Big Budget Movies: Breaking the Bank to Finance

There are so many new movies hitting the silver screen on a weekly basis that’re never heard of, but are seen through movie rental companies. Have you ever wondered why they may have a few big name stars but seem to be duds? Or wonder why a big name would be starring in such a low grade film that it was never even released in theaters?

With so few well known producers in Hollywood and so many scripts waiting to be made into film, it’s no wonder so many people will go bankrupt trying to make their movie the next big thing. But what about those producers who see a script and just know that it will be a hit, but don’t see the funding options for it as feasible?

Many of the big budget producers such as one for an elfish trilogy spent hundreds of thousands of their own personal money to get movies made. Especially when they know the movie will be worth the investment, and can pay off immensely in the box office. The risks taken in such an endeavor include having a flop movie, inability to attract certain stars to the roles and being upside down on the cost.

When trying to make a profit from a movie, producers look at a few different things. The cost of staffing the film from stars to extras as well as the support staff such as makeup artists and grips are all costs associated with the production. Sound personnel, the mix down process of all digital media being used, time in the studio for any music that was created specifically for the movie and even gaining usage rights for any music that was used in the movie are also additional costs.

The cost of all wardrobes, scenery, film equipment and computer equipment that is not owned are all included in the overall budget for a movie. When a producer is used to making million dollar films, having a budget of $550,000 for personnel alone is not unheard of. However with that comes the chance that stars will want more money. On the same hand, with better stars come better box office ratings.

Big budget producers are willing to break the bank to make a great movie because they did not get to be well known big budget producers by making B grade movies. They know what it takes to make a hit, and know that to make money you have to spend money.



The Movie Trailer Says it All

It’s said that a first impression lasts a lifetime. This is true in life and in business, as it is with movies. A movie trailer gives the audience a brief glimpse into the content of the movie. It’s a 30 second sales pitch designed to sell the viewers and to provoke interest. These movie trailers jump out and grab the attention even if only for a moment. This first impression will set the tone and pique the interests if the impression is favorable, or repel the audience if that impression isn’t up to par.

The notion of the movie trailer has grown over the last generation. Once a formality, now the trailers have production teams and budgets in order to capture the value that they offer. Some of the most anticipated movies will have a launch date for the latest trailer. With each proceeding trailer trying to outperform the last; working in conjunction to whip the fan followings into a frenzy, it has really become a free-for-all so to speak.

An effective movie trailer has even oversold the respective movie at times. I’ve often walked out of a movie theatre remarking that all of the good parts of that movie were in the trailer. It’s in moments such as these that you can clearly see how an effective movie trailer can make or break the amount of people who’ll go see the movie in theaters. At other times, I have seen a movie years later only to find out that I actually enjoyed it and didn’t give it a chance while it was in theaters due to a preview that didn’t capture my interest.

So, the next time that you make your way out to the theater, be sure to get there early. Give yourself time to grab some overpriced snacks and also give yourself enough time to catch the previews. These trailers will give you that insight into which movies are coming out and will hopefully give you a peek into whether or not they’ll be worth your time. At any rate, with their ballooning budgets and growing emphasis, the trailers are slowly becoming an entertaining part of the whole experience.



Netflix is Taking Over

In today’s society, there are certain things that people desire. The first, and foremost would be convenience. That’s what microwavable dinners are for, fast food, when we want something, we want it now! With Netflix you not only have that, you’ve an array of Movie titles on a continuous basis at your fingertips to stream.

We as a society also like choice entertainment that doesn’t break the bank, and in the comfort of our own space, wherever that might be. People like myself, family, and friends prefer Netflix over the cable companies because for the most part, these are simply repeated movies, and shows that you don’t really get to choose for yourself. With Netflix, there’s no getting into your car to wait in line at the Redbox, losing or possibly damaging a DVD, or late charges for being late in returning them. Netflix can send you DVD’s through permit reply mail, However, with being able to sign up for live streaming, again much easier, this just adds to convenience level.

People all over love Netflix, and the flexibility it affords them. In any given month there are simply a staggering amount of choice options with this service that also has such Original Comedy shows like Lady dynamite, to other series such as Agents of the shield season 2, Sense 8 season 1, Now streaming. Netflix also offers Sci-fi/ fantasy, kids’ shows, horror, Romance, and foreign movies. Also steaming now is “A most wanted man” a political crime thriller starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Rachel McAdams. Other great ones streaming are Lee Daniels “The Butler” starring Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey, The movie “Cake” with Jennifer Aniston, and Anna Kendrick. There are entirely too many options to mention here.

Netflix is an American Provider that currently has between 50 to possibly upwards of 60 million very satisfied subscribers in North America, parts of Europe such as France, Finland, Denmark and Ireland, and even South America. And if this isn’t enough, well rumor has it that you can now get Netflix at any of the 6 Marriott hotels in New York. I believe you just sign into your own account, or under Marriotts during your stay. This is sure to catch on in a wide variety of hotel chains worldwide which is great!

I’d have to say the proof is in the pudding when I say Netflix is taking over.



There Can Only Be One

Two of the best to ever grace the silver screen, sometimes even appearing together. Since the late 1960’s, both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have blessed us with a plethora of roles that have moved audiences for years. To decide which one’s truly greater than the other is no easy task. Judging actors has always been a heavily biased process and it has a lot to do with the movies you see them in. Luckily for us, today we’ve some of the greatest movies of all time to use as samples.

Together they’ve brought us performances for the ages, whether its De Niro stepping in for Brando in Godfather II with Pacino returning as Michael Corleone and showing us they both had the chops to play gritty gangsters who do what it takes for family. Or years later in Heat playing on opposite sides of the good guy vs. bad guy spectrum. In 2008, we were finally able to see these two on screen at the same time more than ever before with the film Righteous Kill. The two played partners in the NYPD working the case of criminals being executed after they’ve escaped justice. For the purpose of this discussion, this movie doesn’t provide much evidence for leaning either way, but it does show the greatness of the actors and the power you can have when two actors of this caliber are paired up. Both are Oscar winners with De Niro in Raging Bull and the Godfather II and Pacino in Scent of A Woman.

Unfortunately though, neither are without their flaws. The major one of which isn’t their fault; type casting. As strong members of the Italian American community, this influence is noted in their movies. With Pacino especially in terms of Godfather, Godfather II, Godfather III, and Scarface, he was pigeon holed into playing this mobster, bad-ass crime lord, and while he did it very well, it was essentially the same part in 4 movies (I understand two are sequels but it shows in later casting rolls this is how he was viewed). Those later casting rolls I am referring to? Heat, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Donnie Brasco are only a few examples where he plays either a tough guy cop or some sort of criminal who, for the most part, always ends up having a crisis of conscious. So while yes he knocks it out of the park, it can get repetitive. However, in the movie Any Given Sunday, you saw another side of his acting and saw a character in the film with nothing to lose anymore as he feels his team that he coaches and his own personal life are slipping away.

De Niro’s no stranger to type casting either. Cast as the mob boss in Goodfellas after the Godfather debut and playing the crime leader in Heat and The Score.

However, De Niro more so than Pacino was able to break out and that’s why he gets the win in this argument. He showed range at some point that has allowed him to star in comedies opposite Ben Stiller and Sylvester Stallone, and even dramas opposite Meryl Streep. Overall, while both are truly masters of their craft, being able to have the range of someone like Robert De Niro is what makes him the better of the two actors.



How Hard is it to Make a Sequel?

It can very difficult to make a good sequel to a recent blockbuster movie. How likely is it that lightning will strike twice, not very? Creating an all new episodic event for you with already established characters can be daunting and redundant. These icons have proven themselves to be heroes in the viewer’s eyes and writers have to raise the bar even further to coerce moviegoers to part with their entertainment bucks.

The common formula for these second acts, rehashed tales often disappoint. The thrill’s gone and producers resort to trickery such as, farfetched story lines and metaphors to capture our attention. They’ve to dig deeper into the psyche and personal lives of the leading cast, which often leaves a lackluster taste on our cinematic palates. It’s very difficult to spin the same old tale time after time, this leads to CGI and over stretched scripts.

Examples of Hollywood’s greed vs. common sense include Jaws 2 and The Fly 2. Thriller movies depend on the suspense factor, keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat with haunting music, and just peeks of what’s about to come. Nothing can compare to what our imagination can conjure up, so making another movie after you’ve already exposed the plot isn’t a brilliant move. Once people have faced their fears, the movie has lost its draw.

Even comedies cannot escape the tragedy of an exhausted script, as this was true for Caddyshack 2. No one could compare to Bill Murray’s portrayal of a slightly crazed groundskeeper, whose exhaustive quest to capture the groundhog was hilarious. They added too many new characters and definitely too many comedians to the mix for this sequel. You know what they say, too many cooks ruin the stew, this couldn’t be more evident in the actors who were tripping over each other‘s lines in order to get a laugh. They should of stuck to the physical comedy of the first movie and not relied so heavily on what they obviously considered big name attractions.

The largest case of failure comes from the Rocky series, they should have left this hometown hero alone. Who doesn’t love an underdog story, apparently Hollywood, because they went onto to kill this character with Rocky II-V and Balboa and Creed. Talk about kicking a guy when he’s down, they ran over him, backed up and crushed Stallone again. From his divorce, to his defeats, and his severe beating from what was supposed to be the symbol for America, this entire franchise was a disgrace.

Making a sequel’s a daunting task to say the least. It’s way too easy to overthink and over budget a not-so original idea. Essentially, you’ve to create a whole new story-line that intertwines with the previous one. The characters have to be the same, but you can change the setting in which your movie will take place. You can now delve deeper into your characters, but the stories you weave have to adhere to the person’s moral compass.



Top 5 Classic Movies That Should Be Remade

Throughout the years, Hollywood has entertained us with big screen movies. Only a few of those movies have a message that holds true through today’s society. The only issue with these movies is that they were made so long ago that today’s generation won’t watch them. What each of these movies have to have is a remake with actors and actresses that’re well known on today’s Hollywood scene.

With that said, let’s take a look at these 5 classic movies that have the best chance in our opinion to be remade:

Classic Movie #5: The Parent Trap

This was a great movie because the story-line was both funny and unique. It’s about identical twin girls that don’t know of each other until they meet at camp to discover they’re sisters. They decide to switch places to learn more about the other parent. Only after the parents discover the switch, they reunite to get the right kid. In the process, the parents discover they still have sparks between them. By the end of the movie, the parents are renewing their vows. With so much divorce and dysfunction in families, this’d be perfect for the new generation to watch.

Classic Movie #4: Thelma and Louise

This was a classic tale of two female best friends that’re on the run from the law. When one of the women is beat up by her husband and the police won’t do anything, the other woman steps in to save her friend’s life. Along the journey they hit rock bottom and decide to rob a bank to survive. Along the emotional journey and when the police catch up to them, they drive off a cliff. This is a great story about friendship and self-worth. If the movie is redone, it should have a more quality ending and show some justice done to the wife beating husband.

Classic Movie #3: Candyman

One of the top classic horror movies of the mid 90s. It’s about a woman investigating the local legend of a killer from beyond the grave. In the movie, she is attacked and soon has a psychotic break and is killing from beyond the grave. If you say his name 3 times infront of the mirror, he comes out from it to kill you. This is a great story of what jealousy can do to a person. It needs to be remade with better graphics and new-age actors.

Classic Movie #2: Gone With The Wind

This was one of the greatest stories of the Civil War. This is a story about a southern belle that’s forced to face the reality of the North winning the war. The only change that needs to be made would be the African American characters. They need to have a stronger passion for what’s happening and what it would mean for them.

Classic Movie #1: Jumanji

This movie dealt with an awesome tale of adventure. It’s about a mysterious board game that predicts the future and entraps its players, causing them great fear. The moral of the story still hold true for today’s youth. The story line needs to remain the same but it should have characters that’re well-known among this generation. Also, the special effects with the animals and Adventure Island should be redone to look a little more lifelike. Children of all ages will love this movie.

Well, there you have it. I’m sure you can think of other classic movies that can be remade, so feel free to comment in this blog or share your thoughts socially.



What does it take to be a Stunt Double?

A Stunt Performer
If you’re interested in becoming a stunt double in the movies or TV, you’ll also become a stunt performer. This means that you’ll stand in for an actor. You’ll be called to stand in when the script of the movie calls for a specialized or dangerous part in any film. A stunt double is used for several reasons. This might be due to the fact that an actor isn’t able to physically perform the stunt. The actor may be prohibited from the performance of the stunt. Stunt performers are also called “stunties” or “body doubles”. They’re considered to be part of the support crew. They’ve to look like their respective actors in order to ensure that the character’s appearance is maintained.

What It Takes?
There are special skills that a stunt double must develop:

*Obtain the basic stunt skills: This would include gymnastics, stage combat, and martial arts. This includes much self-education.

*Develop a specialized area of expertise: Every stunt double ought to stay focused on one specific area. It’ll be a good idea to fully develop one specialty set of skills. The stunt double will then need to broaden that range of skills. Once a specialty area has been focused on and achieved, the skills may then be branched out into other areas. This will broaden the job prospects.

Membership of the Joint Industry Stunt Committee
Almost every stunt double will apply for this type of membership. The joining of this is intended to show a prospective employer that you’re able to execute and perform the professional stunt work. The skills that are needed include:

*Water-sub aqua and swimming

*Strength and agility- including rock climbing and gymnastics

*Falling-high diving

*Fighting-boxing or martial arts

Being Physically Fit
A stunt double will need to be physically fit. This will be needed in order to perform the stunts. It’s not always being big and strong gets you the job. There are stunt doubles that have to have pure stamina, quickness and agility.

Also, having excellent communication skills will be needed in order to take the directions from the production team. It’s required that a stunt performer is at least 18 years old. In the end a high level of skills are definitely needed.



High Exceptional Movies – Low Results

Hype has played a role in the development of many movies across a wide audience range. Public relations agencies are dedicated to listing out movie details for viewers to consider. Trailers and action stills get audiences pumped for an event unlike any other in select theaters. But a few notable flops have diminished returns on the few deals emerging for consumers. Low results will place a financial hardship on the team making these films. With that said, let’s take a look at these 5 movies that basically were a flop at the box office.

Movie Flop #5: Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Early indications showed that audiences were excited about the merger of popular genres. Rarely do people see Western and Sci-Fi themes combined together. Unfortunately, box office returns were not as positive on behalf of those interested. Cowboys & Aliens had a stellar cast and an interesting plot twist to boot. But financial returns were lackluster at best, owing to a skeptical audience unsure about its value.

Movie Flop #4: Osmosis Jones (2001)
Billed as a quirky animated film, the creators put some effort in to showcasing the special effects. Trailers were joined with other popular feature films for people to view. But for some reason, Osmosis Jones did not take off when it was filmed. It did feature a tandem celebrity voice over that worked well during the initial film screenings. Its losses amounted to around $63 million when the final tabulation was calculated for audiences.

Movie Flop #3: Sahara (2005)
Despite a magnificent desert backdrop, Sahara was disappointing for film goers. The plot line seemed to be minimal and too reliant on its starring cast. An over-bloated budget was another contributing factor to its total financial failure in the theater setting. Losses were tabulated to be around $121 million when the final screening was ended. It was another setback for director Breck Eisner, but did add to the popularity of Matthew McConaughey in the starring role.

Movie Flop #2: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
The popularity of the video game series was undeniable during the 1990s. It spurred on the release of a dramatic CGI film bearing the same name. Some fans were dedicated enough to show up for the film upon its initial run through theaters. It ran a deficit of about $125 million after box office returns were tabulated.

Movie Flop# 1: The Adventures Of Pluto Nash (2002)
Perhaps one of the more embarrassing films to be released in recent decades. Eddie Murphy returns to the big screen to take place in a Sci-Fi comedy picture. But viewers complained about the plot line and whether the film even made sense. Losses were estimated to be at around $126 million, which surprised the executives in charge. It effectively ended the career of Eddie Murphy as a leading star in films.

The moral here for movies hitting the big screen or have already done so is this: It’s important to learn from the lessons of struggling films in the box office. Simple enough right? We shall see.



America’ Geriatric Movie Celebs Keep Rolling Along After Age 65

As time marches on, so does interest in a whole new generation of movie celebrities. Long gone are many of the big names that adorned theater marquis’ nationwide, but all hope’s not ‘gone with the wind’, as there are still many actors and actresses considered past their prime, that’re still drawing them in at the box office. Let’s take a look at several notable movie celebrities that’re rolling along as if they haven’t missed a beat or script, for that matter!

Harrison FordAt age 72, the veteran of Star Wars, from nearly 40 years ago, along with being popular of course in the Indiana Jones movies, is appearing now in the romance saga, “Age of Adaline”, with Blake Lively, and appears in the new edition of Star Wars, “The Force Awakens”, this holiday season. Despite a harrowing plane crash earlier this year, where he sustained some serious, but non-life threatening injuries, this legendary acting icon carries on.

Meryl StreepIt’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t adore Meryl Streep. This A-list actress, at age 65, has accumulated three Academy Awards and’s universally accepted as one of the greatest actresses ever. Sincere, genuine, and a darling of the theater, Streep appears in “Suffragette, a British drama, as a feminist, which will be released this fall. Late summer will see Meryl Streep, with Mamie Gummer, her daughter, in “Ricki and the Flash”, an entertaining family drama.

Morgan FreemanYou can’t look anywhere without finding Morgan Freeman there, with his trusting soul and forceful yet subtle lead. When Morgan, age 77, isn’t seen, he is narrating numerous animated character parts. Memorable movies include, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Driving Miss Daisy”, and “Street Smart.” Spring debuts for Freeman include; “Last Knights”, a medieval period, action thriller, co-starring in “Five Flights Up,” with Diane Keaton, and “Ted 2”, playing an attorney. Obviously, Freeman wasn’t ready for retirement at age 65.

Clint EastwoodAn American hero, to say the least, Clint Eastwood seems to defy all logic at age 85, and continues to be involved with Hollywood. With an acting career spanning back to 1954, Eastwood got his big break in the Television series, “Rawhide” in 1961, and the rest is history. Eastwood’s last appearance in a lead role was in “Trouble With the Curve”, a sports drama, in 2012. Clint has taken to directing movies and his most notable production to date include, “American Sniper”, released in November 2014 as well as “Jersey Boys”, also released in 2014.

Robert RedfordWho can ever forget Robert Redford in noted roles in, “The Sting“, “The Way We Were“, and “All the President’s Men“. It seemed back then that Redford’s name was on every movie marquis. He was a household name. Since the turn of the new millennium, Redford, age 78, has appeared in over 20 films, with a highly anticipated film due out later this summer, “A Walk in the Woods”, a comedic drama, of walking the Appalachian Trail.

Who says that you have to retire, sign up for an AARP card, and play with your grandchildren, in your golden years?



PG-Rated Movies Have Changed

PG movies are the ones that the film rating system believes some parents may have an issue with, but they’re usually alright for most children. Movies specifically made for the viewing pleasure of children will have a G rating, for General Audiences.

As far as PG movies, those reserved for Parental Guidance, goes, not much has really change in the rating system since 1995. Sure, there are far better graphics than movies had in the 90s, but the same types of movies are slated for this particular rating.

Top PG Movies in 1995

The top ten PG movies according to box office statistics for 1995 are:

Most of these movies are more intense in nature and have a little bit of an edge, even the ones that’re meant for children, like Jumangi, Casper and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. They each have somewhat intense moments that may not be good for little kids.

The rest of the movies are more adult humor that’s alright for older children, with a few romantic comedies mixed now.

Top PG Movies in 2014

To get an idea of what has changed since then, here is a look at the top ten PG movies according to box office ratings for last year, 2014:

  • The LEGO Movie
  • Maleficent
  • Big Hero 6
  • How To Train Your Dragon II
  • Frozen
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  • Heaven is for Real
  • Penguins of Madagascar
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

As you can see, today movies seem far more focused on the kids. However, they’re also attracting more adults because of hidden humor they sneak in under the assumption that only adults will get it.

While most of the box office toppers of yesteryear were more adult oriented, these days movie creators are managing to span a wider audience, making fans of all ages interested in movies once thought to be just for kids.