Monday Morning Times Reads

The New York Times has two interesting articles about film production and promotion. First, Scott Kirsner’s article on the increasing use of digital cameras in Hollywood films. Kirsner points out that many filmmakers, including Steven Speilberg and M. Night Shyamalan continue to insist that they’ll only shoot on celluloid, and many cinematographers still prefer film when it comes to subtle lighting differences. But other filmmakers, including Michael Mann (Collateral and Miami Vice) claim to prefer the look of digital, while Dean Devlin, currently filming a World War I pic, notes that he was able to film “for nearly an hour during airborne dogfight sequences.” Nothing particularly new here, but I’m interested in tracking the ongoing transition from celluloid to digital.

Also worth checking out: Alex Mindlin’s article on film promotion and internet buzz. It’s a relatively brief article outlining the research of assistant professor of marketing Yong Liu, who argues that “movies that generated many messages in a given week tended to have high box-office receipts the week after, and movies with much prerelease buzz did well over all.” Liu reached these conclusions by looking at over 12,000 messages posted on the Yahoo movies dicussion boards. Perhaps Liu’s most important point is that the content of the messages mattered less than the number of messages. I’ll be curious to read Liu’s article when it comes out, although I’m more interested in the specifics of “buzz” and the degree to which these online discussions function for audiences.

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