human truth to what they are doing.
~ Olivier Assayas on directing

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