Magazine article Variety


Magazine article Variety


Article excerpt


Readers were divided about Rachel Abrams and Andrew Stewart's analysis of this summer's costly movie misfires ("Why Studios Must End Their Mega-Budget Obsession").

Studio executives need to get out of the creative process. Yes, it's show business, but it's clear the less important the "show" becomes, the greater the "business" suffers. Employing formulas and business models to dictate what gets made is totally driven by a bottom-line corporate profit motive.

Focus on one formula to tell a good story and you will have a hit. Using a formula that worked on one and developing it into a model to churn out franchise tentpoles is a concept that is the king of all flops, -adrian h.mcdonald

One thing Hollywood needs to do is stop paying actors $20 million. It's an insult to all the people who actually have to work for a living, plus no one really gives a crap who is starring in a movie anymore. For every hit with stars like Will Smith and Johnny Depp and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Angelina Jolie, there's a huge flop. The days of the Hollywood superstar are over. - mrfurious

At the end of the day with all these box-office failures this summer and last summer, the most important aspect to a film is the script. The scripts to all these duds pander to not-so-smart teenagers. These tentpole pictures have to work from every demographic. - harry ceorcatos


Dave McNary reported on Spike Lee's Kickstarter campaign to raise $1.25 million for a film. The director came under fire by readers ("Spike Lee Using Kickstarter to Raise $1.25 Million for Film").

Personally, I think it's disgusting and embarrassing when celebrities who can afford to bankroll their own projects, without missing the proverbial dime, do this. This isn't the same as when a Bill Plympton asks for some money. Plympton is a big deal in a small niche, independent animation, but he's not a rich man by any means, even though he finances the majority of his projects out of his pocket, only asking for Kickstarter help toward the end. - who knows...

It's hard to believe that Spike Lee couldn't finance his film through more traditional means. He's an established name director and it seems like producers are always willing to give him money even though, more often than not, his movies don't end up being all that good. This reeks of Zach Braff, where he is just doing it for publicity and is going to add the Kickstarter money to the bucks he gets through traditional financing. - joe smart

Sure, Spike shouldn't have to use crowdsourcing. He should leave it for the little guy. But where he really messed up is not laying out the full status of the project. This article is one of the few that mention that the movie has already been shot and is in post-production. If you look at the actual Kickstarter page, it leads you to believe that the movie is yet to be shot. - moontower

To which McNary responded:

Just because Spike Lee is well-known, it doesn't necessarily follow that he can get the money he needs, particularly for what seems to be an idiosyncratic film. For Lee, the funding has no strings attached other than premiums such as dinner and a courtside seat at a Knicks game in exchange for $10,000. As of Friday, there were 11 takers (including Steven Soderbergh), and Lee had raised more than $250,000 - demonstrating that there are people happy to support his cinematic endeavors, no matter how strange. …

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