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Monday, July 1, 2013

What's wrong with the studios?: Kevin Smith on Funding 'Clerks 3;' Producer Lynda Obst and the New Abnormal;

Kevin Smith on Funding 'Clerks 3;' Producer Lynda Obst



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Lynda Obst has produced films as diverse as The Fisher King, Contact and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. In her new book, Sleepless in Hollywood, she deconstructs the impact of foreign markets and the loss of DVD revenue to explain how studios have become afflicted with "sequelitis" and turn a deaf ear to original ideas.
The end of the DVD dried up the market for creative, original, films made for the educated and adults. The international market, with a threshold for dialogue and a demand for action and special effects changed the industry. So what is the future for creative talent?

Plus, filmmaker Kevin Smith on how he plans to fund Clerks 3. He almost did a Kickstarter campaign, but upon reflection felt it wasn't right for him to take money out of a pot that could go to budding filmmakers without access to financing.

BANTER

The Hollywood News Banter 

Kim Masters is joined by John Horn, film writer for the Los Angeles Times, to banter about this week's top entertainment news stories.

-The executive shake-up at Warner Bros continues. The soon-to-be former head of the film studio, Jeff Robinov, is replaced by a trio of executives who have different areas of expertise. Can this hold?

-Jim Carrey has a change of heart about his upcoming film, Kick-Ass 2, due out in August. It's a very violent movie and he's tweeted that because of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School he can no longer support it.

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Lynda Obst 

Lynda Obst, producer of films as diverse as The Fisher King, Contact and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, has a new book, Sleepless in Hollywood. She talks with Kim about why the big movie studios have become addicted to comic book characters and sequels, action adventure that will sell overseas without language or strong in depth characters. 
The result? 
They now turn a deaf ear to the sort of original -- but commercial -- fare that was once her bread and butter. Despite this, Obst is still in the game. She has an executive producer credit on the new Christopher Nolan movie, Insterstellar, and she's now also producing television. The TV Land hit,Hot in Cleveland, was based on her original idea.
The move toward television by film producers and talent is driven by the type of characters and stories you can tell, stories film Hollywood will no longer greenlight.
At one time ten percent of revenue came from overseas. Today it is 80%. Intimate American films are not bankrolled and find it hard to find distributors. Jokes are cultural specifics as are romances and thought films, so their potential overseas is limited. 

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Kevin Smith Talks Kickstarter (2:49PM)

Back in 2009, before the advent of popular crowd-funding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Kevin Smith considered tapping his fans to fund the low budget horror film Red State. But one critical blogpost calling him "a beggar" took all that away. Then in 2012 -- well before the Veronica Mars film and Zach Braff projects made millions on Kickstarter -- Smith planned a Clerks 3 crowd-funding plan. But when it was delayed so the key actors in the Clerks movies could finally resolve an outstanding payment issue with the Weinstein Company regarding Clerks 2, Smith reconsidered. Now he's going through with this contractual obligation to offer the third -- and final -- installment of Clerks to the Weinstseins. But Smith plans to fund the movie the old-fashioned way. Himself. The straight-talking filmmaker is reflective and non-judgmental as he explains why he doesn't feel it's right for him to suck up millions of dollars out of the crowd-funding pot when there are budding filmmakers who need money more than he does.

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"Clerks 3" script

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