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Hollywood is Broken, Does Netflix Have the Answer?

It’s seemed to me for a long time that the model of going to the movie theatre is broken. With the advent of our DVR-infused, binge watching, watch anywhere culture — the idea of going to a theatre to watch a movie for several hours seems antiquated, it just doesn’t appeal to me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. The question at hand then is, how does Hollywood tackle adjusting its business model to fit within the current culture. Regardless of the cultural shifts and the ability to access content from pretty much any corner of the globe, Hollywood has had a pretty tight grip on the distribution of new movies and the structure of the screening window (the system of when a movie is in theaters, available for purchase, rental, and then via cable and streaming) because there is a lot of revenue at stake. Despite that, from a consumption point of view, the current Hollywood system is broken; and I would argue that with these new technologies the reality is there is an entirely new world of revenue potential for these studios if they can find the right methodology to reach consumers. In order for Hollywood to catch-up with these shifts the answer lies in finding a path to the revenue to supplement the traditional Box Office. To that end, earlier this week, Netflix and the Weinstein Company announced a partnership. This relationship will debut the sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon simultaneously on both IMAX screens across the country, as well directly to the consumer via Netflix. Now, while the number of IMAX theaters is smaller than general...

Defining Success In the New Era of Late Night

When Johnny Carson retired viewers were for the first time presented with an option in late night Television.  They had the new Tonight Show host in Jay Leno, or the former host of Late Night, David Letterman with his Late Show on CBS.  That idea that there was competition in the late night landscape was a foreign concept, as prior to that point, late night viewers were predominantly focused on The Tonight Show for a laugh before bed.   This Leno vs. Letterman debate garnered a lot of ink in ensuring years.  Of course, times have changed and with the debut of Jimmy Fallon's version of the Tonight Show, the late night options are plentiful; from Letterman, to his prodigy in Kimmel, and the emergence of options on cable including Conan, Stewart, and Colbert.  Perhaps, in today's media over-loaded environment it's only fitting that we also have a plethora of options for our late night entertainment.   Not only are each of these shows vying for viewers in their time slot, but for the eyes of social media users as well.  It's a whole new layer of complexity that goes into programming each night's show, and it should make for some interesting competition in the years to come.  To that end, Fallon got off to a pretty good start himself with his latest video to go viral "The Evolution of Hip Hop Dance." However, the question that we're faced with now, as viewership changes and morphs, how will we define success of these late night programs?  Will the focus still be on traditional viewership numbers, or will the definition...

Can You Hear Me Now?

Audio is vital to a successful video production.  Typically, it's so well done that we take it for granted, because well produced audio is perfectly in sync and our mind easily marries the video with the sound in perfect harmony. Clean audio means ensuring that your talent and the footage you're trying to capture are properly recorded; this ensures that you have the right sound to reinforce the visual picture and allows your audience to easily follow along and focus on your message.  While this seems obvious, there are a number of issues that can arise with poorly recorded audio, including: Difficulty hearing the presentation Muffled or distant audio No natural sound, feedback or other noise can be distracting Audio that is out of sync with the video To avoid these issues for your video production, you will want to evaluate what you're shooting, how your telling the story, and what the best approach is to capture the audio.  This will ensure that you take the right steps to record clean, crisp, quality audio during your video shoot, and successfully tell your story while enhancing the quality of your...

Lessons from the Oscars

While the Oscars celebration has wrapped up, the annual awards show serves as a poignant reminder as to all of the qualities of a good production.  From lighting, to set design, audio, and effects the show showcases Hollywood's biggest productions, and at the same time offers perspective on the aspects that you need to keep in mind to produce and develop effective video content.  Now, while your video production may be for marketing purposes, or to educate an internal audience, demonstrate a product, or share insights from new research or the C-suite, there are still similarities and lessons you can take away from The Oscars.   Here are three lessons from the Oscars to keep in mind: Sometimes Less Is More: The Artist, winner of the Best Picture award, did something most of us would have thought impossible in 2012; they told their story with no spoken words.  Quite a remarkable feet in this technology charged and Twitter powered media environment. That is not to say you should go without sound for your production, but it's an important reminder of an old production 101 maxim Keep It Simple Stupid. The Devil is In The Details: Many of Oscars awards actually fall behind the scenes for directing, lighting, costume design and editing.  While these aren't the types of tasks that will energize your team about producing video for your organization (that's why we're here to help!) they're important parts of any production and all play a part in successfully telling your story. Everyone Has A Story: Gigi Causey and Andrew Bowler, a married couple, were nominated for their live-action short...

TV Production in NYC on the Upswing

From CrainsNewYork.com: "The mayor announced Thursday that 2011 was New York's busiest year ever for television production, growth the city credits to the state's 30% tax incentive, as well as the city's own initiatives to make the five boroughs production friendly. According to the mayor's announcement, 23 series are currently filming in the city, compared with nine in 2002." Read...

How Fox Should Change Late Night

I have a plan for Fox to change the Late Night game – it extends beyond just hiring Conan – and in the process it would leverage their existing assets and create a significant stream of revenue for the Fox television network. This strategy would shake up the network TV landscape, and would offer Fox the opportunity to join the party at 11:35 PM. It wasn’t that long ago that Fox was as struggling start-up network, however today it is often ranked at the top of the ratings with blockbusters like American Idol, and 24, and yet after the local news at 10 PM the local affiliates transition to blocks of syndicated sitcoms. So, it’s time to shake things up and move past old Seinfeld repeats. Here’s the idea: build a national newscast to air at 11 PM using the resources of the Fox News Channel and then lead into Conan O’Brien at 11:35 PM. It’s the perfect opportunity to extend the Fox News Channel’s brand, to bring something new to the timeslot, and to set Conan up for a fair fight in late night. On the other Networks, the traditional 11 PM newscast has been produced by the local affiliates, however Fox already serves that niche at 10 PM and there is no other eleven o’clock National newscast on any of the broadcast networks. This would offer Fox the opportunity to differentiate its programming, showcase its news reporting talents, and to familiarize new audiences with the FNC brand, and then position them to lead into Conan at 11:35 PM. With that strategy, since Conan’s demos match up better...