Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Going on Today

The beautiful and talented Olja Hrustic in Millennium Crisis has her reel online here:

And Brian Schiavo did up some pre-production artwork for his new screenplay The Shriven.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cats: not that funny.

Oh so wrong.

For cats.

Are funny.

And grumpy. And cute... And fixing my computer...

Indeed, all I can say is "I has a flavor."

But it's not all as it seems. No indeed.

In fact, I was talking about my cat and his soft ruff and cute little bunny-feet last night when suddenly the three beautiful women around me started talking about what women they would like to sleep with. I'm thinking "but I was talking about my cat" when they're all going into detail about the hot lesbian sex they'd have with Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, and Kate Winslet.
I'm thinking "it's not my fault, somehow I'm going to be blamed for being in the middle of three beautiful women talking about hot lesbian sex with Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, and Kate Winslet, yet all I was doing was talking about my cat!"
Sure, you're thinking to yourself "Drew, why are you complaining? It sounds like your life is pretty good, you don't even have to draw beautiful women into conversations about what other women they'd like to sleep with, they do it for you."
And to that I have to say: "Um... well... uh yeah..."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Three Major Markets

So, look. This hedgehog says to spend the money and get Ted Chalmer's Movieplan.

There are three major markets each year. The AFM in Santa Monica in the Fall, the Cannes Film Market (during the Cannes Film Festival), and MIFED in Milan (typically earlier in the Fall than the AFM, I believe).

Boy do I wish I were making this movie. But the fact is, Chance would do a better job with it than me. At least, that's what the hedgehog tells me.

Here are the distribution windows. I keep getting confused about the order, so I've written them down (as per Ted Chalmers):
Home Video
Pay Per View (I'd always thought this went before home video)
Pay TV
Free TV/Basic Cable.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Date Up

Feeling under the weather. A synopsis and a script (both by Mac Rogers) are at Ted Chalmer's for his review. Maybe I finished the 5.1 mixes today. Only a QC will tell for sure. Dealing with multiple legal documents to form the new Pandora Machine entity.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Theatrical Distribution (numbers)

OK, so if your brain is much bigger than mine, read this fellow's blog:


I can't understand 3/4 of what he writes about, but in this post he does some numbers regarding theatrical distribution on a feature film:

From (http://kronemyer.blogspot.com/2007/02/worst-reviewed-movie-ever.html)

"...the movie grossed $13,122,865 on its opening weekend, and to date has grossed $26,387,390 (per the on-line site, boxofficemojo.com). While not stellar, this isn’t all that bad, either. It opened in 2,526 theaters, which is way too many; the cost of the ad campaign surely was high. [Interestingly, none of the second-week ads quote any of the reviews, as newspaper ads for movies are wont to do!]

If the negative cost was around $25 million, and P&A was around $10 million, then it still has a ways to go, in order to recoup. Keep in mind the exhibitors typically retain around 50% of gross, and Universal’s distribution fee probably is around 15%, which means total domestic remittances are more like $11.2 million. Foreign will be poor, as romantic comedies typically are culturally-specific; they don’t “travel well,” to use the jargon of the industry. There will be some domestic video activity, HBO probably will kick in around $500K for a pay cable window, and there will be modest revenue from other TV sources (pay-per-view, basic cable, free TV, syndication). But that’s it."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gratuitous Fog

Lookit the Pandora Machine fog machine. Women smoking too! Reflections off stones in graveyards! And other gratuitousness! Yay! It's the best! Our own Marta Harasymowicz directed. We love her so much! (Kermit the Frog voice): Here she is! Yaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Paid in Full

Dude. Money wire transferred into our account. That. So. Rocks. We're now pretty much exactly 1/2 way to cash break even. Or 1/6 of what we call "break even" for our "participants". Very happy. Can afford 5.1 monitors now.
Must. Resist. Must. Be... Prudent...

Back from Break

I basically took a break from Millennium Crisis last week in order to upload all of Hamlet and Apostasy and a buncha other things to YouTube. Here, then, is a Prague Spring performance from nigh on 10 years ago.

But now I'm back at work on Millennium Crisis and wish I had 5.1 monitors (Genelecs, of course).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Your Modern Computers Frighten Me So

I blame Mac Rogers for most everything. Especially the headline of this post. Doesn't that seem like it should be a T-shirt?
In any case I've been a busy bee with uploading videos. Now finally we have a complete Hamlet of the Pixelvision kind on-line. Hamlet was the first feature I directed. I shot that movie more than a decade ago. Geef.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

"We had lots of sound mixers on this movie, we had like one a week."

Hey, this is post number 201! Merry posting bicentennial! This week has been all about maintenance. Got a new Toshiba laptop. Putting up lotsa videos on YouTube. Petting the cat.

There are some very important things to know. First of all -- Do. Not. Climb. On. The. Walrus.
And here then is monorail cat. He's all over the internets.

Pandora Machine is off the shelf at Blockbuster.

It was in the "New Releases" section for what? -- since June of 2004. And I know it was still there in December 2006. So a good couple years, certainly. I just bought the copy from my local Blockbuster in Metuchen. Off "New Releases" and in the "Previously Viewed" bin.
Interestingly, I just rented "The Great New Wonderful" which was the movie I was working on as a sound mixer when I got fired and then a week later I got a weekend job which paid me more than I would have made for the remaining three weeks of "TGNW" and when I was on my way to that job Laura called and said we got distribution for Pandora Machine.
www.imdb.com says that The Great New Wonderful only made $150K theatrically. I imagine the distribution deal combined theatrical with the home video deal and whatever/however that's linked to a pay-TV deal (if there is one.) They claim the movie was shot for $500K (which was not what I was told when I was hired -- I was told it was going to be more like a $125K movie, ahem) and theoretically I'm still contracted to get .25% of producer's gross (I actually used the contract I had with TGNW as a model for contracts with actors and crew on Millennium Crisis.) But either they a. decided I don't deserve my quarter-percent, or b. the producers ain't actually got nuthin' out of the deal.
"We had lots of sound mixers on this movie, we had like one a week." -- Danny Leiner, director of The Great New Wonderful.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Morally Complex, Action-Packed, and Affordable

Mac Rogers' words. Perhaps this should be the second part of the Pandora Machine manifesto. No?

Morally Complex, Action-Packed, and Affordable

To which I can only respond "Sounds like my dates."

Yes, Mac's words of wisdom resonate with me. That could be the second part of the Pandora Machine manifesto. And, it would amuse me.

Mac has an idea for a Vampire Huntress script which is kinda rockin' my vole. More on that as the story develops.

Mitchell wants to do some scraping and re-painting of the office next week. The cat got himself into some perfume or something. He smells like potpourri. He's going to make me sneeze and then he's going to leap from my lap. I'm uploading movies to YouTube for to watching by peoples. My user name is PandoraMachine. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=pandoramachine

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thinking Out Loud or The "Writer" Credit

My thoughts about how we're going to treat writers.

I mean, other than "they're lucky if they get two dollars a day and a kick in the pants".

There seems to be three kinds of writers on any given project. One is the person who comes up with the "story". The next writer is the "main" writer. That's the writer who brain vomits a big mess of a story with most of the structure in tact. The third kind of writer I'd call the "editor" writer, of which there are frequently many.

I'm thinking that our standard way of dealing with scripts is that we will have a single-title card with a "writer" credit -- that's the "main" writer (the one who did all the brain vomiting.)
Then there will be another title card with all the "additional" writers (if there are any -- in most cases there will be but who knows?). I don't know what to call "additional" writers. But I think that all writers should be credited (something the Writers Guild of America does not agree with.)
I don't know where to put the "story by" credit. Maybe it should be a single - title card too. That makes sense because usually our movies are too short, not too long.

So, by this thinking:
1. Single Title Credit "Story by" (only if a different credit than "Written by")
2. Single Title Credit "Written by" (may be more than one person)
3. Multiple Title Credit "Additional Writers"

Who makes the credit decision?
Ultimately, I do. I imagine that in a number of cases the credit may be contractual. Still, ultimately the buck will stop with me. I think and hope that we'll be fair and everyone will be happy before we go into production on any given picture. We don't want to start a production company in order to just lose our friends, after all.

And what about the "A Film By" credit? I hate this credit. But I've used it anyway. Basically, I'll end up taking it on pictures I direct if it helps me professionally. If not, it's just a dumb credit. I mean -- "A Film By" -- pershaw! Lots of people worked on the picture! I mean, Titian had lots of people helping him, it's not just him, "his" work is the work of dozens of people. And he probably helped some of them with "their" work. Feh.

OK, so the last big question is renumeration. At this point we're looking at writers working for free. My feeling is that for a $60,000 cash movie that the writer is an "early investor" and should see some portion of "first dollar". Competing with that notion is the fact that whomever invests is putting in actual money so they should see 100% of "first dollar" for, like, 300% before any money is doled out to creatives.

But I think what will really end up happening is some combination of these ideas.

If the cash investment is, say, $250K then I think the writer will get paid in cash, the director and DP (typically me) will get paid in cash, and the investor will get a 300% return ($750K) before the creatives start seeing a portion of "net" receipts.

If an investor puts in $60K then Pandora Machine (being the producing entity) is putting up the equivalent, and the writer, director, and other creatives (actors, etc.) start getting their portion (typically .25% or .0025 of "net" receipts) after the investor and Pandora Machine (combined) recoup $125K.

These numbers will take some thought. Note that the producer's rep will be taking upwards of 30% of "gross" receipts.

Note also that we don't use "net" and "gross". Instead we typically say a real number like "$125,000" as being the recoupable amount -- no matter how much is actually spent.

This will all take a bit of thought in order to try to be fair and for it to work. So... I'm thinkin!