[FoRK] Mark Cuban's Plan to Mess Up Movies
jbone at place.org
Mon May 23 09:22:44 PDT 2005
Anybody intent on fucking with the Established Way of Things (tm) in
media -- even a little bit -- is a friend of mine...
May 23, 2005
Mark Cuban's Plan to Mess Up Movies
The N.Y. Times has a good overview this morning of Mark Cuban's plan
to mess up the movie business for incumbents. It all centers around
HD, digital technologies, and changing the release schedules, and it
is an interesting read:
"Theatrical releases, which account for about $9 billion in revenue,
have become expensive trailers for the real deal, a $24 billion after-
market for home video and DVD's. The current food chain has made
everybody fat and happy while the mere existence of a digitized
entertainment product - ripe for the downloading - makes the industry
"The theory behind 2929 goes like this: Over the past few years, Mr.
Cuban and Mr. Wagner have acquired or built HDNet Films, which funds
smaller budget movies, Magnolia Pictures for distribution, Landmark
Theaters for exhibiting, and HDNet and HDNet Movies for cable
broadcast. Consumers with access to those cable networks will be able
to see a film at home on the day it comes out. Or they can see it in
the theater or, once details are worked out, simply buy the DVD. By
closing the window between when a movie is released and when it
becomes available on DVD - usually about four months - 2929 will save
on marketing by not having to advertise twice."
I have to confess I'm fond of writer David Carr's punchy prose, and
given the rich subject (Cuban) Carr gets off some nice quips ('...one
gets the impression [Cuban] does everything but brush his teeth by e-
mail') in this piece. Here, for example, is Carr doing Cuban's bio:
"[After selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo,] Mr. Cuban took up blogging,
basketball and terrorizing referees, buying the Dallas Mavericks for
$280 million and racking up fines for railing against league
officiating while using a blog to agitate and inform his fan base."
Finally, the piece discloses there was recently a high-level get-
together of A-list effects directors, including Lucas, James Cameron,
and Peter Jackson, at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch north of San
Francisco. The subject? How to get film exhibitors to adopt digital
technology. Would have been a fun meeting to attend, me-thinks.
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