Film Industry

Standing up for ticket-takers

Employees are suing AMC Theaters, arguing that they should be allowed to sit down.

Amazon Studios and the free option

Chip Street looks at why an offer to be featured on the “consider” list must be considered carefully.

Is screenwriting dead?

A working screenwriter shares his frustration with how difficult it has become to sustain a career.

20 Questions with John and Craig

John and Craig open the listener mailbag and sprint through twenty questions in just under an hour.

Confessions of a trust-fund screenwriter

In response to the discussion Craig and I recently had about the perceptions of nepotism and wealth in the film industry, a listener wrote in to share his experience of being quite literally a trust-fund screenwriter.

How cost-cutting hurt movies

Gregory Poirier argues that movies have suffered because of misguided cost-cutting, and forgetting that screenwriters are the research and development of the film industry.

Umbrage Farms

Craig and John take a brief look at the misguided Girls backlash and complaints about nepotism in Hollywood, before segueing to a bigger discussion of spec scripts and positioning.

Planning for opening titles

Karin Fong compares a great title sequence to raising the curtain before the show. By planning for opening titles at the script stage, you can help get your story started off right.

Amazon’s new deal for writers

Craig and John answer questions about specificity, television and what to do when your great idea sounds too much like a movie that’s already been made.

The pressure of PG-13

To some degree it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you make most of your blockbusters PG-13, most blockbusters will be PG-13.

Copyright Math

Rob Reid’s “Copyright Math” presentation for TED is a great reminder of how misleading numbers can undermine an argument.

In defense of shiny discs

Tasha Robinson offers a strong defense of DVDs and Blu-rays.

Let’s run a studio!

Celebrating Leap Day, John and Craig play the game of “What If?” Specifically, what if we each were handed the reins of a major Hollywood studio?

Hollywood by the numbers

Give Horace Deidu a bunch of Hollywood data and he’ll make some great charts that test your hunches.

How to write Groundhog Day

I’ve only just started reading Danny Rubin’s How to Write Groundhog Day, but it’s promising enough that I think many screenwriters will want to take a look at it this weekend.

Standardization and differentiation, or why UltraViolet is probably doomed

Standardization is good. Differentiation is good. But they’re competing forces. You can only differentiate your product by moving away from a standard.

First-sale doctrine

Craig and I talk a bit about the effects of first-sale doctrine in this week’s podcast, but we don’t define it. So let’s do that here.

Redbox’s arbitrary winners

Redbox, the DVD rental kiosk company, sent out a press release with a list of their most-rented titles for 2011. The winners are not who you’d expect.

More on movie money

Following up on last week’s podcast about the economics of the film industry, more details on the business from the exhibitor’s perspective.

How movie money works

When you read articles claiming every Hollywood movie loses money, an obvious question arises: “Why do they keep making them, then?” In this installment, John and Craig explain how the film industry spends and makes money.

Your projectionist and you

Witney Seibold has an extremely useful explanation of what a projectionist does, and why filmmakers should care.

Motion picture film cameras, 1888-2011

The three major manufactures of motion picture cameras have stopped making new film cameras.

Still suing

Remember that guy who’s suing the agencies for not representing him? Jim Vines has an interview with him, and asks one question that kept nagging at me.

Oh, they’ll remember his name

Aspiring screenwriter leaves locked suitcase at talent agency. Bomb squad destroys it.

R-rated comedies to the rescue

Superhero movies continue to make money, but the rise of very profitable R-rated comedies is the box office story of the summer.