The News


A. S. Hamrah: “Worried about ratings and therefore ad dollars, ABC (a division of the Walt Disney Company), is willing to ignore the essential crafts of Hollywood filmmaking, from editing to hairdos, in favor of the rancid Best Original Song category. That way the aging broadcast TV audience won’t miss out on seeing performances by such contemporary crowd pleasers as former country-and-western sitcom star Reba McEntire, and maybe even overmodest, ubiquitous Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda also directed an Oscar-nominated film this year, so if he were to sing his song, it would be like if Alfred Hitchcock had also written “Que Sera, Sera” for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and had to perform it onstage at the Oscars instead of Doris Day… What film directing has become in Hollywood is a team-building exercise with lots of group hugs and a public-facing mascot from the generic world of show biz. The mascot could be anyone camera-friendly… ABC has lost faith in the films themselves, swallowing the right-wing notion that the nominees do not reflect popular taste. Therefore the less time spent on them the better… The atmosphere in which the highest honors in filmdom are now broadcast to the masses is more like an episode of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ in which the contestants can’t solve the puzzle, no matter how many vowels they’ve bought… It’s also a world in which actual movies have become marginal, especially during the Oscars.”

No Responses to “Hamrah”

Comments are closed.

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

THB #93: The Batman (no spoilers)

David Poland | March 6, 2022

THB #76: 9 Weeks To Oscar

David Poland | January 26, 2022

THB #73: Netflix Is Chilled

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All


May 1, 2022

The New York Times

"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

The New York Times | 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

The New York Times

Disney Executive Geoff Morrell Out After Less Than Four Months

The New York Times | April 29, 2022

The Video Section See All

Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon

David Poland | January 24, 2022

The Podcast Section See All