Author Topic: 2929 signs Sod for six pack (discussion more interesting than title suggests!)  (Read 9094 times)

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MacGuffin

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Soderbergh inks six-picture deal with 2929 Ent.
Source: Hollywood Reporter

In a move that provides significant momentum to Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's efforts to collapse the traditional distribution windows, their 2929 Entertainment company has signed a six-picture deal with maverick director Steven Soderbergh.

Announced Thursday, the deal through 2929's HDNet production company will see Soderbergh's films released simultaneously across theatrical, TV and home video platforms on the theory that collapsing the traditionally staggered windows gives consumers a choice regarding how and when they want to see a film.

Soderbergh will have creative control over all the films' content, with each produced in 1080i high-definition format. The first project, "Bubble," centering on a murder mystery in a small town in Ohio, is in production on a three-week schedule with Soderbergh writing and directing. The casting director trawled area malls and beauty shops to find local residents to audition for the nonprofessional cast.

HDNet Films is financing all the projects with "Bubble's" budget between $2 million-$3 million. Wagner said this number might increase for the yet-to-be-announced projects, if Soderbergh pitches a compelling concept.
  
"I'm excited to work with Todd and Mark and appreciate the freedom to create independent films under this new distribution model," Soderbergh said in a statement. "All of us see consumer choice driving the future of the movie industry and this is a giant leap in that direction." Soderbergh has long been a fan of digital filmmaking. His digital projects include Miramax's "Full Frontal" and the HBO series "K Street" and "Unscripted."

The day-and-date strategy will be executed via 2929's Magnolia Pictures label, with theatrical distribution initially taking place at the company's Landmark Theatre chain and TV distribution through the company high-definition cable channel HDNet Movies. It's unclear whether the theatrical distribution will expand beyond 2929's properties, as the strategy of collapsing windows is seen as a threat by many in the industry.

However, as Soderbergh's recent projects, "Criminal" and "The Jacket," both performed dismally at the boxoffice via Warner Independent Pictures, 2929's strategy might provide an attractive alternative for Soderbergh's smaller projects. (2929 also produced "Good Night, and Good Luck," the story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, directed by George Clooney, Soderbergh's production partner in his company Section 8.)

"I think the distribution strategy was part of why (Soderbergh) did it," Wagner said. "Some of the things he did before didn't get the theatrical attention he would have liked. With us, we can make sure they get theatrical distribution in addition to television and home video. We can get it out there and test this model."

Another driver of this strategy, which Wagner hopes will one day be releasing a theatrical film each quarter, is to add subscribers to his burgeoning HDNet network. "We want the HDNet subscribers to be happy," Wagner said. "We need to make it worthwhile for them to be on the system. With a director of this caliber they will know that this is something we are serious about."

Wagner also hopes that Soderbergh is not the only director to sign on. "This is just the beginning. This deal doesn't prevent other directors or actors from trying to do something different. But we're off to a good start with Steven leading the charge."
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 07:16:26 AM by Pubrick »
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modage

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wow, crazy.  i wonder if any good can actually come from this?  or how long before clooney gets to star in one? its funny when the financier is like 'i hope we can spend some more money on this' cause they know that a 2-3 mill movie starring nobodys will not make as much money as a 7-8 mill movie starring one of stevens actors.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Gold Trumpet

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I like it. The best thing about this is that won't be films that really get large distribution. It won't tempt me into a situation of choosing to see a film on DVD instead of in the theaters because its that much cheaper or worst, that much nicer. It just allows for a fair method of distributing films that are hard to come by for a lot of people. My current city is so small and isolated I get the feeling the films I really want to see are as exclusive as Broadway shows. There are so many films I know I never will have a chance to see til a video release. I wish the entire art film circuit could adapt this method.

cowboykurtis

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i'm really not excited to hear this. mark cuban's sole purpose is to rid the industry of film as an aquisition and distribution format -- he's a extremely strong advocate that is agressively throwing a lot of time and money to make celluloid extinct for his financial gain. soderbergh is now apparantly on his boat.
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Pwaybloe

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I'm not sure if you're entrenched in Hollywood production or not, but I've got to assume that the "film" lobbyists have a strong prescence.  

Is the Director's Guild holding on to this power, because I believe that producers could give a shit less as long as it saves a dollar in production.

cowboykurtis

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Quote from: Pwaybloe
I've got to assume that the "film" lobbyists have a strong prescence.  

Is the Director's Guild holding on to this power...


I don't quite follow - What power are you referring to? Regarding film as an aquisition format?
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Tryskadekafobia

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Quote from: Pwaybloe
Is the Director's Guild holding on to this power, because I believe that producers could give a shit less as long as it saves a dollar in production.


Isn't Soderbergh head of the DGA?

cowboykurtis

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last i heard Michael Apted was head of DGA
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pete

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mark cuban makes harvey weinstein look like harvey kietel.  I dunno what I just said.  he's a dick.
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Ghostboy

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How about:

Mark Cuban makes Harvey Weinstein look like Eammon Bowles or Bingham Ray?

That's not exactly fair, but anyway, I know what you're getting at. Mark Cuban is a bit of a doofus, but I'll give him credit for anticipating technological trends and, by securing Soderbergh, legitimizing these trends for those with artistic intent, rather than capital (which is what Cuban himself is concerned with, but still, that he's largely been working with Soderbergh rather than, say, Brett Ratner shows some gumption).

The deal doesn't excite me that much, but it is interesting if you look between the lines. The whole simultaneous three-tiered release format is a bit of a facade, I think, meant to ease the transition of purely digital exhibition - TV media, theatrical films and home video will all be piped in through the same avenue, and Cuban's smart to get an early angle on what is certainly an inevitable (although not, I assume/hope, totalitarian) development.

pete

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I don't hink cuban has the ability to predict anything.  from interviews and real-life encounters, he's really rich and dumb.  he jumps on the digital bandwagon prematurely because it's a buzzword and it makes him look like he has some type of cause.  is he even aware that digital projection is still a much more flawed technology than celluloid?
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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cowboykurtis

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i don't think you can go as far as calling him dumb - you can't get THAT rich by being dumb.

and unfortunate as it is, digital exhibition IS where the business is going - the studios inked the deal with the exhibitors this month - to start fully making the swap from celluloid to digital projection - its a numbers game and cuban had the forsight and is at the helm of this progression - he's throwing a lot of money at it to make it happen - and will most likely profit immensely - so I don't think you can call him dumb - heartless...sure.
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Pwaybloe

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Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: Pwaybloe
I've got to assume that the "film" lobbyists have a strong prescence.  

Is the Director's Guild holding on to this power...


I don't quite follow - What power are you referring to? Regarding film as an aquisition format?


Yes.  I was using the DGA as an example, but I just assumed they would have the political power to hold celluloid as the industry standard.  Is there any other organized group that may have the same (or more) power to stop the influx of digital?  

While I doubt it, don't you think powerful vendors like Fuji or Kodak still has some proponents of celluloid in their backpocket?

cowboykurtis

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Quote from: Pwaybloe
Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: Pwaybloe
I've got to assume that the "film" lobbyists have a strong prescence.  

Is the Director's Guild holding on to this power...


I don't quite follow - What power are you referring to? Regarding film as an aquisition format?


Yes.  I was using the DGA as an example, but I just assumed they would have the political power to hold celluloid as the industry standard.  Is there any other organized group that may have the same (or more) power to stop the influx of digital?  

While I doubt it, don't you think powerful vendors like Fuji or Kodak still has some proponents of celluloid in their backpocket?


the DGA has no power and quite frankly doesn't really care. The industry will always be run by the money men. As far as film companies - they have jumped on the digital wagon - kodak is developing a HD camera and technicolor has developed the hi def projectors that will become the standard in years to come.
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Ultrahip

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I quite like this deal...but where does it leave my dear anticipated "Che"?

 

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