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Wired on Hollywood's Elite Message Boards 264

Posted by chrisd
from the where-the-elite-meet-to-crush-pipsqueaks dept.
superflippy writes " Wired journalist Ben Mezrich gets the scoop on the online forums that film producers and other Hollywood heavyweights use to "track" the buzz on spec scripts, actors, writers, etc. "The tracking boards are the herd mentality gone digital," says one tracker. This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters."
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Wired on Hollywood's Elite Message Boards

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:09PM (#5714009)
    One detractor? A single, semi-anonymous comment can sink a script?

    Imagine what a goatse redirect would do!

  • What?!? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Glock27 (446276)
    You mean there's something to watch besides the cable news networks?

    Nah...back to Fox. ;-)

  • Explains? (Score:2, Funny)

    by ryants (310088)
    This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.
    Er, no it doesn't.

    But since the linked article had eye candy, you get a pass.

    • Re:Explains? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ptolemarch (11506)

      This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.

      Er, no it doesn't.

      But since the linked article had eye candy, you get a pass.

      It certainly does explain how Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.

      On the second page [wired.com]:

      "Likewise, maybe as a favor to an agent, I could post something like, 'I love this, my boss loves it.' That will create buzz, and quite possibly people will start bidding preemptively because they're afraid of losing the project."

      Movie titles flash before

    • by twitter (104583) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:11PM (#5714264) Homepage Journal
      The problem is NOT that Kangaroo Jack "makes it to theaters". The problem is that someone has the power to shove it onto everyone's screens while other quirky stuff never gets filmed and the vast majority of things that do get filmed never see a screen. The article's author gives us, "The truth is, I don't belong here. I am not a Hollywood player." The real truth is that there should be no such thing as a Holywood player. Theater owners should be independents who are able to pick and choose films suited to their own audience. In reality, some dorks in LA make a playlist.
  • by sulli (195030) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:14PM (#5714028) Journal
    Clearly these execs are just overgrown kids with too much time on their hands wanting to mess with each other. In normal parlance, they're Trolls.

    As everyone knows, a certain well-known site [slashdot.org] has a similar problem. Yet with the magic of Zoo [slashdot.org], trolls can be banished [slashdot.org] with just a few mouse clicks! And as we all know, now slashdot is perfectly free of such ill-behaved creatures.

    So the obvious answer is for Hollywood to use slash! Blacklist the Trolls, and we'll get better movies.

  • So true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrCaseyB (200218) <casey_slash&luxedit,com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:15PM (#5714037) Homepage Journal
    I read this guys book "Bringing Down The House" I enjoyed every page of it. I read this article he has written about hollywood fuckwits, and it all seems farely believable.

    Having to work around writers and executive producers and other people in the industry is a drain. You will never find a group of folks more full of shit. I completely agree with the article in that all the movers and shakers in the industry run on fear, constantly looking around to see what everyone else is doing.

    • Re:So true... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
      Blackjack card counters are fools. So are any "professional" gamblers. With a similar investment of effort, a person could instead succeed at investments, or real estate, or any other enterprise. Cheating casinos is way too much effort for too little return.
      • Re:So true... (Score:3, Interesting)

        Blackjack card counters are fools. So are any "professional" gamblers. With a similar investment of effort, a person could instead succeed at investments, or real estate, or any other enterprise. Cheating casinos is way too much effort for too little return.

        Um, try reading his book, or his older Wired article. I'm sure the people he covered in his book are crying about you calling them fools -- all the way to the bank, since many of them made millions of dollars.

      • Ya, but where else can you be at work, get free drinks and watch all the scantily clad women walking by?

        Oh, and you might make a little cash too.

        • Ya, but where else can you be at work, get free drinks and watch all the scantily clad women walking by?

          In the film biz??

          Oh, but casinos will no longer send you to the bottom of the harbor for pissing them. That is the difference...

      • Re:So true... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mandolin (7248)
        Blackjack card counters are fools

        Carmack [xent.com] is many things, but not a fool. Perhaps you have made a misjudgment?

        • First of all, Carmack is just a talented professional, just like millions of other talented professionals out there. Just because he's been deified by nerds doesn't mean gambling isn't a loser's game. All he did was approach the game of blackjack mathematically, like any person with half a brain. Heck, this isn't the 70s, when card counters were an insular fraternity. The info is freely availible on the internet (everyone's favorite site, thewizardofodds.com, seems to have gone down or been squatted upo
    • Par for the course. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CleverNickName (129189) <wil@wilw[ ]ton.net ['hea' in gap]> on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:18PM (#5714488) Homepage Journal
      Having to work around writers and executive producers and other people in the industry is a drain. You will never find a group of folks more full of shit. I completely agree with the article in that all the movers and shakers in the industry run on fear, constantly looking around to see what everyone else is doing.


      We're discussing [fark.com] this at Fark. Here's what I had to say there:

      Ben's experience matches up EXACTLY with what I've known to be standard industry practice for as long as I can remember.

      We used to joke that there was one guy, who'd get drunk at a restaurant and spout out movie ideas (it changes as things go in and out of style -- in the 80s it was Spago, in the 90s I think it was the Viper Room. I have no idea what it is now, as I attempt to claw my way back up to the "b" list.) The joke went that there were execs from all the major studios, and they'd only hear flashes of the conversation, like ". . . asteroid . . . earth . . . big summer movie . . ." and we get two or three movies that are exactly the same.

      The worst thing about this article is that Hollywood will see it, and they'll add Ben to the "we hate him because he doesn't play by our rules" list, and Bringing Down The House will never get made.

      Which REALLY sucks, because I was hoping to score a part in it.

      A friend of mine (who is now an indie director) worked on "Batman and Robin."

      The horror stories he told me about the insane wasting of money on actor crap would make you explode.

      The budget for actor garbage -- workout rooms, personal chefs, personal assistants, personal drivers, groomers, and all that useless shiat -- was THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

      We made Neverland [newmediaen...nment.info] for less than 50 grand, and even THAT was a ton of money to me. (I'm not an investor, just an actor, in that picture.)

      Jane White Is Sick And Twisted [janewhitemovie.com], which is coming out on DVD in just a couple of weeks, was similar in budget . . . and I'd wager that both of these movies are more entertaining, and more watchable than Batman and Robin.

      Yeah, Hollywood is fucked. Royally. The big media conglomerates (you can't even call them 'studios' any longer) have co-opted "independent" as a marketing device . . . but there are some real indie studios out there, with people who love the material, love the process of bringing it to life, and create great work. It's just hard to find right now, is all.

      As for Ben's movie? I'd DIE to play Kevin, but a part that big will go to someone who is currently "established," who can "open" a movie. (By "open," I mean that they can get people into the theatre based on their name alone.)

      Kevin's character is asian in Real Life, IIRC, but they'll change that for the movie, and you'll see someone like Matt Damon (if Hollywood is smart, which they're not so we'll probably see someone who's a lousy actor, but on a "hot" series right now. I leave it to you to fill in the blanks on that one) in that role. Which he probably won't take, because it's too similar to "Rounders," which leaves it wide open for me!

      . . . to lose out to some guy who's hot right now.

      But Dealer #5 is all mine, baby! ;)
      • I'm sure you're 100% right, but at the same time choosing Batman and Robin doesn't really say much...there are very, very few movies less entertaining or watchable than Batman and Robin, so I still have no idea if the inexpensive movies you mention are worth anything.
    • Fear and AI (Score:4, Interesting)

      by twitter (104583) on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:21PM (#5714498) Homepage Journal
      In the trailers for the movie, AI, Steven Spielberg talks about how he and Kubric communicated to each other through fax machines kept in locked closets. Says a lot about the sad twisted state of mind these folks have, "Oh my God, someone is going to STEAL my idea!", they think to themselves as if they have the one or two true insights in the universe. The universe is not so poor, but people who talk to each other through fax machines might be. And these are the people who would shape the future of general computing with DRM.

      Everyone's out to get you mother fucker!

      • In the trailers for the movie, AI, Steven Spielberg talks about how he and Kubric communicated to each other through fax machines kept in locked closets.

        There's a good chance that Stanley stipulated that that be the case; he was a private person, to the point where some people might consider him to have certain psychiatric problems. Still, poor == crazy, rich == eccentric, hey?

      • "Oh my God, someone is going to STEAL my idea!", they think to themselves as if they have the one or two true insights in the universe.

        Thing is, that in the industry they probably really are the few with any insight and I'd say that fear was justified. Hollywood is the place where the man with one eye does not rule the blind, instead he has to keep it closed because everyone else wants to pluck it out for themselves.
      • The universe is not so poor, but people who talk to each other through fax machines might be. And these are the people who would shape the future of general computing with DRM.

        William Gibson communicated entirely without the internet. Much of his communication was taken care of via fax until 1996 or so.

        I don't think paranoia is the state of mind we're seeing in Hollywood. Paranoia would have ensured that these boards remained a secret (or at least a perpetually unconfirmed rumor) with lots of NDAs an

      • On the other hand, these communications are worth a lot of money, especially if someone gets them and beats you to the punch on an idea. Even if your movie is better, you'll still come off as an imitator. I would expect you to take good care of trade secrets if you owned a business, for example you'd want to protect the netlists for your best designs if you were designing ICs. Similarly, you'd want to protect your scripts and notes from prying eyes were you making a movie.

        Also if you have an investment fr

  • They certainly don't need to be doing research of any kind for the type of trash they are putting out these days. More like job justification for some "researchers" to troll message boards all day. But if their consumer preference model is based on the denizens of online message boards, that explains a lot.
  • "that movie's gonna make some huge bank."
    "What buzz?"
    "The Internet buzz."
    "What the fuck is the Internet?!"
    • by MrCaseyB (200218) <casey_slash&luxedit,com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:27PM (#5714091) Homepage Journal
      I can appreciate your quote of Jay and Silent Bob strikes back, a guilty pleasure that movie was. Pure crap, but funny as hell.

      On the other hand, your sig contained one of my favorite lines from Donnie Darko. What a spectacular movie Donnie Darko was.

      Funny how these same hollywood dumb asses that spend their time trolling elite message boards, pumped millions in production and advertising to push a piece of crap like Jay and Silent Bob, but did very very little to promote a gem like Donnie Darko.

      Subsequently, Jay and Silent Bob made a fortune at the box office, donnie darko did not do well at all.

      • .... a guilty pleasure that movie was ... but funny as hell ...

        Uhhh, doesnt sound like crap to me. You laughed, you found it pleasureable. It entertained people, it has done what it set uot to do in the first place.

        What then constitutes crap? If crap means a ridiculous and incoherent story, then most of my favorite movies are crap (that includes JaSB:SB). Of course, if you mean that crap = not entertaining, then it is quite obvious that it wasn't crap.

        Now i was argueing with a friend that Vertigo was a
      • Errr, J&SBSB did not make a "fortune" at the box office. I think it brought in something like $30 million [the-numbers.com]. Blockbusters do that just in their opening weekend.

        Not to say I didn't enjoy J&SBSB. I'm a big Kevin Smith fan and I really enjoyed the movie (for what it was: dick&fart jokes). Most of the 30 million was probably due to the cult following Kevin Smith has, and not advertising.

        (BTW, I also really enjoed Donnie Darko)
      • > On the other hand, your sig contained one of my favorite lines from Donnie Darko. What a spectacular movie Donnie Darko was.

        Indeed. And your comment provides me the opportunity to post the URL to my just published, really long and detailed review of Donnie Darko. [locusmag.com] I've posted it before. Given the opportunity, I'll post it again. Hell, I've maxed out my karma, and if causes one intelligent person to seek out this singularly interesting film, it will be worth it...
      • Bull. Jay and Silent Bob was a success because Kevin Smith built a cult following from Clerks on thru. Clerks, a true indie film, by the way.
      • by Tokerat (150341) on Friday April 11, 2003 @11:08PM (#5714917) Journal

        The whole point of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was that is WAS a shitty movie. They know this, it was on purpose.

        "Any movie with Jay and Silent Bob will lick balls"
  • by Wirr (157970) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:26PM (#5714088)
    nobody can be that stupid.
    reading a board is one thing, basing your decesions on it another.
    Then again, there is this anecdote from Terry Pratchett. He met a Hollywood executive who wanted to make a movie out of his book "Mort" (that is about Death taking on an apprentice). Here's what happened in the word of Pratchett himself:


    "A production company was put together and there was US and Scandinavian and European involvement, and I wrote a couple of script drafts which went down well and everything was looking fine and then the US people said "Hey, we've been doing market research in Power Cable, Nebraska, and other centres of culture, and the Death/skeleton bit doesn't work for us, it's a bit of a downer, we have a prarm with it, so lose the skeleton". The rest of the consortium said, did you read the script? The Americans said: sure, we LOVE it, it's GREAT, it's HIGH CONCEPT. Just lose the Death angle, guys.

    Whereupon, I'm happy to say, they were told to keep on with the medication and come back in a hundred years."

    • Translation:

      Hollywood: Do you want to play our game?
      Pratchett: Go to hell.
      Hollywood: Likewise.

      The game is always interesting. People get too focused on it and not the end project, though...this is what leads to movies without a soul.

      C'est la vie. It continues every day, with new faces and different names, but always the same. Hollywood has been trying to put itself out of business for the past century, always accidentally succeeding when it needs to.
    • Believe it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rdewald (229443) <.rdewald. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:42PM (#5714149) Homepage Journal
      Remember, these people formerly made all of their business decisions at parties and in hot tubs. Mostly this is a crowd that confuses their ability to make money with being truly significant. They all operate under the same set of deluded assumptions about themselves, they're drawn to this type of community for the insulation from reality it provides.

      This doesn't make them bad people, some of them are exceedingly decent human beings in terms of their personal habits, but the "creative" community in Hollywood is really dominated anti-creative forces and incredibly self-absorbed people. It's truly amazing we ever get any good movies at all.
      • Mostly this is a crowd that confuses their ability to make money with being truly significant. They all operate under the same set of deluded assumptions about themselves, they're drawn to this type of community for the insulation from reality it provides.

        Hm, s/make money/type/; and I'd think you were talking about Slashdot :)

    • "A production company was put together and there was US and Scandinavian and European involvement, and I wrote a couple of script drafts which went down well and everything was looking fine and then the US people said "Hey, we've been doing market research in Power Cable, Nebraska, and other centres of culture, and the Death/skeleton bit doesn't work for us, it's a bit of a downer, we have a prarm with it, so lose the skeleton"

      It reminds of the several attempts to make a movie based on Hitchhiker's Guide
    • Here's what happened in the word of Pratchett himself.

      Terry Pratchett's a dude? Never realized that.

    • by JordanH (75307) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:49PM (#5714736) Homepage Journal
      Joel Hodgson's (of MST3K fame) relates a similar story in his brief biography [mst3kinfo.com]:
      Tartikoff's office contacted Joel, and offered a starring role in a new NBC sitcom. They sent him the script for the pilot, and after reading it, Hodgson turned the part down, telling Tartikoff's people it just wasn't funny. Perhaps predictably, the executives mistook Hodgson's complaints, assuming they were just a bargaining ploy. Their response was to offer the role to Joel again, at triple the amount of money they'd first offered.

      That was the proverbial last straw. Hodgson was appalled that the executives could not grasp the notion that he would turn a project down purely on its merit and that no amount of money was going to get him to change that stance. Of course, he refused the offer, and in a few months he was back in Minneapolis, declaring he was quitting comedy.

      (Incidentally, the series, called High School USA, which Hodgson astutely pegged as "a Fast Times at Ridgemont High rip-off," was one of Tartikoff's most notable failures. Three episodes aired before it was yanked from NBC's fall schedule.)

      Hollywood types just don't get it.

  • be a contrarian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:36PM (#5714125) Homepage
    Sounds like you could pick up some very interesting projects by being a contrarian; ie, getting the stuff that's getting poo-pooed on the boards and actually READING it; then picking it up for less than the project would've gotten if it were universally lauded.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by I Am The Owl (531076) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:37PM (#5714130) Homepage Journal
    Are you guys just going to link to the articles in Wired's newest edition one day at a time?
  • Because it's the type of thing families take the kids to for a night out.

    I'd bet more people enjoyed Kangaroo Jack than any given Star Trek film. It's stupid but funny and something to do with the kids on a saturday.

    Sheesh, not everything out of hollywood need be an acclaimed arthouse fancy shmancy Cannes film festival fare.
    • "Sheesh, not everything out of hollywood need be an acclaimed arthouse fancy shmancy Cannes film festival fare."

      Fancy shmancy like StarTrek movies, for example.
    • Just because it's entertainment for children doesn't mean it has to be insipid.
      • Have you watched the bastardization of Tom & Jerry and the Bugs Bunny/Warner Bro's characters on Cartoon Network? The new shows are unwatchably stupid. Hell, even the newer "Dexter's Lab" is hard to take in, whereas once it was pretty fun.

        I'm starting to wonder if this really is what appeals to children, though, since everyone is doing it, and I assume that marketers can't *all* be stupid. We are talking about the generation of kids that made Pokemon successful...
        • It's not the shows that have changed, it's you. Kids have really bad judgement. Heck, look at the grown-up children of today, who have fond memories of Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and other 30-minute advertisements for toy lines. I'm sure in ten years, when today's Pokemon watchers are in their twenties, they'll be getting "#039 Jigglypuff" tattoos.
      • by djupedal (584558)
        Just because it's insipid doesn't mean it has to be entertainment for children.
    • by fenix down (206580) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:05PM (#5714629)
      Ok, I'm officially horrified by the number of people who apparently enjoyed Kangaroo Jack around here. No wonder I haven't genuinely enjoyed a movie since 1993. We've got you morons fucking with the demographics.

      Kid movie!=crap! Honestly, Lilo&Stich and Sprited Away beat out EVERY OTHER FUCKING MOVIE this year both in artistic depth and enjoyment. LOTR? It might be pretty good in general, but you're working from Tolkien here! You could make a masterpiece out of that blindfolded and it still manages to have X-TREME skating elves. Even the artsy Broadway thing was fluff crap.

      The closest they ever get to creativity anymore is when they're ripping off something. And even Spiderman kept me wishing I had a pause button so I could get up and go have lunch to break the monotony.

      Absolutely you don't need Cannes (which, despite it's facade, is about as artsy as Eight Legged Freaks) you just need something that isn't total shit. I'd kill for another Die Hard. Die Hard 3 was probably the last time I sat through a movie without having to supress the urge to scream obsenities.

      And don't try and pull some crap about how it's just personal preference. If your personal preference is kangaroos stealing money from the HILARIOUS pair of "skinny white guy #6" and "fat black guy #3", you're a waste of entropy.

      Or maybe I've just seen too many movies. Either way, I've got 20 bucks and an old Gameboy for the first guy who lays down some hurt on those boards.
    • That's the problem. Why bother with steak when you can get hamburger? Every so often a steak is cooked badly or cut imperfectly and it tastes bad. Hell, you have to worry about savoring each bite and enjoying the subtleties of flavor and texture. It's a hell of a lot easier to eat a cheap 99c piece of crap that all tastes the same with the only difference being what cheap condiments you thrust onto it to convince yourself it's something different.

      By your own claim it was stupid. What does that say about yo
  • AOL? (Score:5, Funny)

    by heli0 (659560) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:44PM (#5714157)
    This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters

    I assume this means they rely excusively on the message boards of AOL customers?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:49PM (#5714177)
    It might be interesting to have a fly-on-the-wall view of this site. Anyone found a way in yet?
  • by bj8rn (583532) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:52PM (#5714190)
    Just because a company has bought a hyped-up idea, it doesn't nessecarily mean that they will shoot a film of it. I remember a guy who worked as a trainee in Hollywood talking in a newspaper about what he did there. He was one of those hapless people who had to read the freshly-written scripts and then give an evaluation of how good they were. This guy said that only a small number of scripts actually make it to production, the others are trash. He also said, though, that these rules don't count for big stars - if a script is good enough for Arnoid, it's good enough for his fans, too... This was about three years ago, so things may have changed over the time.

    (Or maybe I just underestimate the stupidity of people)
  • Kangaroo Jack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dr_LHA (30754) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:01PM (#5714239) Homepage
    This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.

    That said Kangaroo Jack made money. It grossed $65 million in the USA alone, which matches its budget. Add in foreign releases and DVD/VHS sales/rental and you have a profitable movie. So what was wrong with it again? Oh yes - it was crap - but you know hollywood is a business.
  • Kangaroo Jack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kwiqsilver (585008) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:07PM (#5714252)
    That comment about Kangaroo Jack wasn't fair.
    Don't blame the internet or even hollywood. Blame the people who went to see it. That movie was a success (as much as it might scare some of us), because for one reason or another lots of people bought tickets.
    There have always been people making crap movies (and tv shows) and people who have what most of us would consider poor taste going out to watch them.
    Hollywood isn't bringing down movie quality by only making crap like "The Core". Viewers are bringing down movie quality by watching crap like "The Core". Entertainment is an industry, they produce what sells.
    • "Don't blame the internet or even hollywood. Blame the people who went to see it. "

      This logic feels persuasive, but it doesn't hold up--the movies are an industry, and people enjoy the act of going to the movies. As a consequence there are always sales for ANY movie.

      Certainly we are responsible for our own actions, but I think this kind of anti-populsm anger isn't very constructive. And it certainly doesn't get us any better movies unless we somehow convince everyone to start boycotting.
    • Who cares? We care. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:12AM (#5715443)
      >. Entertainment is an industry, they produce what sells.

      I wouldn't say that, even though, objectively its correct, but let's face it - we are obsessed with Hollywood. We complain when a bad movie gets released. Doesn't that seem a little odd? Its just taking up space at the local 20-screen cinema, its not like we're forced to watch them at gunpoint.

      A movie critic is a respected international job. Why? The TV and the internet are constantly telling us who Julia Roberts is dating or what Heidi Clum wore last week in Paris.

      I've divested in Hollywood long ago. I catch the occasional movie and am stunned at how many commercials I have to watch, how much I have to pay, and the how "movie people" simply act like little children when they don't get that perfect movie they were hoping for.

      The best thing I did in a long time was buy a Tivo. I now have almost no connection to pop-America, have no idea who "hot" actors are, don't see commercials for crap like "Celebrity Justice," etc. Yeah, I sound like one of those, "I dont have a TV" people, but you know what, they make excellent points. You simply can't see the forest from the trees if you grew up watching TV like I did.

      It would be nice if Hollywood would just make art, but it collectively decided long ago that the celebrity star system serves it well and people don't seem to complain much. Heaven forbid we see actors, musicians, and TV-people as our peers and not saints we hope someday will sign our chest with a sharpie at Barnes and Noble.

      I love how concerns over real events that affect us, politics, the war, etc made the oscars look like the cheap industry backscratching it truly is. Who wore what? Who cares. Take your little statue and go home.

      The nice thing about the internet is that media people have suddenly become real. Reporters have blogs and *gasp* they're trying to make their way through life too, even though they can occasionally get a quote or two from someone holding a powerful office in government. The most common thing I heard when Wil Wheaton's blog hit critical mass was, "Oh, he's just like an ordinary person. We were so mean to him." Or "I'm a dude who wrote some software, enjoy" compared to "Mega-corp announces its newest proactive and innovative product for PC consumers, this revolutionary...."

      I think Hollywood's celebrity system is more or less destined to collapse due to the egalitarian aspects of cheap/free information. I'm not going to bother to provide supporting links: (im sure you've read these stories) TV time has been interrupted by internet time, the RIAA is losing sales and indie labels are experiencing a small boom, linux is in the enterprise and kicking ass, fans petition or even pay for quality TV episodes, access to lots of different news brings balance to national tunnel vision, etc.

      I really hope my kids grow up in a society in which the self-important PR and other celebrity BS are seen plainly as lies. I hope they don't go crazy over the latest fads because J-Lo was seen wearing something similiar at Spago. Or even how to explain to them why adults can pay 9 dollars to see something like "Kangaroo Jack." I hope my generation looks crazy to them, because we probably are.
  • The hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:13PM (#5714268) Journal
    This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters
    Bullshit. Dreck has been splattered across movie screens for as long as there's been movie screens. Retarded executives surrounded by yes-men are why dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.
    • Re:The hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glwtta (532858)
      Retarded executives surrounded by yes-men are why dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters.

      Um, no. Retarded movie-goers who still go to see it are why that drek makes it to theaters. And hey, it's cheap to make.

  • Perhaps we can send them some of our trolls.

    I wonder what they'd do with the Stephen King or Natalie Portman ones....

    (And before anyone suggests we send them the goatse trolls, that's a different kind of movie studio.)
  • Premiere Magazine [premieremag.com] has been reporting for years about how H'wood chooses and sinks projects. Now they do it at the speed of broadband. Thank god Wired was on the scene to break the story that someone in a big office now has a teenager.

    A knock on the door of the KID's room, heavy, authoritative. The EXEC enters loudly.

    EXEC
    Young lady, you need to explain the bill for
    your cell pho-- What's that?

    KID
    (glued to screen, typing)
    I'm on a talkback board.

    EXEC
    I think you talk back plenty already.

    KID
    Dad! No, it's li

  • Now we know how (Score:2, Insightful)

    by notext (461158)
    This [yahoo.com] came to be a good idea.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:12PM (#5714476) Homepage Journal
    Guess not in LA.

    Personally, I thought it was a great article that really shows just how rapidly the internet has changed the way we think/act/say/do in a converstational or consensual manner.

    In fact I think it's fairly obvious that we can expect to see even more of this mode of consensual decision making as communication devices continue to permeate our culture.
    For example: I have a G4 tiBook, it has rendezvous which in turn is supported by an app called Hydra [globalse.org] that allows multiple users to edit a single document real-time. And that is a fairly obvious and straight forward model. I believe that within 2-3 years the notion of 1 user/computer will be old hat and many tasks will be done as part of a consensus.

    Imagine a team of genetic research scientists in the year 2007. They run Linux workstations and perform calculations to create a designer genome for the creation of a bacteria to use as an eco-friendly solvent. While they work, their CPU/HD and memory are all shared via the net and they are able to operate asynchronously on the same problem via this distributed architecture. Of course any distributed architecture amongst real-time users would require chat. So this small team could also allow in research fellows and peers to help guide and assist them in their work. And now we see an environment just like the one written up. But here, a chat user could influence the course of R&D, by trolling accordingly, they could cause the scientists to follow their friends research while shunning other research by those they do not favor personally.
    And as such, would likely follow a similar killing floor for college research papers to be applied and praised or ignored out right WITHOUT even being read.

    As you can see today hyper-communication causes people to act without doing any research and as technology progresses it won't get better. In fact far worse in the respect of it's cultural permeation and impact but hopefully better if tools made available to quantify and qualify data may be equally as ubiquitous in the coming age.
  • the guys from mr. show made a movie called 'run ronnie run' a couple years ago, but touchstone spent a shitload on this funny as hell movie that was never released and can now only be seen if you snag it over kazaa.

    here's [bobanddavid.com] some info on it
  • imagine... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot readers have a chance now to read a message board filled with even bigger assholes than they are!

    Amazing!
  • Surprisngly inept (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Apotsy (84148) on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:33PM (#5714539)
    I'm not surprised they do this, but I am surprised at how foolishly they go about it.
    • They allow one company to control all the boards.
    • They know people manipulate the boards, but trust them anyway.
    • From the sound of it, they use them as their sole source of information in many cases.
    Not smart. Not smart at all.
    • by edo-01 (241933) on Friday April 11, 2003 @10:33PM (#5714852)
      I'm not surprised they do this, but I am surprised at how foolishly they go about it.
      They allow one company to control all the boards.
      They know people manipulate the boards, but trust them anyway.
      From the sound of it, they use them as their sole source of information in many cases.

      Not smart. Not smart at all.

      I'd submit that this was always going to happen. Give a group of terrified, insecure, vain people like these access to the internet of course they are going to congregate into a closed environment. One that's intrinsically self-affirming where there are no dissenting opinions, and they can always be assured of making the "right" desicion. It's a matter of lore that the job of "studio exec" carries with it the professional life-expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer. What these people want most after the blowjobs, drugs and money is to be constantly told they are great & doing the right thing.

      In fact the emergance of this closed circle-jerk system may explain why the synopsis for a lot of recent hollywood films sound like a parody from the Simpsons starring "Troy McClure". I mean c'mon, a movie about a sassy kangaroo that steals a hundred grand of mob money?

      Thanks to the corporate bloat of the studios, taking on layer after layer of usesless management incapable of independant thought, films are being made these days from ideas that would have gotten you laughed out of a pitch meeting a decade ago. What's really depressing is that people are actually going to see them...

  • God damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CausticWindow (632215) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:08PM (#5714634)

    It's either "mainstream", "indy" or "foreign" with you guys.

    How 'bout rooting for some "good" films?

  • Michael O'Rorke actually works here at HSX and beat Wired to the punch on tracking boards months ago:

    Hollywood's Hidden Digital Ether
    The Birth of a "Tracker" [ojr.org]
    Where the Network is Today [ojr.org]

    - James

  • by StarTux (230379) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:32PM (#5714684) Journal
    So Slashdot, the movie died on one of these boards?

    Can you imagine, Wil Wheaton playing CmdrTaco?

    StarTux
  • by Mike McCune (18136) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:34PM (#5714688) Homepage
    "This helps explain how dreck like Kangaroo Jack makes it to theaters."

    Hollywood will keep making dreck as long as it makes money.

    BOX OFFICE SUMMARY FOR "KANGAROO JACK"

    Box Office Total: $65,708,774
    Box Office Opening: $16,580,209
    No. of Weeks at #1: 1
    No. of Weeks in Top 10: 5

    BOX OFFICE HISTORY
    Week Rank Wkd. Gross Theaters Per Theater Cumulative
    1 1 $16,580,209 2,818 $7,770 $21,895,483
    2 2 $11,548,247 2,848 $4,055 $35,112,415
    3 4 $9,048,362 2,848 $3,177 $45,886,113
    4 7 $6,105,250 2,848 $2,144 $53,035,263
    5 8 $3,953,199 2,535 $1,986 $58,954,899
    6 13 $1,988,368 1,742 $1,141 $61,901,888
    7 17 $1,363,485 1,545 $883 $63,609,564
    8 19 $772,413 1,110 $696 $64,691,137
    9 23 $352,060 615 $572 $65,478,341
    10 44 $108,774 216 $504 $65,708,774
    Box office cumulative figures also include daily grosses from Monday through Thursday (not shown).

    • Even worse they'll (apparently) make sequels! I'm told that Kangaroo Jack 2 will take place in Las Vegas where the kangaroo has now stolen more money for some undisclosed reason.

      I do think that part of the reason it did so well was because it was a rather dry time for movies appealing to idiots and children and thus raked in most of the money that is usually spent on keeping the whining shit factories quiet (but not at any of the films I attend... I recall during a "House of 1,000 Corpses" trailer in front
  • a few minor points (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bscott (460706)
    Firstly - it isn't just that Hollywood makes dreck, or that the public is at fault 'cos they pay to watch it. I reckon the truth is, your average Slashdot poster (and indeed, people in general) is unlikely to circulate with a very broad cross-section of humanity. And you know what? Not everybody likes science fiction, quirky stuff, or thoughtful, original premises. There are perfectly worthy people out there, who lead lives contributing positively to society, who just wanna kick back with a beer at the
  • A bunch of independent young film makers, actors and techies get fed up with the Hollywood system and move to India, where it is much cheaper to make movies. Will Bollywood welcome them with open arms, or see them as American interlopers out to steal their business? In the tragic ending, they all die from dysentary and cholera.

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