Grad Producing Homework for Oct. 8th, 2015

Please follow the link and read the Oct. 2, 2015 IndieWire article by director, producer and screenwriter Ryan Jaffe. See how the film business terms we have discussed in our producing class are useful in understanding the distribution model Ryan Jaffe has chosen for his film "This Is Happening."

If you're unclear about what "day and date" means - here's a link to an October 28th, 2013 article about Netflix (which should be available in Taiwan in early 2016) that discusses how that company is changing the traditional release "windows" by releasing a film on Netflix "the same day they’re opening in theaters."

And, to see how release windows can affect the box office revenue of a film, here is a link to a February 2013 post about how "The Hobbit" stumbled in China.

For yet another article that uses the terms we have been discussing, you can follow this link to a 2011 post by Orly Ravid

Just 5 years ago, we all thought DVDs would survive for a time, as streaming gradually became a significant popular format. We were wrong. 

In the last 5 years, VOD has stomped the life out of DVDs (delivering the most severe sudden crippling blow back in 2010). Consider how Orly Ravid's 2011 predictions (e.g., worldwide revenue from VOD movies and TV programs will reach $5.7 billion in 2016) seriously underestimated the impact of VOD. 

Reality has a way of making predictions by the experts in the motion picture business seem foolish.

Think about how so many of us failed to see how quickly VOD would change consumer behavior when you look at the September 2015 chart by Statista below. That chart shows current and predicted US revenue (not global - just the US) from video and music streaming and downloads. While the Statista 2014 and 2015 numbers seem accurate, can we trust their predictions?

Infographic: Online Video - A Billion-Dollar Opportunity | Statista

                    You will find more statistics at Statista

Development and Pitching Homework Due Oct. 15th, 2015: Egri's Premise Tool

To help you with your homework for Oct. 15th (write an Egri statement for a film) please read this post about Lajos Egri's premise tool:

As we discussed, Egri's "premise" statement is just one of several tools that we will employ - as we discuss how producers and screenwriters develop scripts.

According to Lajos Egri, a well-defined character will drive the plot. (And not the other way around.)

Egri’s approach suggests that the conflict in the best dramas comes from a character’s strongest trait (great love, jealousy, ambition, etc.) encountering an obstacle. In Egri’s model - the struggle that ensues when a character’s defining trait encounters opposition will lead to a resolution that reflects the “premise” (i.e., theme, big idea, central organizing principle, moral, etc.) of the drama.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the German philosopher Hegel? Is it possible that Hegel's ideas about progress have influenced Egri’s model? Specifically, that a character starts with a thesis, that encounters an antithesis, and that leads to a resolution or synthesis?

Egri seems to suggest that a protagonist’s defining character trait, organized around a thematic truth, will suggest a conflict that can be organized as a drama with a beginning, middle and end.

For example, a character’s stinginess (thesis), will meet with inevitable opposition (antithesis) and then a resolution (synthesis) – which might be that character’s ruin or a new relationship with stinginess (see Scrooge) depending on the message the author hopes to convey.

Who is your protagonist?
What is your protagonist’s strongest trait (great love, jealousy, ambition, etc.)?
What obstacle(s) are encountered by her or him?
What is the struggle that leads to a resolution for her or him? 
What is the resolution?
Is your protagonist's struggle organized as a mounting series of conflicts? 
Does a protagonist's defining trait lead to a clear conflict that concludes in a final Act 3 struggle?

Bullet Train: A 2D Tech Demo of a First Person Shooter Game Shows How the Unreal Game Engine Might be Used to Drive One (Early) Game For Oculus Rift Headset and Oculus Touch Motion Controllers

Immersion Gets Physical: VR and CableBOT

As VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are expected to roll-out for sale to the general public in early 2016, the ways in which headset users can immerse themselves into new VR experiences are still expanding.

Meet CableBOT. 

As the video shows, a (lucky?) VR user is strapped into a seat atop a platform that is suspended in a large room - that is in turn attached to a series of motorized pulleys.

The the computers and pulleys take over.

Apparently convincing your body that you are swooping through space is a lot easier if you're actually swooping through space.

Based on robotic platforms for performing maintenance on large sale projects - like huge airplanes, the device in the video above was built by Professor Heinrich Bülthoff and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.

According to a September 28th, 2015 post to Dr. Bülthoff's "CableBOT is comprised of a central ‘cockpit’ frame, complete with chair, harness, modified Oculus Rift DK2 and computer to power it. The central cockpit is attached to a series of motorised winches which are coordinated to apply or release tension to and from the cockpit in such a way as to allow elevation, descent and rotation of the platform – giving a full six degrees of freedom for movement (6DoF)."

Thanks to transmedia author and consultant Michel Reilhac for the link to CableBOT article in

Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.