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David Poland

By David Poland

Why Doesn


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30 Responses to “Why Doesn”

  1. James Leer says:

    “And have you noticed, they didn

  2. David Poland says:

    But thr SNL Digital Shorts are completely pre-taped, so they have to shoot on Wed and/or Thurs and could have been included in promos starting Thursday night… if the show wanted to do it.
    SNL does not really do promos that tend to be that specific. But my point was that if the tool was that powerful, it could have been used more effectively.

  3. jesse says:

    The shorts are shot ahead of time, yes, but they really aren’t making definite decisions about which material to use — including pre-taped stuff like commercials and shorts — until that night. Check out the digital short that aired during the Steve Martin episode, and how it co-starred Scarlett Johannson — it was clearly shot when she hosted and originally intended to air the previous week.

  4. David Poland says:

    But you are missing my point… if SNL and NBC felt that these shorts were of major marketing value to the show, they would be used as bait. Yes, decisions are made after dress. But other decisions can be made. For instance, they know they are doing Update every week, whether it is good or not.
    Oy… 2500 words and this is the discussion…

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe if you had written 1500 words instead of 2500, more people would have read the article.

  6. David Poland says:

    Maybe if I ran lots of pictures of Jessica Simpson, everyone would be happy!

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Sorry for the sarcasm, big guy.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Jessica Simpson? Uh, no, not really. But photos of Helen Mirren? Hell, yes.

  9. Blackcloud says:

    “Jessica Simpson? Uh, no, not really. But photos of Helen Mirren? Hell, yes.” If those pix are from “Excalibur,” you may be on to something. As a totally unrelated aside, we need a good new movie version of the Arthurian legend.
    Helen Mirren is in the process of pulling off the unusual double of playing both Queens Elizabeth. Is she the first?

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Is this some kind of wacky twins movie like Big Business? Will she do a mirror routine?
    And SCENE, on the fastest and farthest digression on a thread about new media and duelling columnists.

  11. Lota says:

    “we need a good new movie version of the Arthurian legend”
    i remember someone saying that to Joseph Campbell when i was a kid and he laughed. alot.
    I wonder if it will ever come to pass. Maybe Campbell would not have thought that sentiment so funny had he lived to see Smoke Signals, another subject dear to his heart that finally had a “good movie” version–indians. There is hope.
    I have to say, after I saw First Knight (oh the despair and laughter) and Tristan & Isolde I wonder if we will ever get anything more than either A) heavy metal or B) Goth

  12. waterbucket says:

    Jessica Simpson? A girl? Ew, no thanks.

  13. Blackcloud says:

    Sorry, she’s not playing them in the same production. I should have been clearer about that. My bad.
    Lota, I haven’t seen those two movies. I’ll tell you what I have in mind: an adaptation of White’s “Once and Future King.” That’s one of my favorite books ever (it’s better than LOTR if you ask me). I’d love to see someone do it justice. It can be done.
    “i remember someone saying that to Joseph Campbell when i was a kid and he laughed. alot.” Was that before or after “Excalibur”? I like “Excalibur” a lot, and it was a smart idea jumping on the “Star Wars” bandwagon like that. But: I’d like to see a movie with the Galahad version of the Grail quest; and, great as it is, “Star Wars” is not a movie version of the Arthurian legend.
    “I wonder if we will ever get anything more than either A) heavy metal or B) Goth” Just shatter my dreams, why don’t you? *Sniff*

  14. Crow T Robot says:

    Helen Mirren WAS hot in Excalibur.
    And Black, surely you can’t be saying Boorman’s film is not a great great GREAT version of King Arthur?

  15. Lota says:

    after Excalibur sonny, I aint that old.
    If I remember properly, and I may not, I think Joe C liked the way Boorman showed the world of chaos (Uther Pendragon) and the binding peace of a myth worth believing in.
    I thought Excalibur very good at several things: showing men and women very childlike from their fears and their almost acceptance of being helpless in a world of chaos, and the dry annoyance of Merlin who knew what was to become of himself, and the perpetual self-doubt Arthur had as well as his complete inability to see duplicity in people he felt love for or duty towards. In other words–Boorman captured the emotional side of the tale. What was hard to do was condense it down to a reasonable running time. Had he made it a BBC mini it would have been the mini to end all, not even Pride and Preju 1995 could topple it.
    Aye, Once and future king is a brilliant piece of writing. Miniseries or 2 2h movies.

  16. Lota says:

    By the way Dark.
    Do not ever ever see First Knight. I dare you to read about it on IMDB without laughing and crying hysterically. I mean look at the knight’s costumes. They were like updated royal blue neoprene star trek jobs. With heavy metal hair or glam mullets.
    Sean Connery gave one of the most phoned in perfs ever to match the useless utility suits the Duran Duran knights of the round table were wearing. I kept waiting for dance numbers to break out (wait that already happened–oh the lusty month of May…but Camelot did have some nice eye candy unlike First Knight).

  17. Kambei says:

    I agree Dave. All this talk of straight-to-the-home movie availability is just talk from people who want the Next Big Thing to get here now! Yesterday! The experience of watching a movie unfold in a theatre is vastly different than watching it at home. I think the “general public” realises this–certainly, my friends do. The movies they choose to watch in theatres are those that benefit from either the spectacle, or from the “shared experience”. Watching a horror movie in a theatre makes it an unstoppable experience–I can’t press pause if it gets too intense–and i share in the reactions of those around me. Although the movie is flawed, the experience of watching “Signs” in the theatre is one of my favourites–the sound design was fantastic. You could have heard a pin drop in that theatre during those cornfield scenes, people were listening so carefully for alien noises. I’ve since watched it at home, but the effect is dulled by having people washing dishes in the kitchen, the sun reflecting off my dumb-ass tube screen and me getting up to go to the bathroom when it gets too intense. Secondly, there is such a buzz in the theatre during opening night of a big tentpole movie, i can’t imagine that with 3 people sitting in the living room. The kids love that excitment! that’s where the money is…

  18. jesse says:

    Dave, I know you think I’m nitpicking and missing the point, but I think it makes sense to really look at your examples. You’re saying “the point is, if the shorts were a huge marketing force, they’d find a way to use them.” And I’m saying, realistically, the marketing/production details of SNL haven’t changed much in the past 30 years, and so I’m not sure if it’s safe to say that.
    And I do agree with you that straight-to-home-video releases have gotten a lot of journalist hype not based on much of anything in the way of logic. Like that study you cite (as being bogus) about how teenagers are spending their money/time on other things than theatrical releases… which I guess is how/why like half a dozen horror movies have topped the box office in less than a year. All those teens… staying home with their videogames?

  19. jesse says:

    Kambei, you are right on. While I’m sure some people would love to rent KONG on opening night and watch it on their flat-screen psuedo-home-theater setups or whatever (based on the number of people who seem to blind-buy DVDs, and then brag about it in the office on Monday morning, people do like going out to the movies and understand that it can be a lot more fun (even with all the uncontrolled and completely rude audiences) than sitting on your couch. This extends beyond tentpoles — some of the most mobbed, sold-out-around-the-clock shows I’ve checked out in NYC since moving here have been at places like the Angelika where smart, film-loving people wanted to see this or that small-ish, less than “spectacular” (as it would have to be to look good on the Angelika’s small-ish, not particularly nice screens) new indie or semi-indie.

  20. Kambei says:

    Good point, jesse. I think Dogville was a movie i would not have sat through in my living room, but was an excellent (and sold-out) theatre experience. Of course, some people would not have sat through that movie if they were paid. heh. I like George Lucas’ comments when asked about the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD battle. He said the battle is inconsequential, as the next step he sees the public getting behind, is the linkage of the computer/tivo/tv type of system, where one “downloads” the movie/show/music of your choice to your harddrive/server and watches on the tv/computer/iPod of choice. That’s years away for the general public–though a few friends have their systems set up for that now–and it *still* won’t replace the movie theatre…

  21. David Poland says:

    Well, you are nitpicking, Jesse… in part because there are other marketing opportunities than the 2 commercials they shoot for SNL to run in primetime each week.
    For one thing, the coming element could be promoted before the show via web placements, talk show buzz, etc…
    And for the record, In the year when I worked there, on the unit making the short films, there was not a single pre-taped piece we produced that didn’t end up on air.
    But mostly, you are speaking to an issue that isn’t my point… does post-show internet distribution of a segment create new interest in watching the 90 minute live show. Or does it, conversely, argue that if you are on the web daily, any good stuff that was live will filter to you so you NEVER have to watch the show?

  22. THX5334 says:

    “That’s years away for the general public–though a few friends have their systems set up for that now–and it *still* won’t replace the movie theatre…”
    While I agree it won’t replace the movie theatre, (nothing will. It will always have at least a niche market)
    I have to disagree the technology is years away. It’s here right now and it hasn’t been brought to you by Microsoft or Sony or Toshiba. But it has been brought to you by….Hackers and open source.
    Yes my friends, I didn’t believe it myself until I went to a friend and industry collegue and saw his “soft modded” X-Box.
    Yes, he popped in a disc – flashed the bios and the disc rewrote the OS and has made it a virutal media center.
    He downloads any movie off of his PC and streams it directly through his X-Box to his HDTV. I saw a DVD perfect quality copy of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang running at 720p, downloaded to the PC and streamed through the X-Box to the HDTV.
    It also can play every Itunes or MP3 file from your PC to your Home Theatre setup through your X-Box with a visual dashboard and the software automatically displays the artists album cover. All the while you can have any RSS feed of your choice running along the bottom of your HDTV while listening to your music.
    My friend will download the Eastcoast feed of any TV show for the night and watch it early on his HDTV through this modded X-Box.
    Then there’s my favorite – If you’re a gamer, he basically installed emulations for every game console and arcade ever created and increased his videogame library from 125 to 11,000+. Now I may never get around to playing a fraction of those games anymore (I’m a graphics whore) but I love the idea of knowing I CAN if I want to.
    Yes friends, that “future” box that can DO EVERYTHING, that they’ve been talking about that is “years away”. It’s here, it’s been made, It’s practically free and it gathers and distributes your content to your home theatre setup at the highest quality, in any medium – FREE (piracy issues aside, the focus is on technology and innovation)
    And because it’s open source code, people are constantly making it better. That is the future. The little guy, the hacker, not waiting around for corporate BS – takes matter into his own hands and makes the product he wants for himself without waiting for them.
    As soon as I can afford an X-Box 360 I am modding my old X-Box (you lose your Live service with the Mod) and having that “virtual media center” they keep promising that’s years away…today.

  23. David Poland says:

    THX is right… but his friend is a very small part of the market. The mass market is well behind that kind of power accessing.
    But I would still paint that as 5-10 years. Remember, most of the mainstream tech hardware providers are in bed with the studios/conglomerates and move slowly.
    I had a pal who was getting any DVD he wanted from someone in his office 6, 7 years ago. And you could buy a 300 hour Tivo years ago… but not from Tivo or any other official manufacturer.
    But the world of media must be organized and monetized soon. Niche, niche, niche.
    The perfect example lately is the Ricky Gervais podcast on iTunes, which they say was the most downloaded podcast ever. It was free… then as old content, became a fee based thing… now is free again. But how do the media companies wrangle all those eyeballs and what are the concrete benefits? The podcast was not an iTunes thing, but a Guardian thing. How does that all work. Is the web viral enough that The Guardian didn’t need iTunes or is that port critical to a spread to the US. And if people come to a site for Gervais, but never have to come back to get each week’s podcast, are they slitting their own neck?
    Many, many, many questions even before you get to your pal’s Super XBox

  24. palmtree says:

    That’s long been the problem with film exhibition. Too many people that can’t agree on something that is better for consumers. So we wait for them while the technology gets better and people outside the system beat it. I don’t think Patrick is right in the sense that the studios have to suddenly drop their revenue streams in favor of something unproven. But I think his article should have been aimed more at the You Tubes of the world that are going to be the new exhibition powerhouses…with or without the studios.

  25. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Wish you were as savvy about pro football as you are about movies.
    The NFL has had regular Sunday-night games since 1983 and a Thursday-night season opener since 2002. This year’s season opener (Dolphins-Steelers on 9/7) and first Sunday-night game (Colts-Giants on 9/10) are the first “official” NFL games for NBC since Super Bowl 32.
    ESPN takes over Monday Night Football this year; that doubleheader in Week 1 is a plum as the Raiders are in the late game.
    NFL Network has games on Thanksgiving night (Broncos-Chiefs this year) plus 8 games after that (5 Thursdays, 3 Saturdays).
    The Cardinals have not sold out many home games since moving to Arizona. This year the club opens its own stadium and expects sellouts as a result.
    Also, the regular season is 17 weeks (16 games + 1 open date).

  26. palmtree says:

    I wonder if you feel similarly towards music (yes, I know they are a different realm, but bear with the analogy).
    When a new song comes out, we can hear it free on the radio and then go buy the single or download it free from iTunes, where you can often watch the music video free as well. There are no windows there, or very very short ones at least. Is the comparable argument then that this concentration on singles has hurt album sales or has hurt people’s appreciation of albums as cohesive artistic expression or has hurt the revenue streams on what would have been album sales?
    Or am I just stretching the analogy?

  27. Crow T Robot says:

    I want this X-Box dead! I want its family dead! I want to go out at night and piss on its ashes!

  28. James Leer says:

    There have been several pre-taped pieces on SNL this season that have not ended up on the air, or have been bumped from the show they were supposed to appear on. I’m thinking specifically of one where Andy Samberg was a suicide jumper and also the ScarJo clip which aired a week late, though I know there are more.
    Most of these pieces were still slotted to air as late as the dress rehearsal (which is how it’s known they exist if you read SNL messageboards) but got bumped. Promoting it would do no good as it’s literally not decided what sketches will make it to air until the day-of, and even then, sketches will get cut right before they’re supposed to be performed.

  29. Richard Nash says:

    It’s very hard to compare the film industry with football. There’s no gambling on films. Which counts for much of footballs popularity. The league makes a decision NOT to charge people to watch games. The League Pass is one of the cheapest things out there for a fan. If you even like football a little bit it is worth it. And most every bar in the country gets the service knowing how much people desire seeing every game. Could they make every game PPV and bang out everyone for 25$ a game? Sure can. The backlash would be horrific but they could. Better to be fan friendly to the people who are your customers. Something the film industry conveniently forgets day after day.

  30. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Whoever came up with the funny tagline for the story entitled “Remember 1963?” got their facts wrong. Henry Hill and I buried that fucking rat Billy Batts in 1970, not 1963. Get your shit together.

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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?”

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