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more is more when it comes to good movies
May 23, 2010 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Yes as a matter of fact, 50,000 new films a year is a very good thing

Brian Newman, former CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute, reports that as many as 50,000 movies were made in 2009 and that " .... the economics of digital filmmaking ensure that these 50,000 films will likely not just double, but square in number each year." But don't worry. This could be a very good thing if you love quality cinema.

in film, we now have legions of young people who have learned to shoot, edit and make a film. The industry tends to dismiss these as amateurs and complain about the torrential flood of their films, but we might just have the perfect generation -- one that feels a visceral connection to film and wants to explore it more. Film is no longer something mythic for them, hard to do or just for an elite few. They now know how to make it, and this commonness may just lead to more discovery and participation.
posted by philip-random (29 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dang, if I'm personally going to release a billion or so films in 2013 I better get started...
posted by ecurtz at 10:10 AM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


yeah that "square in number" math is a bit dodgy but, you know, filmmakers are mostly artist types. they don't do math.
posted by philip-random at 10:13 AM on May 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's an interesting point, and I'd love to see a revival of film clubs, places where you could go and watch some classic they haven't bothered to reissue on bluray (and maybe even havew a beer at the same time) because like music, I think film is best enjoyed with other people.

Having said that I don't see it happening at the moment. There's plenty of short film nights on in London at the moment and they are, almost without exception, dreadful. People seem to have lost the ability to sit still for ten minutes let alond ninety (and god forbid anyone screens Heaven's Gate).
posted by ciderwoman at 10:13 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like it is this lead to niche filmmaking. There was a time when the independent market in this country was grindhouse and drive in theaters, where low-budget filmmakers could make whatever they wanted, as long as they remembered to include some nudity and violence (this was also true in art house theaters.) And then, with the video revolution, came a lot of direct-to-video releases that were likewise interesting and trashy.

I am in favor of anything that gives people the opportunity to make movies that I would be embarrassed to see with my mother.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:19 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


We can embrace this future or ignore it, but it’s coming our way -- in torrents.

Shhhhh. Don't give away the downloading secrets!
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


While the field is undeniably awash in a flood of (often mediocre) films, we might as well accept the fact that the economics of digital filmmaking ensure that these 50,000 films will likely not just double, but square in number each year."

I don't think he knows...

Dammit. How many times do you guys have to beat me to the joke? Oh well, I guess I should get busy making my billion films.
posted by el_lupino at 10:48 AM on May 23, 2010


At this point, I'm not really concerned about the film industry in the United States. He's right – it's become so easy to make a film that people all over will be doing it anyhow, and already are in much higher numbers.

There's only one thing I'm worried about as far as film goes in the US: the outmoded, monopolistic, crudely bolted-down theater system. Theaters have for decades been on the wane in the face of newer medias, and as that's been happening, the dying, hulking beast that is the Hollywood system has been doing everything in its power to consolidate this resource, buying them all up and milking them for every penny. One of the perks of this move has been the fact that Hollywood has been able to keep a tighter and tighter control over what gets shown in those theaters; and in a time when the system is so frightened of the future that it's betting everything on high-yield 3D monstrosities and billion-dollar Michael Bay abominations, that power to funnel people to its cash cows is precious.

As a result, though, we've found ourselves in a situation where it's ridiculously cheap and easy to make a movie, but insanely difficult and expensive to have that movie shown anywhere. It ought to be a question of contacting a few local theaters, and at most a regional or even national distributor; but now, you're almost required by fiat decree to go about it backwards and contact the largest and most important national distributors first and get their permission, since they've got such tight control over what shows at the outlets.

The basic trouble, I think, is that there aren't enough independent theaters. Maybe now that there are more movies coming from diverse places, independent theaters might be able to sustain themselves to the point where they can form more regional networks and have some more autonomy in showing films from unorthodox sources. I hope so.
posted by koeselitz at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


As a result, though, we've found ourselves in a situation where it's ridiculously cheap and easy to make a movie, but insanely difficult and expensive to have that movie shown anywhere.

I have an idea.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:21 AM on May 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Youtube is good, but it's very, very hard for a movie to move from there to a theater. So it's fine if your intentions are to get a film out there, and have it seen by people, and you don't mind if the only medium that happens on is the small screen.

The trouble is that I really think the medium of film shown on a large screen to a gathering of people is a fantastic one, and one worth preserving. It seems as though other areas, like Asia, have attained a sustainable way of marketing films in general by simply emphasizing first-run DVD sales as the primary money-maker, and then taking the chance on stuff that does well in that market by putting it in theaters. I think that's worked with a few films here in the US, but maybe it'll happen more and more in the future.

I think one awesome thing is the fact that it happens to be pretty easy at this point to show movies to groups of people, if that's what you want to do, so long as you stay out of traditional theaters. Quality projectors can be had for less than two grand now. After that, all you need is a sheet or a white wall to project on. It'd be neat if that could be an alternate distribution stream.
posted by koeselitz at 11:37 AM on May 23, 2010


I like the basic logic of the article.

evermore movie makers = evermore people thinking and leaning about how movies are made = evermore people taking the art/craft of movie making seriously = an ever growing audience for "good" work (old and new, conventional and otherwise).

And, as with indie music, this audience will get increasingly finicky with its demands, which is all good. I look forward to small (say hundred seat theaters) dedicated entirely to niche cinema, say, black + white only. Maybe it's even a chain. Two-Tone-Cinemas -- one in pretty much every city with a population over one million.

Turner Classics already has all the titles you'd need.
posted by philip-random at 11:49 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Independent film is going back to its niche roots. The indie explosion of the 90s was a quirk of history, not the future. Ah well.

As for showing indie films to small groups of people: I foresee an era of HD downloads being sent to nice-but-inexpensive digital projectors in small, backroom theaters which serve wine and beer alongside popcorn. Maybe curating short programs will become more popular in the future as well.

(BTW: something I've always wanted to have happen was increased popularity for the 60-minute feature. Too many features waste at least 10-20 minutes on truly, totally needless set-up and denouement. The 90-minute benchmark was a must in the old system, but if we're rewriting the rules, why can't we change things around?)

The downside to the era before us is that financing a film is going to be trickier and trickier, since it's becoming harder and harder to turn a profit by making one.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:18 PM on May 23, 2010


Well, according to the RIAA, Piratebay has already stolen about 46 times more dollars than actually exist on Earth, so I don't think making that many more movies is a good thing. Think about all the extra money we'll need to print for reimbursing the makers of all those movies! We need to stop them from making those movies, or this will bankrupt us all!
posted by DreamerFi at 1:00 PM on May 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


50,000 movies a year simply means that cinema turns to grey goo. Like indie rock. Like painting. Like poetry. Like all the other arts that have flattened out in the absence of elite financing. Everybody a producer. Nobody a consumer. Nobody really interested. It will be sad, really. But we'll always have Paris, or the Paris Cinema, and TMC ... God bless 'em.
posted by Faze at 1:15 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember reading something a while back about how, like, VHS is x fps at y by z resolution, and a videotape is w seconds long, and so there are wxyz possible videotapes, and they'd fill a warehouse this big, and inside this warehouse is every movie that has ever been made and will ever be made (<2 hours, at VHS resolution, natch), but now I can't remember where I read it.
posted by box at 1:54 PM on May 23, 2010


box: If you assume that a good VHS recording is roughly equivalent to 640x480 px digital (which is probably on the high side if you're talking about consumer VHS gear, but not totally ridiculous), and further approximate the NTSC ~60Hz interlacing to 30fps progressive scan, then you are talking about a "pixel rate" of ((640 x 480) pixels / frame)*(30 frames / sec) = 9.2M pixels/sec. For a 90 minute feature that's about 49.8 billion pixels.

Setting aside color for a moment and just dealing in black and white — true one-bit B&W, not analog black of white which includes shades of grey — that leads to 49.8bn! (factorial) permutations, if I remember my math correctly.

That, according to Wolfram Alpha, is 10^(10^11.70850091519847). I would normally point out something to try and put that sort of number in context, but honestly I can't find anything big enough — Alpha says that the number of atoms in the universe is estimated to be "only" around 10^80.

Granted, defining a one-pixel difference as a "different movie" is a little unrealistic — a human being won't even notice it — but even if you look at whole frames (162,000 frames in a 90m feature) and let each frame be either solid black or solid white, there are orders of magnitude more possible permutations than there are atoms in the universe.

So I don't think that we're anywhere close to exhausting the possibilities, from an information theory perspective anyway, of cinema at the current rate of production.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:36 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, those exuberant film puppies. Here's a good way to beat that out of your system:

1) Drive to Best Buy.
2) Locate several of those "six horror films for six bucks" DVD sets.
3) Sit down and watch them, one after another.
4) Try not to despair for humanity.
5) Realize that these films wouldn't even make the MST3K cut in terms of having anything to lampoon. Hobgoblins is a cinematic masterpiece in comparison to this tripe.

After a certain point, having more films (or songs, or whatever) is not a good thing because it isn't about the distribution — it's about having to sift through endless amounts of awful crap. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of Hollywood is a half-assed system for, imperfectly, getting scripts that have some chance of not sucking some kind of attention. I'm talking about films wherein, if you watched these, and then you saw Gigli, the latter would become your favorite film ever.

"Trusted source filters" will totally fail at such abundance. Where once I would just head to the "M"s in the record store, grab a dozen interesting-looking albums, and then listen until I found something, now I can do the same on CDBaby and find less-and-less I like. Why? Abundance doesn't mean the crap-to-gold ratio stays the same. Far from it. The Hollywood model, as twisted and pablum-rewarding as it is now, is going to look like pure genius compared to wading through oceans of muck.
posted by adipocere at 5:21 PM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where once I would just head to the "M"s in the record store, grab a dozen interesting-looking albums, and then listen until I found something, now I can do the same on CDBaby and find less-and-less I like. Why? Abundance doesn't mean the crap-to-gold ratio stays the same. Far from it. The Hollywood model, as twisted and pablum-rewarding as it is now, is going to look like pure genius compared to wading through oceans of muck.

But are we sure that it'll be an either-or proposition? I think it's unlikely that movies as we know them will go away in our lifetimes. The distribution model may change, possibly to eliminate theaters (or at least to dramatically reduce the number of theaters, leaving the remainder to show 3D spectacles at dizzyingly-high costs of admission), but my guess is that most people will see the movies that Hollywood would like them to watch. Just because it'll be no more difficult to see an independent film than a studio production doesn't automatically mean you now have a truly level playing field. Hollywood has much more money to throw into its productions and the promotion of same. You may have independent films that become sleeper hits, just based on word-on-mouth (and, in all probability, good viral campaigns), but I'm guessing that you'll mostly have niche films. That'll be fun for adventurous viewers who don't mind wading through dreck to find the occasional gem (or for whom wading through dreck is most or all of the appeal). It may be very disillusioning for a lot of young filmmakers whose work is lost in white noise. But that seems to be the way media in general is going.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The whole problem is that it decreases the signal-to-noise ratio. Of those 50,000 films made last year (is that features only, or does it include shorts?), the number that you'd actually want to spend two hours of your life watching is shockingly small.

Without gatekeepers, it becomes trivially easy to make a super terrible movie. When it costs millions of dollars, then you've got to convince SOMEONE somewhere that your movie is worth making. That's at least one more person than you have to convince if you go out with your miniDV camera and shoot your friends in the woods. The gatekeeper serves a purpose.

So, let's say there are 100 good movies that are going to be made this year. It used to be that those 100 movies (this is really generous, frankly) could be found out of the, say, 450-600 feature films released in the U.S. per year. Now, add the other 49,500 movies produced in the U.S., and you see the problem. The signal-to-noise ratio goes all screwy. Having been a programmer for a big U.S. film festival, I can tell you that while it's tough to choose between the final few films, the first rounds of eliminations are easy. Most indie films made are awful things that no one should ever be forced to watch, worse than the worst thing you've ever seen. Things that make Troll 2 look competent.

The fact that there's so much dreck being produced makes it harder for the real stand-out indie films to get discovered. When you're just trying to get to the bottom of the pile of thousands of terrible films, it's possible for something to get missed. It makes curation an even more important task, but it's easy for the signal to get lost in the noise.

I think the democratization of filmmaking is a great thing, because it means that new voices are possible, but it makes it harder for new talent to get discovered because of the oversaturation of the marketplace. It's not like the early 90's, when the costs were such that only a handful of indie features were being made, and it was possible to break through that way. Now there's just nothing novel about making an indie film.

I teach filmmaking, and I can't tell you the number of freshmen film students coming in who tell me about the feature they just finished making with their buddies.
posted by MythMaker at 8:32 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


adipocere: “Oh, those exuberant film puppies... After a certain point, having more films (or songs, or whatever) is not a good thing because it isn't about the distribution — it's about having to sift through endless amounts of awful crap. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of Hollywood is a half-assed system for, imperfectly, getting scripts that have some chance of not sucking some kind of attention. I'm talking about films wherein, if you watched these, and then you saw Gigli, the latter would become your favorite film ever... ‘Trusted source filters’ will totally fail at such abundance. Where once I would just head to the ‘M’s in the record store, grab a dozen interesting-looking albums, and then listen until I found something, now I can do the same on CDBaby and find less-and-less I like. Why? Abundance doesn't mean the crap-to-gold ratio stays the same. Far from it. The Hollywood model, as twisted and pablum-rewarding as it is now, is going to look like pure genius compared to wading through oceans of muck.”

I disagree entirely.

There is no way to change the crap-to-gold ratio. It will stay the same. Really great artists will always produce what they produce unless prevented from it forcibly, and even in those cases (as we saw in the Soviet Union) they might still soldier on. Sure, it was a condition, but does anybody really believe that Thelonious Monk or Sergei Paradjanov wouldn't have made what they made regardless of the state of the system? So you really need to stop worrying about providing the conditions for really great films; they'll get made, particularly if it's easier to make a film.

And what's more, you're approaching this as though film were a product to be consumed. You talk about preferring a world where there's a steady stream of mediocre stuff to a world where you have to be "wading through oceans of muck." But I really believe that a world of awful films that random people on the street make themselves is preferable to the sort of "mediocre" that people think passes for mediocre in Hollywood nowadays. Yes, I mean that: I believe that the hearts and minds of the people who run the Hollywood system are lower and more evil and more base than the average American. If you don't believe me, you haven't seen Transformers 2, one of the best-supported movies to come out of Hollywood in the last decade. This is the kind of thing it puts its hopes in now.

I don't see why people didn't realize that Hollywood was dead a decade ago.

MythMaker: “The whole problem is that it decreases the signal-to-noise ratio. Of those 50,000 films made last year (is that features only, or does it include shorts?), the number that you'd actually want to spend two hours of your life watching is shockingly small... Without gatekeepers, it becomes trivially easy to make a super terrible movie. When it costs millions of dollars, then you've got to convince SOMEONE somewhere that your movie is worth making. That's at least one more person than you have to convince if you go out with your miniDV camera and shoot your friends in the woods. The gatekeeper serves a purpose.”

You're presuming that the gatekeepers are good. What if the gatekeepers are evil? The people you have to convince to let you make a movie today are not good people. They have no taste, and more importantly they're sexist, racist, and generally unseemly. Their desire, furthermore, is to make money from your movie, and therefore they will desire to play to the basest, most sexist, most racist impulses in audiences. This is why we have to face what we face at the video store today.

“So, let's say there are 100 good movies that are going to be made this year. It used to be that those 100 movies (this is really generous, frankly) could be found out of the, say, 450-600 feature films released in the U.S. per year.”

This is insane. When in God's name have the 100 best movies released in a year been among the 450-600 feature films released in the US? When in God's name have even half of the 100 best movies in a year been released by Hollywood? 1962? I think we're so far past the weird world you're talking about that it's hopeless to dream of such a time. Again: Transformers 2. That's emblematic of the 'gatekeeper cinema' you're talking about. Wading through muck? Do you really want a world like that?

“The fact that there's so much dreck being produced makes it harder for the real stand-out indie films to get discovered. When you're just trying to get to the bottom of the pile of thousands of terrible films, it's possible for something to get missed.”

I'll try to get to the point of what I'm trying to say: it's true that you've got to wade through a lot of crap to get to the good indie films; that's also quite true of Hollywood films, and all other art, quite frankly.

But what I think you're missing is the reason why it's so hard to wade through the indie stuff: because our minds are so consumed by the Hollywood machine. We're surrounded every moment by the shit they churn out, year after year. And now more than ever they're trying to increase their presence in our lives, to the point where a person can't really live without knowing the latest big movie that's out from advertisements alone.

What would it be like, for example, if you didn't feel like you had to "wade" through all those indie pictures for the film festivals because you're already seen them around or heard them talked about? What would it be like if movie theaters and regional distributors did a lot of that wading for themselves, so that knowing the current crop of indie films was less like trying to research some obscure insect that nobody's ever talked about (which is what it's like now; they're all under the radar) and more like trying to research something a lot of people are invested in? If the Hollywood system collapses, then there will be room for proper filtration, for healthy gatekeepers (or at least gatekeepers that don't have singular power over the whole business) to step in and start making sense of it all. And you said it yourself - you said it was easy to make the first-round eliminations when choosing movies for the festival. So why aren't more people choosing?

Honestly, the gatekeepers we have now are terrible. At this point, the breakdown of the system is inevitable, but I can't see how you wouldn't be happy to see it come. Again: Transformers 2. That's the world you're asking for. Seriously?
posted by koeselitz at 9:45 PM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


50,000 new films a year

Yeah, so? My Netflix queue has more than that.

I think. And I will watch every one of them!
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:01 PM on May 23, 2010


And to be fair, Transformers 3 could be in 3D. You can hardly argue with the artistic merits of 3D. If only Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel had this technology when they made Un Chien Andalou it would have been more like Un Chien Andalou with a Pink Floyd soundtrack.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:19 PM on May 23, 2010


Because as more people become filmmakers, they will become even greater fans of film. They will feel a more visceral connection to filmmaking and, by extension, this will make them more avid fans of film and eager students of its history and its various niches.

I hope so. Because I'll be luckier than Diogenes if I can find a single film (a single film!) churned out by the starmaker machinery that has any sense of itself as anything other than a vehicle for this quarter's boost for zombie-studio profits and is worth wasting two hours of my life watching on an iPod screen, let alone paying $20 to watch in a crowded, dehumanizing, noisy, drowning-in-marketing, wretched "theater."
posted by blucevalo at 7:12 AM on May 24, 2010


No, no, no koeselitz. You've got me wrong on this.

As petty and venal as the Hollywood machine is (and I certainly won't deny that) in the gatekeeper role, it's a cuddly, fuzzy puppy in comparison to the idea of endlessly hunting through stuff that would have made my junior high drama teacher weep openly at in despair for humanity. Porn has better acting than this dreck. These are people who think it's a good idea to shoot on DV, at night, with a worklamp held overhead. I've extracted a more coherent narrative from hypnagogic trance. Even in the service of Mammon, Hollywood has its limits — they still want money. Random yahoos with camcorders do not have limits. If they were restaurants, the former would give you greasy, heart-stopping McDonald's, but the latter would cheerfully make you a shampoo sandwich using rotten bread and cockroaches, for free.

Perhaps great artists will continue to produce great art. Let's just take that as a given. Ah, but the crappy artists who would have never gotten a film budget in the first place now have the means to produce crap. And that means that, while the amount of gold stays the same, the crap goes up. So the crap-to-gold ratio grows.

Yes, I have seen Transformers 2, but have you seen the movies I described? Hell, I will mail you these DVDs. I want you to watch them. I don't think you have a good sense of the crap lurking out there. As a fan of 80s horror and Mystery Science Theater 3000, I expected to have a tolerance, some experience under my belt.

So I began buying these DVD sets of labyrinthine packaging, with who knows what packed within. Cases to the pleasures of heaven or hell. I didn't care which. I thought I'd gone to the limits. I hadn't. Independent cinema gave me an experience beyond the limits.

And now, like Frank Cotton, I'm trying to come back to normalcy with my skin intact, because if you thought everyday Hollywood stuff is bad, you haven't seen what I've seen.
posted by adipocere at 7:56 AM on May 24, 2010


Because I'll be luckier than Diogenes if I can find a single film (a single film!) churned out by the starmaker machinery that has any sense of itself as anything other than a vehicle for this quarter's boost for zombie-studio profits and is worth wasting two hours of my life watching on an iPod screen, let alone paying $20 to watch in a crowded, dehumanizing, noisy, drowning-in-marketing, wretched "theater."

I'm with you there. An issue I long ago remedied by more or less never intentionally going to to see a big-deal Hollywood release, because even when there's quality in them (ie: Johnny Depp's performance in the original Pirates flick) it's overwhelmed by a whole lotta stupid shit. Kind of like taking a Van Gogh original and slopping on a bunch of orange house paint because, you know, market research says the kids can't get enough orange house paint.
posted by philip-random at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2010


As petty and venal as the Hollywood machine is (and I certainly won't deny that) in the gatekeeper role, it's a cuddly, fuzzy puppy in comparison to the idea of endlessly hunting through stuff that would have made my junior high drama teacher weep openly at in despair for humanity.

I believe you're right in your assumption that we don't begin to comprehend the awfulness of some of the independently created stuff currently available out there. I believe you're wrong in your assumption that there aren't already filters in place to spare us the trauma and turmoil of actually having to view the vast majority of it. Everything from film festivals (and their selection teams) to good ole fashioned word of mouth.

Ah, but the crappy artists who would have never gotten a film budget in the first place now have the means to produce crap. And that means that, while the amount of gold stays the same, the crap goes up. So the crap-to-gold ratio grows.

This is bad math. As the means of production get cheaper, there's more of EVERYTHING getting made (ugly, bad and good), so unless you've got access to metrics I'm not aware of, the ratio stays more or less the same. Assuming ten years ago, one film in 50 was actually a work of realized genius and there were 500 fresh films to choose from in any given year, that's ten masterpieces per year. Apply the same ratio to 50,000 and you've got a thousand masterpieces. Too optimistic? Okay, given all the dullards out there that the great Hollywood filter didn't weed out, knock the ratio way back to say, one in 500. That's still 100 hundred masterpieces, ten times what we used to get.

I'll take that any day.
posted by philip-random at 9:20 AM on May 24, 2010


Might "not shown in theaters" become the new "not sold in stores"?
posted by kurumi at 12:49 PM on May 24, 2010


I'm with adapocere on this one. Unless you've seen these films, you have no comprehension of how bad they are. Junior high school play bad. Public access bad. The worst kind of community theater bad. Worse than those.

The ratio goes down the more films are made. If you've had to convince someone to give you money, then you must have had something going for you, and this may be convincing your rich friends to give you money, we're not just talking about Hollywood. It's like how no one in Hollywood will look at an actor without an agent. What an agent does is demonstrate that at least one person can vouch for you that you don't suck, and no one has the time to look at every single person who sucks, so the agent serves fruitfully as a gatekeeper.

Are Hollywood execs petty, venal and have bad taste? Sure, many of them. Some of them are pretty great and have great taste too. Not all of them are behind Transformers films. Some of them are behind whatever your favorite film is.

So, before, to make a film you'd have to convince someone that you had talent, and then most of the films that got made would be awful anyway. Let's say 10% were not awful when only 600 films were made a year. So, maybe 60 not awful films. I think we can all agree that Transformers 2 was not one of those 60.

Now, those 60 are still being made, plus another 49,400 films, of which maybe 3-20 are not awful. Those are the indie films that will win festival awards, get picked up for distribution, etc. It is as a result of these 3-20, the cream of the cream of the cream of the crop, that people say things like "wow, indie films are really great! so much better than Hollywood." Well, the best .006% of them might be better than 80% of studio films. Might. It's apples and oranges.

So now, instead of 540 awful films existing every year, which at least had decent production value, and could entertain you, as long as you were stupid and not expecting anything, there are 49,960 awful films being made every year, and the actual per-film awfulness level has skyrocketed. Imagine the worst thing you've ever seen, and 49,000 of these films are worse than that, because if you've seen it, some gatekeeper somewhere liked it.

koeslitz, you seem hostile towards Hollywood, and it's true that many big franchise movies suck. No one will disagree with you on that one. But at least the shots are in focus and the actors can speak. That's the level of incompetence we're talking about here.
posted by MythMaker at 4:53 PM on May 28, 2010


'm with adapocere on this one. Unless you've seen these films, you have no comprehension of how bad they are. Junior high school play bad. Public access bad. The worst kind of community theater bad. Worse than those.

It really is no different than what cheap home recording gear did to music better part of thirty years ago, except that an execrable pop song lasts maybe three minutes whereas a movie maybe two hours. As suggested already, filters do exist (critics, word of mouth etc). If you're getting drowned in crap, you're not using them very well.
posted by philip-random at 9:30 AM on May 29, 2010


I'm speaking as someone who has, in fact, served as one of those filters. The fact that most people aren't aware that this many films are being made means that the filters are working. Critics will never get to see these films. Neither will you. There will be no distribution, other than, perhaps YouTube.
posted by MythMaker at 12:19 PM on May 29, 2010


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