Screenwriter Zack Stentz: "Netflix has kept the lights on for way too many writers these past few years for us to be joining in the celebration of their stock tanking. We mostly just want them to right the ship and let us make good shows and movies for them. The problems of Netflix in many ways are the same as the problems of our subscription-driven entertainment landscape. Simultaneous massive overspending on a handful of tentpoles and 300 million dollar deals & underspending on the midlist, bigger staffs, & letting writers produce. And the underspending up front--not having junior writers go to set & sit in post--is leading directly toward overspending later as newly minted showrunners with no producing experience inevitably end up making expensive mistakes during production. The streamer model of hiring a writing staff, then letting everyone except the showrunner go before production starts is essentially free riding on the earlier model of TV production (which still exists at the networks) of junior writers learning production as they rise in rank. Because most of those showrunners came up in the earlier model & have that production experience. But as those people age out of the business you'll have more & more new showrunners with no production experience at all. It's the equivalent of disbanding your farm league."
| April 20, 2022
Commercials Coming to Netflix?
| April 19, 2022
"At around 10am on April 18, 1995, one of my Houston Post editors called me at home while I was eating breakfast to break the bad news: The Post was shutting down, effective immediately, and we had until 5pm to get all of our belongings out of the building. It was a shock. But it wasn’t a surprise. That the fourth-largest city in the United States had suddenly become a one-newspaper town was really big news for, oh, I dunno, maybe 24 hours. The next day the Oklahoma City bombing occurred. I vividly remember being interviewed by a headhunter for an out-of-town paper in a Holiday Inn hotel room. The guy was polite, and seemed truly sympathetic. But throughout our conversation, it was obvious that while he had one eye trained on me, he had the other eye trained on a TV across the room that was showing live reports on the Oklahoma City horror... To this day, I can tell you who called me within hours after news of the Post closing broke to offer condolences, job leads and/or, no kidding, office equipment. I can also tell you who returned my calls during the days and weeks afterward. And I can tell you who immediately stopped taking my calls.Clint Eastwood had one of his people call me to promise that he’d make himself available for an interview to promote his next movie, and he didn’t really care when or even if I could sell it."
Joe Leydon Remembers The End Of The Houston Post, 27 Years Ago Today
April 18, 2022
Music Critic Robert Christgau Turns Eighty
April 18, 2022
UK Households Cancel Streamers In Record Numbers
| April 17, 2022
Tim Cook To Deliver Address At Gallaudet University Commencement
| April 16, 2022
"There's a big boom in Canada and we're kind of part of the boom.It's a great place to film. People like the locations, love being here. It takes a while to build an industry—and you know we're not done yet."
Newfoundland-Labrador Filmmaker Paul Pope, Advocate For Independent Canadian Media
April 15, 2022
"The weeks-long feud between Walt Disney Co. and conservatives over Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation—nicknamed the 'Don’t Say Gay' bill by LGBTQ activists—recently escalated into a full-blown imbroglio that has played out on cable news and social media. It’s a battle that, to people who have followed Disney’s history, has a familiar ring. The current conflict is just the latest clash to reveal underlying tensions that have existed between Disney and religious conservatives for decades as the company has increasingly embraced the LGBTQ community. It has strong echoes of the anti-Disney protests of the late 1990s, when religious leaders criticized the extension of health benefits to the partners of LGBTQ Disney employees, the coming out of Ellen DeGeneres on her sitcom on Disney-owned ABC and unofficial 'Gay Day' celebrations at the theme parks."
| April 15, 2022
Cannes 2022 Competition: Cronenberg, Denis, Gray, Mungiu, Östlund, Reichert; George Miller, Out-Of-Competition
Les Amandiers, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
Armageddon Time, James Gray
Boy From Heaven, Tarik Saleh
Broker, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Close, Lukas Dhont
Crimes Of The Future, David Cronenberg
Decision To Leave, Park Chan-wook
Eo, Jerzy Skolimowski
Frère Et Soeur, Arnaud Desplechin
Holy Spider, Ali Abbasi
Leila’s Brothers, Saeed Roustaee
Nostalgia, Mario Martone
RMN, Cristian Mungiu
Showing Up, Kelly Reichardt
The Stars At Noon, Claire Denis
Tchaikovski’s Wife, Kirill Serebrennikov
Tori And Lokita, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Triangle Of Sadness, Ruben Ostlund
April 14, 2022
Michel Bouquet, Award-Winning French Actor, Was 96
| April 14, 2022
“If you work for the public and there are numerous people out recording you telling you to please turn it off, why wouldn’t anyone in their right mind stop that?”
Copyright Enforcement Used By Police To Elude Citizen Surveillance Of Activities: "Police have been recorded playing copyrighted music in an effort to prevent videos of them from hitting YouTube and other social media sites, which can remove content containing unauthorized materials. In June, a sheriff’s deputy in Oakland, California, played Taylor Swift’s 2014 single “Blank Space” as activists filmed him in an attempt to keep it from being uploaded to YouTube. Instead, the clip remained online and went viral."
"Hernandez said he found it ironic that police in this instance played music from the Disney movies Encanto and Coco in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. 'Those were films that were used to bridge the Latino community and police are using them to silence it.'"
April 13, 2022
"Our current cultural conversation around spoilers remains frustratingly stuck in the same gear it has been for decades now: Spoilers are bad, and we should not have to hear them. That conversation reduces stories only to their most shocking plot points. Too often, it is only interested in binary questions around which characters live or die. I’ve argued at length in the past that modern spoilerphobia, while understandable, is fundamentally antithetical to the discussion of art, as well as a historical anomaly in terms of how we consume stories."
| April 13, 2022
James Urbaniak: "Mamet‘s been saying flagrantly untrue stuff with a straight face for years, you should read his writings about acting. For a long time his nonfiction writing seemed to pivot on dramatic principles: “the truth lies between this point of view and what you think about it.” Maybe I’m being generous. But he seems to have dropped that dynamic. Now he just spouts crap. No drama, just hack."
A Compendium Of Mr. Mamet's Remarks While Retailing His Latest Small Slab Of Language (Item 7)
| April 12, 2022
THB #93: The Batman (no spoilers)
| 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
Disney Executive Geoff Morrell Out After Less Than Four Months
| April 29, 2022
DP/30 Audio: Bombshell, Jay Roach
| December 13, 2019
DP/30 Audio: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Jonathan Majors
| December 4, 2019
DP/30 Audio: The Mustang, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
| December 4, 2019