| March 6, 2022
The original Movie City News launched in October 2002. The philosophical core was about curating the best of the news and to add our own take to all of it as well.
A lot has changed since then. There were no blogs. The trades were dailies, printed five days a week. The film industry was driven primarily by DVD revenues, not IP or streaming. I had neither a wife nor a child and had the time to work insane hours, along with my business partner Laura Rooney, to feed the internet beast that had barely started to roar.
The year before we launched MCN, I ran the Miami International Film Festival. I loved the work around the art, but I was too naive to protect myself from the people who hired me. And when the Miami Herald decided to come after me, as I had replaced a local legend who somehow needed to be protected, I was quickly shown the door. (I designed a programming structure that the festival still uses, eighteen years later… but let’s not go down that bitter road.)
Launching into a dying film journalism world was challenging. But I was lucky and was able to make a living and contribute to the lives of other writers. One of the two trades was always having its death sentence written. And the internet was still defined by the rough-and-tumble days of Ain’t It Cool News, followed by a succession of other successful grifters.
I decided not to take on the trades because I realized that I was just a content monkey and didn’t want my primary job to be being a boss to others. I would probably have been well served by being more ambitious… but it just isn’t me. We had a good run.
By 2017, I was pretty much done with entertainment journalism. I loved the work of producing DP/30. I continued to be a big mouth. But interview subjects were spoiled by too many photo shoots and bad interviews as well as people on beats without anyone who had been on the beats forever teaching them to ask the right questions and not just accept lies and spin as fact. I despaired that I was no longer able to help the films and filmmakers that I cared about, because the role of the journalist had been so reduced to either spreading gossip or going along to get along.
So, I spent 2018 pursuing consulting. And I did some. And it wasn’t a good fit. What I bring to the table and what people want from a consultant were not a natural match.
I spent most of 2019 chewing on what would be next for me. How I would put food on my family’s table. And what would be fulfilling over the next 20 years (I hope) of a fully engaged working life.
This is where I landed. Back where I had been for a very long time.
This is a simplified version of Movie City News. And what we launch with today may be quite different than what the site becomes, in terms of content, as the months pass.
I want to create a stew of ideas and arguments and worship of film. As times goes on, I will be out there trying to tame the beast that is television and streaming. If things go well, there will be more theater coverage as well. I want to feed the readers. And I want to be fed by them. Because while I am quite capable of screaming into a void, what would the point of that be?
I am enriched by engagement, good and bad. Every day. By people who think I am an idiot. By people who think I am not. The hours I spend with talent doing interviews bring me immeasurable joy. We are all sharing this journey, as hokey as that sounds. People who are passionate about their work are, as Jule Styne would say, the luckiest people in the world.
Every day is an opportunity to try to figure out what is next in this business called show. Twenty+ years into a journalistic career and over thirty-five years as a participant in the industry, I still love it. I still care about it. I still believe in it.
So I hope you will sign up for our newsletter, try a podcast now and again, comment when you feel the urge, and become a part of the MCN extended family. I am going to work my ass off trying to entertain and inform you.
And away we go…
| March 6, 2022
| January 26, 2022
| January 24, 2022
May 1, 2022
"Netflix, the great disrupter whose algorithms and direct-to-consumer platform have forced powerful media incumbents to rethink their economic models, now seems to need a big strategy change itself. It got me thinking about the simple idea that my film and TV production company Blumhouse is built on: If you give artists a lot of creative freedom and a little money upfront but a big stake in the movie’s or TV show’s commercial success, more often than not the result will be both commercial (the filmmakers are incentivized to make films that will resonate with audiences) and artistically interesting (creative freedom!). This approach has yielded movies as varied as Get Out (made for $4.5 million, with worldwide box office receipts of more than $250 million), Whiplash (made for $3.3 million, winner of three Academy Awards), The Invisible Man (made for $7 million, earned more than $140 million) and Paranormal Activity (made for $15,000, grossed more than $190 million).From the beginning, the most important strategy I used to persuade artists to work with me was to make radically transparent deals: We usually paid the artists (“participants” in Hollywood lingo) the absolute minimum allowable by union contracts upfront, with the promise of healthy bonuses based on actual box office results—instead of the opaque 'percentage points' that artists are usually offered. Anyone can see box office results immediately, so creators don’t quarrel with the payouts. In fact, when it comes time for an artist to collect a bonus based on box office receipts, I email a video clip of myself dropping the check off at FedEx to the recipient."
Jason Blum Sees Room For "Scrappier" Netflix
| April 30, 2022
"As a critic Gavin was entertaining, wry, questioning, sensitive, perceptive"
Critic-Filmmaker Gavin Millar Was 84; Films Include Cream In My Coffee, Dreamchild
April 29, 2022
| April 29, 2022
| December 13, 2019
| December 4, 2019
| December 4, 2019