Thursday, June 01, 2006

What a waste

According to IMDb yesterday, Warner Bros is planning to release 10 to 15 low-budget movies, mostly sequels or prequels, direct to DVD per year.

Now as if the seemingly endless spate of sequels is not already bad enough, Warner Bros is expected to focus on films (and therefore potential film franchises) that "performed relatively well at the box office but not well enough to warrant a theatrical sequel". Umm... get the message, Warner Bros: it's because no one wants to see them!

The first of these movies will be a follow-up to The Dukes of Hazzard.
I didn't see it. I think very few people did. And those who did were probably about as disappointed with it as I was with Starsky & Hutch. The Dukes sequel will not feature any of the original cast and will be made, as will others in this Warner brainwave, for $5 million or less.

I'll tell you what I do know. In Hollywood, you don't get a whole lotta movie for five mil. And they're gonna do this 10 to 15 times per year: making sequels that no one wants, of films that no one saw.

Here's a mathematical equation for you:

(a maximum of $5M) x (10 to 15 movies) = $50M+ per year

This is money that Warner Bros is throwing away. Sure, it's probably a tax write-off. But have they really got nothing better to do with their money?

What we really want, Warner Bros, is for you to invest that money into new talent: burgeoning film-makers would kill for a budget of $5M. For fuck's sake, Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, a complex, two-and-a-half-hour modern classic, for $7M (admittedly the value of the dollar has fallen somewhat since then). Smith made Clerks for $60,000 (including the costs of music rights); Rodriguez made El Mariachi for $7,000.

Five mil is a huge deal to a kid with nothing but love for the movies
and a shitload of talent, and Warners want to make The Dukes of Hazzard 2. Get off your fat corporate fucking asses and start looking to make something worth watching. Stone the crows and stop the world. Something just ain't right.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sequels are by their very definition awful and need not be watched. 5 million is a lot of cash however. I used to make films at college with my 16mm camera. I made a silent musical, a film about a man going around drowning people with a bucket of water, a film about an evil torch that whenever it got switched on would make the planet dark and a film about teleporting bikers. All of the films cost money and made none.
Where do I send off for my 5 mill?

01 June, 2006 10:18  
Blogger a.c.t said...

What a load of rubbish. I didn't bother seeing the D.O.H either as I love the original 70s ones and knew it would be crap. Have you listened to Grace yet?

01 June, 2006 12:01  
Blogger The Wanted Man said...

When Smith was planning to make Mallrats the film big wigs wanted to give him a budget of 6 million, he told them he'd need 1 million at most. Their response was that you can't make a movie for 1 million dollars. What a bunch of dumbasses.

01 June, 2006 12:19  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Yes, this is weird...but how amazing that there is even now this whole new market instead of it going stright to dvd because no one went to the they can make it so it is MADE for dvd. Almost like creating a whole new medium.

I am not interested in these sequels either. I was a big fan of the tv shows Dukes, but I haven't even seen the movie never mind the sequel! :)

There are a few sequels I love though. Die Hard, Indianna Jones, Kill Bill(not really a sequel I'm cheating) and...I am probably the only person on the planet who followed the tv show...Indianna Jones I LOVED it, it was cute little mini history lessons in a way. I've always meant to see if they are for sale on dvd I've seen one episode on video years ago at the video package...

What about the idea of first films by young artists maybe if their pitch doesn't work for theatre release, maybe they could now get money for dvd movie ???Would beginner film makers be interested in a new market for dvd?

Ranting, that is really cool you used to make film in school did you go to art school too?

01 June, 2006 13:18  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Oh god..I would rather watch a movie about an evil torch than the last movie i went to see..
The da vinci code..
All through the movie i kept thinking " is it over is it over is it over..omg what did they do to Tom hanks hair ? is it over is it over is it over ?"

01 June, 2006 15:28  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

*, Fluffy Stuffin' had the pleasure of attending a screen writing conference with Rodriguez, in Texas @ SXSW. He was able to have a conversation with him as well.
And since I am so into name dropping right now, I will mention that the Michigan Theater will be hosting a screening of The Puple Rose of Cairo this evening. Our buddy, Jeff Daniels will be there for a Q & A session after the film. If I can talk my husband in letting me outta the house (ie. he's the only babysitter I have right now), I'll attempt to ask Mr. Daniels if he is really Tre Cool.

01 June, 2006 16:49  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Hey guys!

RD & Candy: Most sequels are indeed awful, but as Candy says, there are some good ones. Mostly though the good ones came out before the current bout of sequelitis that's everywhere right now. I mean, the stuff made today, it ain't Godfather 2 or Empire Strikes Back or the Die Hard films, is it?

RD: Cool that you made films. I made one on Hi8. Self-funded, like yours; apparently it got shown at a short film festival, but I missed it!

Candy: You're right: Kill Bill 2 doesn't count! But also, yes, allowing new filmmakers even a $1M budget for a direct-to-DVD movie would be better than this current plan.

ACT: Not listened to Grace yet, no. It's on my desk as I type this... Tomorrow?

TWM: I'm sure I've heard that before. Maybe on the commentary track?

Cyn: I want to see The Da Vinci Code, but that don't sound like a recommendation!

Camie: That's cool about Fluffy! I did a producer's workshop with a guy called Dov SS Simens, who apparently is namechecked in Reservoir Dogs (as "Dov"), since QT also attended one of his courses. You should definitely go tonight and talk to The Jeff. Put him on the spot, girl! And don't forget to report back.

01 June, 2006 18:41  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

I am so with all of you on this. I have a friend who's a filmmaker, and what I wouldn't give to see him take a million bucks and turn it into something incredible. I love movies, but Hollywood is seriously the worst breed of humanity and only getting worse.

... making stupid rich girls richer.

Oh well... what can we do?

02 June, 2006 03:27  
Blogger Ron said...

*, Fluffy here. Bob Rodriguez was the greatest motivational speaker I've ever heard! He had me ready to make a film for a $1.98. He also has an enormous number of children! They were everywhere!

02 June, 2006 05:30  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

got to add my two penneth. i agree with all that has been said, and agree that they should forget the s.t.v. approach and deffo give it to new talent. lets face it, all the "big" film companies seem interested in these day are sequels or remakes. dallas for fucks sake?
how long before it is t.j. hooker the movie?
or fall guy the movie!

and i too want to see the da vinci code, just to see if it as bad as they reckon!

02 June, 2006 08:18  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Martha: It's a bad situation. Can't do much...

Ron: Hi there. Rodriguez's book Rebel Without A Crew is totally inspiring and really makes you believe you can do it too. So I can only imagine what a great motivator he must be in the flesh. Very cool.

FF: Quite right. I mean, yeah, Dallas?

02 June, 2006 12:23  

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