By David Poland

The Cinea thing

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Cinea finally landed one… Disney… for this year.
So far, no one else. And apparently, Universal, Sony, and Paramount have passed on the technology.
But here is where it gets interesting. With Cinea in place, Disney could be comfortable sending out all of their films (Chicken Little, Shopgirl) )almost immediately. I mean, if they could get them, they could send them out tomorrow. And within the community of people with Cinea machines, which is about 8000 strong, they would have a big competitive advantage. (Narnia, which I am sure is a key piracy protection issue for the studio, won’t be ready until late November.)
I’m sure they want Academy members to have the fun of seeing the flouncey Casanova on the big screen at the Academy. But if that shows up in the mailbox in a week or two… not in the rush of Thanksgiving DVDs… it will get watched and watched in much bigger numbers than when the crunch is on. It’s not like sending out movies from earlier in the year now. If you can see a movie that won’t officially screen until late November in early November, the wanna see factor has to be higher. And Cinea makes the move relatively safe.
On the flip side, when is Universal going to put a copy of King Kong or Munich in the mailboxes of awards voters? Will groups that give out awards in the first 15 days of January get either film? Munich is more of a delivery issue. But the pressure on Kong is similar to the pressure New Line felt on Rings… which is that piracy of quality DVDs could well have an actual multi-million effect at the box office in the first weeks of January.
Realities of the mediums suggest that a comedy like The Producers will play really well on the small screen, though a musical always sounds better in the theater and you want to hear voters hear others laughing. The film goes pretty public this week at ShowEast, so I expect it will start screening in earnest for everyone very soon. But will Universal send out a less-protected DVD of the film before Thanksgiving?

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon