Thanks again for coming down to this little corner on the internet, and it's been great having JQ back with a couple of posts that touch on personal topics such as friendship and nostalgia.
Almost everyone knows that the new Avengers movie is coming out in Summer of 2012, and a new trailer for the movie came out recently. It's pretty slick from the looks of it...
I'm not sure if I am alone in this, but I feel mentally fatigued when I was watching it. It seems that Marvel's employing a well-tested formula for a good comic book movie: awesome visual effects, use of humor, bad-ass/tough guy quotes, calculating and cold villain, populated cities under attack (America seems to get the brunt of it)...after having watched Thor and Captain America, I kinda felt that the era for fresh comic book movies has reached an impasse. (Marvel still makes good movies in my opinion, but I am just seeing the same things again and again...)
|Batman Begins: an awesome comic-book movie that was fresh upon release.|
For me, the 2000s saw comic book movies coming in as a fresh new genre in the film industry. Spiderman did a great job in portraying a geek overcoming very human challenges, Batman Begins (and The Dark Knight imo) did an adroit take of a gritty Gotham city, Iron Man gave us a fresh take on the asshole-billionaire-superhero Tony Stark, Sin City and 300 pushed gore limits with their artful takes of their respective comic books...but we also cannot ignore the flops (Ghost Rider for one) that came along the way and the growing trend that (at least for Marvel from my perspective) comic book movies are becoming like comic books themselves...multiple runs that use the same characters that we all know and cherish.
Going into new areas is risky business model for movie (and video-game) industries, where the odds are stacked against you making a movie that will be an unique and unparalleled hit. It's my hunch that we are seeing a shift in the entertainment industries (which probably has happened for a long time), where creativity/innovation is moving toward indie fringes while mainstream markets churn out entertainment on a strictly economic basis. This may sound patently obvious to some of us I guess.
|Algorithms, determining what movies you'll rave about with your friends. Don't laugh at your friends doing computer science or math!|
And what do you know...according to a BBC report, the movie industry (and others like Google) actively uses algorithms to decipher consumer trends to decide what movies to make or scrap. As a little aside, Netflix is known to have held a contest (Netflix Prize, a $1 million payout) for teams to compete algorithms against their propriety algorithm to accurately predict consumer ratings for films based on previous ratings.
And here's where a good chunk of your movie ticket goes to: motion picture production and investment companies. There's a good chance that you've heard of Relativity Media LLC, as their logo is emblazoned on about 50% of the mainstream movies of today (Cowboys & Aliens, Battle: LA etc.)...and their big-ass logo shows up at the start of a movie for a good reason.
|Ka-Ching!!! Relativity Media LLC, armed with $$$ and algorithms...is ready to make big bucks in the movie industry.|
Data crunchers in Relativity Media employ algorithms originally developed to test the integrity of financial instruments, and they can actually try to "predict" best ways to make the movies...from choosing release dates to leading actors/actresses. It is said that they even employ all useable cells in Excel in their analyses and churn out tons of data, talk about intense math! Moreover, they have something that movie studios crave for: money, heaps of money. Relativity co-funds movies it believes that will turn profit based on its predictions and as a whole...it looks like a really solid business plan, your clients need to have both your services and $$$.
So the next time you see Relativity's logo up on the screen, smile to yourself and know that they're making a killing even when many movie-goers don't know what the heck they do/how they do it at all. And if you have the time, do read this Esquire article (2009) that interviews Ryan Kavanaugh, the founder of Relativity Media, LLC.
I guess that's what I have for now. After thinking about the Avengers movie...I am kinda interested to see how they will flesh out Loki who went to through a lot after falling through a worm-hole and ready to rule over the world...
(PS: I retyped this entire post after accidentally pressing the close button, talk about unlucky and darned blogger auto-saving not working at all!!! -___-)