Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Shorter Week's Flotsam and Jetsam

Though there were only three days in the workweek, I hopped around to a number of studios. Herewith -- before I totter off into overeating land -- a few snippets from the days recently gone by:

A lead Disney Feature artist:

"Some of us told marketing that opening Bolt against Twilight was a bad idea. They said they knew best ..."

Which reminds me of a letter writer-producer-director Nunnally Johnson wrote to a friend regarding the marketing department at 20th Century-Fox:

"The marketing people here on the lot said the failure of the picture was a 100% the fault of production ..."

This was fifty-five years ago. Funny how most things never change. If the film underperforms, it's the creators responsibility. If the picture succeeds, the credit should be given to the folks who put together the terrific advertising campaign.

And at another studio across town, management sent out the following memo to the artists:

There is a real possibility that SAG will decide to go on strike as early as January ...

Hopefully this contract dispute will be resolved without a strike but everyone should be prpeared that there is a possiblity that this may happen. We're not sure how this would impact productions at this time.

Enough to set teeth on edge, yes? No wonder people are asking me what I know about the voice actors going out.

Lastly, at Film Roman, artists still aren't sure of future production plans for The Simpsons. Is the Yellow Family good for one more season? Two? Five? If Fox and Gracie Films know the answer, they aren't revealing it.

It's yet another workplace wrinkle that has made things tense. When I was up there yesterday and gave my usual cheery "Hi how's things going?", the artist I posed the question to growled: "Don't ask."

If you can, have a good four-day holiday anyway.


Anonymous said...

Well, one thing is definitely for sure, it isnt the fault of the story/production/animation crew. Bolt is a really good movie (no, great movie), and that's that.

Anonymous said...

As much as the artists would like to you can't lay the poor BO of Bolt on bad marketing. Disney marketed the shit out of that thing.
Whoever decided it was a good idea to up against 3 week old Madagascar2 and against Twilight are more to blame, but I'd lay the bigger blame on whoever greenlit this particular film.
When audiences avoid a film that has been marketed as heavily as this one it means only one thing: audiences didn't want to see it.\Of course, they couldn't have known that years ago when they greenlit (no one knows anything in Hollywood - even Lasseter). It's all a crapshoot. The one thing they should have been abale to predict though (before they added her to the cast) is the whole Miley Cyrus phenom would be over by the time this film got released and would only help give a reason for tween girls to stay away from the film.

Anonymous said...

Happily, Bolt is rebounding at the box office. On Wednesday, it pulled in 5.3 million, putting it in second and ahead, for the first time, of Quantum of Solace. It's hit 40 million, and there's the long Thanksgiving weekend ahead. Here's hoping the superdog finally pulls in some super numbers. And yes...Bolt is a GREAT movie. Best animated film this year, paws down!

Justin said...

I have to disagree about the marketing. I visited my wife's family over the holiday break and only half of them knew what Bolt was. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have twin 3 year old girls and had never heard of Bolt. That is the target demographic; a family with kids looking for movies to take their kids to. If she hadn't heard of the movie I can guarantee you that none of her friends have heard of the movie either.

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