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Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

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Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

Post by Katiedot on Fri Apr 27 2012, 04:31

I think he overstates his case slightly, but he does have a point about both the lack of mystery for most of today's stars and how cheap 'fame' has become and as a result how that affects the way we think of stars nowadays.

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There Are No More Movie Stars (Or Why We Must Change Conventional Thinking About Making Movies

Posted: 04/25/2012 12:07 pm

There are no more movie stars. No disrespect to Meryl and Julia and Brad and Angie, who come close. But the simple truth is there is no one who, solely by virtue of being in a film, guarantees that you will get up off your couch, stop watching your highly compelling television with nine hundred channels, turn off your computer and get to the theater. Clooney: you think, George Clooney -- but did you see The American? I didn't think so.

I blame TMZ and its reality show brethren, who have taken all the mystery out of celebrity. When people as innocuous as the Kardashian sisters and "The Real Housewives of Who Cares" can ascend to the pinnacle of fame simply by being willing to share their most embarrassing home videos with the rest of the world, well, the whole thing loses its charge, doesn't it? And when you can turn on your TV or log onto a website and track even the most mundane comings-and-goings of say, Jennifer Aniston, what's left to compel you to go see her in a movie on Friday night?

Why does it matter, you ask? Who cares?

Making movies is a highly speculative business and people are always trying to develop some algorithm to increase chances of success. And conventional wisdom has always said that putting big names in lead roles made it more likely to recoup investments and yield a profit. But the simple truth is: that's not really true anymore. People are going to see movies primarily for two reasons: one, they are events -- huge, epic monstrosities that you can't see on TV, at least not the way they are intended; and two, because they are good. Period. Think about Bridesmaids. Not a big name in the bunch. Sure, people have heard of Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne, but no one had ever come close to opening a film. Bridesmaids succeeded by word of mouth. People laughed themselves silly and were touched by the sweet humanity of its characters and told their friends and went back again and pushed a "women's comedy" to almost $300 million dollars in worldwide box office.

The studios seem to be responding to this shift by concentrating almost entirely on event movies -- enormous brands (Battleship, anyone?), sequels and remakes (Mission Impossibles 2-20), and mammoth books or cultural phenomena repackaged for cinematic consumption (The Help, The Hunger Games). This has created a vacuum, and an opportunity, in the marketplace for compelling adult stories, which is great news for independent filmmakers and production companies. Theater owners are going to need content to play on their screens -- counter -- programming, if you will. Hell, AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment, two of the biggest names in movie theaters, are even starting a distribution company because they see a need.

Which brings me to my point. As an independent filmmaker, I am currently in the process of casting and financing a pair of smaller films -- a period drama and a high-concept comedy. In both cases, I am facing the pressure that all filmmakers face to focus on name value first and foremost. I get it, of course. Anyone spending millions of dollars wants to do everything in his or her power to increase the likelihood that a movie will reap a profit. But it no longer appears that packing your film with celebrities actually accomplishes that. One of the most successful independent films of last year, and eventual Oscar winner, The Artist, is a perfect example. A silent film starring a pair of French actors that no one in America had ever heard of went on to break $100 million in box office.

My point here is only this: we need a new algorithm. Simply convincing a big name celebrity to join your project is no longer the trump card it once was. We need to evaluate a project's viability on a whole series of other factors and put our money behind compelling stories and unique vision. We need to trust our audiences to come to the theater because they recognize something in their own humanity, because specificity creates universality. In movie-making, like pretty much every other business over the last decade, the paradigm has changed, and we must respond accordingly.

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Re: Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

Post by it's me on Fri Apr 27 2012, 13:02

right
I guess he is right

the world changed
so them too

it's me
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Re: Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

Post by Katiedot on Sat Apr 28 2012, 08:51

I think it's articles like this that prompted George to make his (IMO bad) decision two years ago to announce that he wasn't going to do any press.

It's true that there's more mystique, and possibly more respect, for the stars who aren't in the tabloid magazines every week but I'm not sure for George that that strategy has worked for him.

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Re: Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

Post by Astras on Sat Apr 28 2012, 11:48

He did ALOT of press for "The Descendants." The fact is, aside from the Ocean's franchise, most of G's movies only do modest business at the Box Office. That's a function of the type of film he makes. He doesn't do comic book/tv remake/5th sequel/teen novel opening weekend blockbuster films. (Batman and Robin aside, which was an admitted disaster all the way around). I realize this is what the article is reflecting, but I don't think G being in the tabloids has any affect on Box Office.

I think G still has much intrigue as big film star out there. It's not fair to lump him in with the Kardashians or the Real Housewives. Box Office revenue in general in down - higher prices, too much 3D, annoying audiences using cell phones, texting during the films, home entertainment options, and not a lot of great films out there to draw audiences in. "The Artist" was an exception in that it was a unique film that audiences felt they needed to experience in a theatre instead of waiting for it to roll into their living rooms on DVD. Having said that, "The Descendants" so far has grossed 171,481,10 million world wide, which is excellent for a film of it's kind.

I guess my point is, I defy anyone to come up with a bigger movie star than G. If it doesn't translate into $$$, it's only because modern audiences don't have the patience to follow character and storyline, regardless of who is starring in it.

Having said that, I am one who honestly doesn't want to know too much about an actor - which, at times, gives me pause to question my involvement in online forums...because I do think that an actor's best friend is mystique. But I don't feel George actually lets the public *really* know him, as he's amazingly been able to keep his life fairly private. There is "Public George" and "Private George." For me, "Private George" is pretty darn mysterious. Me likey. Very Happy

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Re: Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 28 2012, 17:07

Astras wrote:Having said that, I am one who honestly doesn't want to know too much about an actor - which, at times, gives me pause to question my involvement in online forums...because I do think that an actor's best friend is mystique. But I don't feel George actually lets the public *really* know him, as he's amazingly been able to keep his life fairly private. There is "Public George" and "Private George." For me, "Private George" is pretty darn mysterious. Me likey. Very Happy
Very well said Astras! I have to disagree to the extent that I want to know EVERYTHING!!! lol!!! However, I do love the mysterious "Private George" in that it lets my sometimes vivid imagination go WILD!!! Me likey too!!

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Re: Why there are no more movie stars - George Clooney mention (but of course!)

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