Entertainment Industry

The Casablanca Experiment

Casablanca,_title

All film buffs and cinephiles have seen the wonderful Casablanca, and an overwhelming majority consider it a masterpiece. The same goes for many other classics we consider to be true, lasting works of art.

And yet, if we ask ourselves, “Would this movie be made today?” Would it get past the never ending layers of filters —readers, creative execs, big-time execs, financiers, studio analysts, whatnot— that today’s Hollywood puts up to minimize commercial risk? I understand the question is not fair, because what was made at a certain time and place doesn’t necessarily have to made at a different time and place… But, since we all agree it is such a powerful film, I’ll take the liberty of posing the question.

Would Casablanca get green-lit in present-day Hollywood?

And I will answer with a real-life experiment, cited from Bill Mesce‘s book,  Overkill: The Rise And Fall of The Thriller Cinema (McFarland: 2007.)

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Entertainment Industry

Broken Toys

Captura de pantalla 2014-08-12 19.15.41

Toys are objects of wonder, full of potential, containers of endless possibilities. Kids oftentimes take their new toys and observe them first in awe, taking in every angle and mechanism, before milking infinite worlds and tales out of them. But sometimes, all that wonder ends abruptly when the toy is stepped on by a careless adult; or when its gears —not infrequently flawed by poor manufacturing— get tired and give out.

But other times —most of the times, maybe— toys break because kids put them to the wrong use. Wingless action figures take a shot at flying, RC cars attempt audacious submarine journeys, and all kinds of innocent objects transform into blunt force weapons. 

Yesterday Robin Williams was found dead in his home. Early reports have told us about a possible suicide. We know about his troubles with drug addiction. And we have also heard about his depression. We all mourn his loss, as someone who, through his many memorable performances on the screen, became part of our lives.

But like many other times, this kind of news makes me think. They always make me think there is something wrong with the deaths of so many vibrant, wonder-filled, awe-inspiring, well achieved public figures. They make me think about broken toys.

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Entertainment Industry

Professionals In The “New” Entertainment Industry

In three years of film school, every single professor remembered to mention how the industry is changing, and how we shouldn’t miss out on those changes. The digital world is upon as, they’d say. Questions about the future of film and TV arise. Whether the traditional models of distribution and exhibition will remain or not. Whether the traditional path for a filmmaker is the same today as it will be tomorrow.

This strikes me as particularly important when it comes to prepare college students for their profession in the entertainment industry. After having studied a little bit the general landscape of our beloved showbiz, I’ve come to a few conclusions, which I presented earlier today to the faculty of the Department of Film, TV & Digital Media at University of Navarre.

Here you can download the full PDF in better quality: “Entertainment Professionals In The New Industry.

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Entertainment Industry

What Are We Doing To PG-13? Hollywood Problems (2)

It was a hot summer night in the middle of August, and someone said, “let’s watch a movie.” For some reason, we picked Jack Reacher (Christopher McQuarrie, 2013.) It was fairly bad, of course, but that’s alright. What amazed me was the shocking level of explicit, graphic violence present on a PG-13 movie. And thus, the idea behind this whole article was planted.

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Entertainment Industry

What Happened This Summer? Hollywood Problems (1)

After a fascinating summer movie season — still ongoing — with more tentpole titles than ever, few of them outstanding and many embarrassing, for the first time in a few years there seems to be a fairly widespread sense of, “something’s wrong with Hollywood.” This might have been prompted by Steven Spielberg’s prophetic announcement that the industry is bound to implode sooner than later, as well as by the somewhat poor numbers seen in the domestic box office.

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Entertainment Industry

The “Spaindustry” List

As futile an attempt as it may seem, I’ve been trying to compile the Twitter accounts of Spanish entertainment industry players. The list includes screenwriters, producers, and companies, generally established as professionals in the business, with a fair amount of activity on their timelines  (please note, no actors!) Since I might have missed two (or twenty), feel free to give me a heads up if you think someone should, or shouldn’t, be there. You can send ’em my way on the comments section, or via my Twitter account. Please subscribe to the list; and hope you enjoy it!

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