Steven Soderbergh on the State of Cinema

I watched this video of Steven Soderbergh take about his own view of where cinema is and how financing films in the industry is diminishing cinema and up coming talent.

Some of the points I took away:

The difference (and there is one) between cinema and movies

Cinema is something that is made, it’s unique. Basically if that filmmaker didn’t make it it wouldn’t exist in any other form. While on the other hand movies are just something you watch. A line that stuck with me was that not all movies are cinema however not all cinema are movies.

There are fewer executives who know movies and love movies. It’s profit driven while Soderbergh sees it as a talent driven business. That the directors matter more than the idea. You can have a great idea but if it’s not executed properly it won’t be great anymore. While great directors and up and coming directors will bring ideas with them.

You need to make about $120 million on a film to survive in this market. Roughly 30 million for mainstream, wide release and then another 30 million for overseas. On top of that the film distributors take half of what you make.

We NEED more people who are going to take risks and look past estimated profits. Or else the industry will become more and more narrow in what it produces.




A wake up call at 2:30pm on a Wednesday

The points that Adrian brought up in the “lecture” this week related back to what we discussed in my cinema class. Yes, the media industry is changing rapidly but it never hit me that the jobs that I might want in the future will no longer be there. Industries are collapsing and moving to ‘post industrial media ecologies’. It’s like everything is up in the air and we don’t know where it’s going to fall or who is going to catch the pieces.

I always aspired to be in the film industry but for most parts it’s still a very capital intensive and expensive industry. It will not be what it like today. In my cinema class, we discusses the types of films being released mainly fall under 2 major themes: young adult book adaptions franchises or super hero type movies. However, movie goers seem to be on the decrease and people prefer to watch it at home and on their own terms. Kevin Spacey talks at the Edinburgh International Television festival that we should give the control to the viewers, like what Netflicks has done. There is even less of a difference for viewers between TV and film because they are all just content now.

Christopher Nolan is still positive about the future of film. In his Wall Street Journal article released earlier this month “Films of the future will still draw people to theatres” he writes:

“Once movies can no longer be defined by technology, you unmask powerful fundamentals – the timelessness, the otherworldliness, the shared experience of these narratives.”

How is this going to happen? Technology must evolve and the movie going experience needs to be distinguished from home entertainment. Would this mean 4D and beyond move experiences? Or even grander theatres?

Christopher Nolan next film Interstellar has been described by Matthew McConaughey “by far the most ambitious film Mr. Nolan has ever directed.” It will interesting to see it when it comes out.


First post

Last semester when we kept a journal it was easy for me to write pages of material. It was unfiltered and I was writing for myself. As mentioned in the first reading “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.” by Adrian Miles, a blog needs more care put into it. It is opening us up to an ecology where we are connecting and interacting with different ideas and blogs. We become people who “participate” not just “consume”.

The one idea that I was unfamiliar with was the this term of seeding and in the content of the reading that our blog writing needed to be ‘seeded’ by a range of tasks. Adrian discusses in the reading this tipping point where our writing and blog “shifts from becoming assessable, teacher set activities to their own online writing spaces”.

At this stage it’s still the beginning.