We look to our great-uncle,
As noted in an earlier post, The Asylum is estimated (by Wired magazine, so take that information for what you will) to have revenues of about $5 million a year. That's something like almost exactly two zeroes more than I've made in my best year so far. But here's the thing: The Asylum gets a lot of Internet grief -- they're widely hated and the press just makes fun of them.*
So they 1. are successful (and wildly so, considering this economic environment) and 2. are hated (and wildly so, considering both journalistic laziness and Internet anonymity). And the big question is: "How did they get that way?"
I think the answer to both questions is "They listen to their buyers." And although their buyers aren't saying "Make a movie with clumsy dialog and a loose plot with mediocre dialog editing" what they do say ends up making movies which almost have to fall down on some aspect of filmmaking.
Now, what the buyers want is
1. a movie to their specifications (must have shark eat the Golden Gate Bridge, must have dinosaurs and explosions, etc.)
2. delivered on-time (within, say, 6 months) and
3. At a reasonable (read: "cheap") price point.
This means they want the movie to be fast, cheap, and
The trouble is, and I get this from reading their blog as well as articles I've read about them, is that although they clearly love making movies and are having a great time with it, they seem to be -- on a personal level -- a bit hurt by both how they're treated and by their own thoughts about the quality of their pictures. That seems a bit sad to me.
We're experimenting with actually talking to our rep before shooting too. His idea of the market leads him to desire very specific sorts of things. For instance, the idea for doing an apocalypse picture (which we're doing as "Day 2") came from him.
*Unlike, say, Roger Corman who is Internet cool (and no, I'm not really comparing the two but even the most Cormanphilic of us would agree that in addition to some very cool pictures, he's made a lot -- a lot -- of crappity movies.)
Image from Inspired Minority Pictures. They seemingly had something to do with this movie (below), although their website is just the still image above. Oh wait, they're more information on the official "Pumzi" website. I do love their logo.