Film Vet Offers Advice for Rejuvenating the Industry

posted by Ross Melnick on July 1, 2011 at 9:10 am


Industry Veteran Michael Williams-Jones has written an op-ed addressed to film producers, distributors, and exhibitors in an effort to shake up what he sees as a short-sighted, complacent business.

“Cinemas around the world with notable exceptions are yet again beginning to look tired and somewhat unloved,” he writes in Screen Daily. “Take a really close look the next time you go to the movies….band-aid remedies have replaced grand imaginative cinema projects.”

He doesn’t spare the studios either for churning out the same “sequels, prequels, CGI extravaganzas, remakes, [and] teen fare” while making the “older audience … all too often overlooked or ignored.” Williams-Jones urges the industry to stop thinking in the short term and strategize about “who your audience is and perhaps more importantly who it could potentially be.”

Is targeting primarily those below 25 years old a sustainable business model?

Comments (4)

John Fink
John Fink on July 1, 2011 at 9:25 am

I’ve always said – if a theater can capture the excitement of a great film festival they’d have an experience everyone would want – excitement – I’m not sure how you build on that but their are chains (Alamo Drafthouse is one) that are.

MPol on July 2, 2011 at 12:18 am

Sometimes I wonder if they should concentrate more on quality, rather than quantity, when it comes to making movies. Back to the subject at hand, I also agree that film festivals should be aimed at all ages, and not just the younger crowd!

dhroc on July 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

You have three choices: a mindless romantic comedy, the latest 3D gimmick movie, or an action flick chock full of computer generated special effects. Most likely a sequel.

You have more than enough generic mega-plexes with with outrageous concession prices and Jennifer Aniston on every other screen. Add the kids in the audience who never learned proper behavior and ten minutes of ads for everything from cars to indigestion medicine and it adds up to a pretty mediocre experience. It’s like an assembly line; get ‘em in, get 'em out.

Movies aren’t about people anymore. There are no interesting or imaginative stories except pehaps at the local art theatre.

Mediocre movies presented in dull often beat looking multi-screen theatres. Whatever made going to the movies special is long gone.

MPol on July 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm

There are good and bad movies, but many, if not most movies today are mass-produced, with the intent of making money hand over fist. Sadly, today’s movies are often not about real human beings and how they relate to each other anymore, and the characters are often paper-thin, with little, if any real dimension to them.

What’s equally troubling is that far too many of today’s films convey the message that people don’t have to be accountable for their actions and behaviors, or to own up to the fact that they were involved in a wrongdoing and need to pay for it in some way or other.

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