3 Dramatic Ideas for the Movie Industry from a Broadway Producer.

Here’s something I never thought I’d say . . . thank God I don’t produce movies.

Why sure, sure, the theater ain’t no producin’ picnic, but . . . well, let me just ask you this . . . when was the last time YOU went to a movie?  Seriously, how many movies did you go to in the last 12 months?  And how many movies did you go to in a 12 month period 10 years ago?

That’s what I thought.

The very thing that makes movies so profitable – only having to “make it” once and then monetize it forever – has made it less rare and therefore, less valuable.  Anyone can make a movie . . . anyone can start a streaming platform . . . and with the high quality of TV technology . . . not to mention the high-quality free TV programs, is it any surprise that people stay home and pop their own popcorn?

This challenge led the NY Times to ask some of the top filmmakers if the movie industry can even survive the next ten years,  You can find their answers here.

Certainly, Hollywood will survive, it will just look a lot different than it does now. The same way the music industry had to reinvent itself fifteen years ago when Napster and Limewire disrupted the world (remember those platforms?).

But the movie industry is going to have to shake it up, not stir it up. . . so I thought I’d offer three ideas on how to bring audiences back to the movies.

  1. Release a film in one theater at a time. 

Do you know why Broadway is so hot right now?  Because when there’s a hit show, you can only get it in one place.  And that scarcity drives up prices.

So, why not try it with a film?  Put it in NYC.  Put it in Chicago.  LA.  And nowhere else.  Make it rare.  Which will make it valuable.

Now, studios, this is going to @#$% with your business model like crazy.  Because you can’t make a $100mm film this way . . . just like we can’t make a $100mm musical (as Spider-Man proved).  The answer is . . . DON’T make $100mm movies.  Slimming your business model will force you to slim your budgets, which have gotten out of control anyway.  And that’s coming from a Broadway producer who makes less when producing a show than most of my vendors!

  1. Give it away for free.

The current Hollywood model is all about trying to get the biggest gross on opening weekend as possible.  How’s that working out for you, folks?  Time to flip it on its head.  Try giving it away on opening or that first weekend to generate so much word of mouth it gets more people talking than any amount of advertising could.  And hey, make the theaters give you a deal for doing it this way . . . because they’re going to sell a @#$% ton more popcorn.

  1. Forget theaters.  Stream it on THIS.

No, I’m not going to say Netflix.  I’m not going to say Hulu.  Or Amazon.

Stream it on your OWN site.  That’s right, give it away, or charge a few bucks, but make people sign on to YOUR website to do it.  Get that data (which is worth bucket loads of $$$).  Get that contact info.  All of which will allow you to market your next film much more easily.

Movies, Broadway, and Book Publishing are similar industries.  Our “products” are all sold through 3rd party providers (Telecharge, Fandango, Amazon, etc.).  When we give our customers to another party, we lose massive amounts of power.

Maybe it’s time we all try to take it back.

The movie industry has already been disrupted . . . and it still hasn’t found its way through yet (except by licensing their IP to Broadway Producers).  And yeah, I’m predicting we’ll see a lot of empty movie theaters in the next ten years.

The good news?

Maybe we’ll be able to turn them into real theaters.

– – – – –

Are you interested in getting rights to a project from the movie studios?  I’ve got reps from all the biggies coming to the SuperConference to give you tips and tricks on how to do just that.  Click here and get your ticket now, before the price goes up on August 31st!

 

Broadway Grosses w/e 8/17/2019: Heat Gotcha Down

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending August 11, 2019. The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League.

Why National Roller Coaster Day is Important to Broadway Producers, Writers, and all Theater Makers.

Today is National Roller Coaster Day.  (See, Community Theaters?  I told you that pretty much anything can have a day – especially a great institution like yours.)

I wasn’t always a Roller Coaster Fan.  When I was 9, I was scared @#$%-less of Space Mountain and wouldn’t go on it.  I sat at the bottom, waiting for my Dad and my cousin to come out of the darkness. (Deep down, I was worried that they might never make it out, I guess.)

When they did step out of their coaster car, their hair was literally blown back, their clothes were disheveled, and they had a smile on their face like they had eaten rainbows for breakfast.

“What a thrill,” my cousin yelped.  And my 52-year-old Dad babbled like a 2-year-old, he was so excited.

And shouldn’t theater do that as well?

If you’re creating a piece of theater, you’d be better off imaginign your show like a roller coaster.  It needs ups, downs, thrills, laughs, gasps, fear . . . oh, and it shouldn’t be too long.  🙂

And it should leave the audience saying the same thing that my cousin said . . .

“I want to go on again!”

And guess what . . . because of her excitement, this time, I went.

And I’ve been a thrill-ride enthusiast in theme parks (and on stages), ever since.


Want to learn how Tony Award-winning writers write their own rollercoasters?  Click here.

Broadway Grosses w/e 8/11/2019: Summer Days, Drifting Away

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending August 11, 2019. The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League.

Three Reasons Why College Basketball Is Better Than Pro and What That Has to Do with Theater

Warning:  Sports metaphor ahead.  Proceed at your own risk.

If you’ve ever watched basketball, you know that at times, college ball can be a heck of a lot more fun to watch than the pros.  What does that have to do with us and why is a Broadway Producer talking about basketball on a Monday morning?

Stay with me, non-sports fans.

Here are three reasons why watching college basketball is better than watching pro:

1. It’s more about teamwork.

Pro b-ball is about those big star players.  With a shorter shot clock and only “man-to-man” defense allowed, the most popular play is, “Get the ball to INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE and let him shoot.”

College hoops, on the other hand, is much more collaborative.  That ball whips around the perimeter looking for the open man or woman, and no one cares who scores . . . as long as the team wins.

2. It’s where the next Superstars are.

When you watch college b-ball, you’re getting to see the next big stars before they become big stars.  Can you imagine seeing Michael Jordan play in college?  Or Stephen Curry?  I mean, not only is it exciting while you’re watching, but later, when they’ve made it to the Hall of Fame, you can say that enviable phrase, “I saw INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE before they were INSERT NAME OF SUPERSTAR HERE.”  You can almost see the wonder on other folks’ faces, can’t you?

3. It’s about passion, not a paycheck.

College players aren’t paid for what they do.  Sure, sure, there’s a lot on the three-point line for their future, but they’re on that court because they love basketball, not because they have a 5 year $10M contract and a sneaker deal.  They play because of their passion of the game . . . and, of course, because they dream of playing on bigger courts and in front of bigger crowds.  And that dream makes them run a bit faster and sweat a little more in the hopes that it will come true, and soon.  They also know that pro coaches, scouts, and owners are watching their every dribble.

So what does that have to do with us?

Seeing a show in a theater festival is like watching college basketball.

🙂

Think about it . . .

Festivals aren’t about stars.  It’s where the next big stars are cutting their teeth.  And God knows, they aren’t there because they’re being paid a ton of $ to do it.

They just love it.

And just like college fans have their rabid fans, these hard-sweatin’ “players” need a lot of cheering and support.

So go see a show at a festival.  Yes, we have one . . . it’s called Rave Theater Festival, there are over 20 shows in it, it’s on RIGHT NOW and it runs through August 25th.  (See a list of shows you can see THIS WEEK below – and note TWO shows have already sold out – so get tix quick.)

But if you can’t make it to our festival, go check out a show at another festival.  Or in any Off-Off-Broadway or Off-Broadway theater.

Because if you care about the future of the theater (and since you read this blog, I’d bet cash you do), I’ve seen it.  And it’s in the small theaters with passionate people doing it for the purpose of making something that people like you can see.

Oh, and here’s a bonus reason why college basketball is better than the pros . . .

4.  It’s cheaper.

No explanation needed.  🙂


This weeks’ schedule for Rave is:

MONDAY:

Stormy Weather

The Perfect Fit

The Tycoons!

Young Pilgrims

TUESDAY:

Back

Big Shot

Ni Mi Madre

Sweet Lorraine

WEDNESDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Big Shot

Fancy Maids

Just Laugh

The Erroneous Moby Dick

Young Pilgrims

THURSDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Oceanborn

Stormy Weather

Training Wheels

FRIDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Back

Noirtown

Rose’s War

The Tycoons!

SATURDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Fancy Maids

Ni Mi Madre

Noirtown

Oceanborn

Sweet Lorraine

The Erroneous Moby Dick

Training Wheels

Waiting for Johnny Depp

SUNDAY:

911 Gnomes: A Christmas Emergency

Back

Doppelganger

Girls on Tap

Rose’s War

The Perfect Fit

Training Wheels

Waiting for Johnny Depp

Young Pilgrims

FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE AND THE FOLLOWING WEEK’S SCHEDULE CLICK HERE.

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