Tuesday, 15 January 2013

L.A. Blog 4

(by Rishi Thaker)

So a busy couple of months up ahead as the going gets tough and time to deliver quickly approaches. Dan and I are currently engaging in a number of projects and although we are working tirelessly towards kicking them off there is no point in communicating what they are until given the ‘green light’. That’s where the people with the money come in and our ability to charm them will be the make or break of the projects we want to do this year. The aim is to try and make all the networking I have been doing whilst out here pay off. More to follow.

I have decided to put in one piece of interesting information that I have learnt whilst here for every blog I write which may hopefully help demystify Hollywood a little bit for you. Today I’m going to write about why a film costing a $1 billion may still make no money for its producers. Yes $1 billion at the box office could potentially leave no back end profit for the producers. How? Let’s take something like Superman or the Hobbit or something that costs a lot to make. Well firstly half (50%) of it will go to the cinema houses ($500 million). That’s what the likes of Showcase, Odeon etc… charge for showing your film (and they make no money from it as $500 million barely covers the cost of running a cinema for that many people – they make their money on popcorn, drinks etc… where there is an 80% profit margin). Superman or Hobbit or something of that magnitude would cost $250 million to make in the first place. This leaves £250 million which is spilt between the distributors (10-15%, so let’s say £100 million there) and £150 million P&A (Prints and Advertising). P&A is the cost of supplying the cinema houses with the film prints (could be about $1,500 per cinema!) and the marketing of the movie globally. So the cost the producer can control is the $250 million production cost. You lower this, you have more chance of making money if you’re film does a higher gross. Interesting eay?

Finally, I have purposely left this blog a little later than on the turn of the year because, for me, New Years is normally associated with jovial cheer, happy endorphins and excitement at what the next twelve months could bring. However, I have been left with more sobering thoughts as I reflected on what events took place around the world (that I read of), how they affected me and what I personally could do about them. I don’t need to go into any detail about the gun tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook in the U.S or the appalling act of rape to girl going home on a bus in Delhi, India which left many in disbelief at what sort of society we’re all living in. The sad thing is that despite these despicable acts I noticed through people and the media a sense of being desensitised to such things. Last year there were public shootings not only in Sandy Hook, but Colorado, Oregon, Toronto (amongst others) and my observations are that the impact is becoming more and more diluted across the world. There was a huge uproar in India in response to the rape with almost everyone having an opinion or saying something to denounce the act (even though this act is not isolated). India it seemed had turned a corner. Then I read this week that it happened again to another person. Another day, another victim. Desperate and in despair. What do the rest of us do?

I don’t mean to assume anything on your behalf when writing this but I always feel a sense of moving on after a period sadness. However I thought about the irresponsibility of moving on without changing. Changing my thought process and the way I behave. I’ve been guilty of ignoring a lot of what’s going on around me as I concentrate on my own goals and objectives in life. But I’ll get nowhere without interacting with people. We all have our sphere of influence and I guess I am trying to highlight the responsibility we have in realising that. I hope to set an example of what I believe is right and centre to that is to always to see the good in people no matter what. You’re all capable of positively influencing your sphere. Go and do it by example and watch it ripple across the world. That’s something we cannot have excuses about.