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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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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé