Reynolds: "Upside: If the movies are bad, nobody will pirate them!"
I have a suggestion for Hollywood: How about a couple rousing, patriotic, "our boys (soldiers) kick ass!" type of movies? They will be a hit. Guaranteed. Blockbuster. Make it gritty. Make it real. Make there be good and bad brown guys. Make the majority of the brown guys eager to die for their country and eager to build something new. Make there be mostly good white/black/latino/asian American guys. Have you seen pictures recently? The military is diverse. I know that doesn't sell in Hollywood, but Americans will pay for an exciting dose of the truth.
Another suggestion: more heavily market the good movies you do make. I just watched The Illusionist last night on my HD TV and loved it. Great film. Perhaps if I'd have heard of it.......
But that would mean better web advertising because I watch the TV less. I would suggest that those who are into the internet (me), or making their own movies (me--used Apple's iLife simple simon software and it was so easy and fun), or making their own music or downloading it, would be more inclined to see a good movie since they're into the media--if they knew about the good movie. I don't really watch TV and I change the channels at commercials, so little advertising reaches me.
Also, Hollywood needs to more creatively advertise. Here are some places no one is thinking about:
- School District websites. More and more districts are using their website to communicate to thousands of people.
- Smaller blogs. Me for example. I reach anywhere between 150 to 500 people/day. I have approximately 200 people who filter through a couple times a week. These people are loyal readers. I'm not a big influencer, but I influence a few people. Bloggers, are, I think, more inclined to share their passions, including movies.
- How about video-streamed screenings to select bloggers in the demographic Hollywood wants to reach? Give some niche blogs (not just the big guys--you'll get more buzz around excited medium and little guys being included) exclusive clips to help drive their traffic. If they choose to put an ad up for the movie (self-selected), pay them something.
Change the subject of the movies. Good grief! Can't we even have a kid's penguin movie without Hollywood moralizing? They talk about the Religious Right's strident dogma, Hollywood mass produces their feel-good/cynical/anti-American pap and are surprised no one is buying. Nearly every movie is like a bad Steven Siegel film now. For example? I watched the Little Miss Sunshine movie--a supposedly feel-good American family movie. But.... the parents were fighting non-stop, the grandpa was a swearing drug-addict, the kid took a vow of silence and the Little Miss Sunshine did a stripper routine in front of a pedophile. All-American family, indeed. I don't know one family like that. To me, the movie just spoke of more contempt for the American family. The fact that Hollywood can't see this demonstrates their own bias. Personally, when I see movies like Little Miss Sunshine, it makes me think that the writers and actors and producers are so happy to be out of the little, psycho "hell-hole" they group up in where they were an outcast because they were weird. Their disgust and anger comes through in their product loud and clear. Just 'cause you couldn't make it in the small-time, Hollywood, doesn't mean you have to be a hater when you make the big-time. (As an aside, the acting was incredible in this movie. Greg Kinnear should have gotten an Academy Award for As Good As It Gets. He is consistently great. Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Steve Catrell and the kids made for perhaps the greatest ensemble movie last year, acting-wise. There were moments of incredible poignancy but the overall message was Americans are messed up, dude.)
So that's my two cents about movies. I find all of the Hollywood hand-wringing coupled with the refusal to change amusing. Kinda like the Senate is amusing. They'll go down pointing fingers at the average American.