Pot, Black, Kettle, Mr Spielberg

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Spielberg films

Directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are warning that the film industry is in danger of “meltdown”. They say it will become increasingly difficult for them to get smaller films into theatres because Hollywood is relying on big budget releases. – BBC Website

Yes you read that right, Spielberg and Lucas believe that big blockbuster movies are ruining the cinema and the opportunity for smaller films to get seen. It’s almost as if these two independent film makers with their tiny budgets and low production values…oh no wait they are the very two men who created the modern blockbusters and obsessions with franchises. It’s like the Pope coming out with a statement saying there’s an awful lot of praying happening.

Spielberg was the man who gave us “Jaws” the first true summer blockbuster – and not by accident either. He saw an opportunity in the market place and took it, because up to that point all the big film were usually released around Christmas. He thought that there needed to be a summer film season too and for the nearly forty years has made a career out of producing and directing many of those Blockbusters. Lucas gave us “Star Wars” trilogy from 1977 to 1981 and really made the whole film going experience about merchandise, money and sequels. And they think that we’re going to have sympathy for their struggle? Get real boys.

Lucas I can live without, but Spielberg is a great movie maker and deserves all the credit and awards he has enjoyed over the last few decades, but if they expect us to take them seriously on this point they have lost the plot. They say that we are going to have to treat cinema like the theatre and pay according to the cost of the production: “you’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.” – The Hollywood Reporter. Well that’s not going to happen is it? Why would I pay over the odds for a film I can watch at home a couple of months later?

They also say that there will be less film released each year and that they will stay in cinemas for longer. You know what guys – you created this monster and now you’re unhappy with the way it has developed – Boo frikin’ Hoo. You are right that the more interesting independent and foreign films are being swamped out by the $300 million budget films you guys make. Distributors and Film makers charge cinemas he amounts to show their films, perhaps offsetting the costs by ensuring that a lower budget movie is included in the sales package could be the way forward here to share the wealth across the industry.

The other thing is that a good film will find an audience. In the last few years we’ve seen “Shaun of the Dead”, “Attack the Block”, “Silver Linings Playbook”, “The King’s Speech”, “Slumdog Millionaire” and many others besides all finding both critical acclaim as well as an audience. “The Hangover” part one is a great example of a film that grew by word of mouth and spawned two sequels and made a huge amount of money in the process. In the end a good film is a good film and whether it finds it’s audience in the local multiplex, the art house cinema or in the home via Netflix, Sky or on DVD the best will still rise to the top. Spielberg said it was only a matter of time before several $250 million film all flop in the same year – well maybe that’s more to do with the scripts, acting and directing that the public Mr S.

Being told that “the end is nigh” and how tough it is to get a film seen by two of the richest and most powerful people in film making sticks in the throat a bit.

JD

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