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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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“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