Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Lions and Lambs

I wrote about the book Twilight a few weeks ago and briefly mentioned that it was going to be a movie soon before talking about my views on premarital sex.  Yeah, sometimes I don’t even know how I get from point a to point b, but whatever, it works.  The book Twilight is a phenomenon among teenage girls (and some of their mothers who refer to themselves as Twilight Moms) and a few teenage boys (most of whose sexuality leans more towards my team than say Ron Jeremy’s), but the movie Twilight could change the face of the motion picture industry as we know it.  First off, it’s getting awesome reviews.  More importantly, however, it is completely independently funded.  

So here’s how it works.  An actual independent film, I’ll use Juno as an example, is funded by smaller production companies or by the independent sector of larger companies (Fox Searchlight is 20th Century Fox’s Indie sector, Paramount Vantage is Paramount’s, Warner Independent is Warner Bros., etc.).  Juno was funded by smaller companies and then sent to different festivals (this is why Sundance is so important) at which major motion picture studios bid on the already made movie.  They are bidding for distribution rights and when the film is distributed widely, they get a huge percentage of the revenue.  They do, however, foot the marketing bill, which can sometimes cost more than the movie itself.  Unless we’re talking about little arthouse movies, and sometimes even those are funded by studios, every single movie that comes out is at some point funded by a major motion picture studio.  Just watch the opening: you will always see a studio logo come up before the movie starts.  ALWAYS.  
Now, Twilight is the first movie in a long time, if not the first movie ever, to challenge this method.  It was funded entirely by Summit Entertainment (which is not a major motion picture studio), and filmed for no more than $35 Million, though I’ve heard it was closer to $25 Million, which isn’t a lot for a movie nowadays.  The thing is, Twilight is bigger than they ever expected.  Compared to Harry Potter, which has at least $100+ Million budget per film, Twilight is ridiculously cheap, especially for a movie that was filmed almost entirely on location around Portland, Oregon, and has extended action sequences to try to lure in the boys.  But the real clincher is, it’s going to make an assload of money.  
The question is, how much?  Summit is trying to aim low so they are pleasantly surprised, but I know that the midnight showings for the night before are sold out in L.A.  (Don’t worry, I’ve already got my ticket).  The reason that this is interesting, and the reason you should all go pay $12 (it’s about $14 now in L.A.) to see this movie is that it will change movie making.  If/when Twilight completely explodes, it will no longer be necessary to go through the major studios for funding.  It will no longer be necessary to throw $100+ million dollars at a project that is ‘guaranteed’ to be a hit.  If the little movie that could, Twilight, can make a good watchable romance with action movie that rakes in money, we might actually see a change in the way film is made.  Instead of ‘independent’ films like There Will Be Blood (whose status as Indie rests solely on the fact that it was produced by Paramount Vantage and it’s not a piece of shit like big studio movies are now), we will have mainstream films like Twilight, that have mass appeal, good story, good plot, good acting, good writing, and didn’t cost as much as Titanic to make.  
At a time when the face of television is changing rapidly, when the way we view media in general is coming into question, isn’t it time we, the consumer, put our money toward something good?  I’ll write my review on Friday the 21st, its technical release date, so we can know if it’s really good or not, and then I expect you to do your part to change the biz.  
Peace, Love, and Consumer Driven Power,

November 12, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. seems likely that they will come out with a Twilight sequel pretty soon, there’s a crazy lot of ticket sales at stake

    Comment by coffee | January 17, 2009 | Reply

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