Disney exec says story is unimportant

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Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
...at SIGGRAPH.

Disney exec: Studios should lean on tentpoles - Entertainment News, Inside Production, Media - Variety

"People say 'It's all about the story,'" Hendrickson said. "When you're making tentpole films, bull****." Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film. Of his own studio's "Alice in Wonderland," which is on the list, he said: "The story isn't very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn't hurt."

I hope Lasseter strings this guy up by the nads (even though he's probably outranked by him).
 

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CB2001

Master Member
And that is why most of those generic Hollywood films are going to be forgotten in five years, while those that have solid stories and characters you care about are going to continue to have a strong viewership years later.
 

Larry Young

Master Member
He's talking about tentpoles. Of course story doesn't matter. No one's going to Mission: Impossible to see the riveting story.

If I had one wish, it wouldn't be for world peace or a cancer cure or a gajillion dollars: it'd be for people to understand the context under which opinions are voiced.
 

Amish Trooper

Sr Member
He's talking about tentpoles. Of course story doesn't matter. No one's going to Mission: Impossible to see the riveting story.

If I had one wish, it wouldn't be for world peace or a cancer cure or a gajillion dollars: it'd be for people to understand the context under which opinions are voiced.
Annnnnnd Larry for the win as usual.
 

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jedichase

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think Walt and the nine old men just roled over in there grave.

Story does matter. If it didn't there would be no classics.
Story is what makes you remember a film, not fancy effects or pricey actors.
 

Kerr Avon

Master Member
He's talking about tentpoles. Of course story doesn't matter. No one's going to Mission: Impossible to see the riveting story.

If I had one wish, it wouldn't be for world peace or a cancer cure or a gajillion dollars: it'd be for people to understand the context under which opinions are voiced.

Yeah, but imagine if they actually made a good story for a "Mission Impossible" movie. That's what makes a one time viewing of a popcorn movie into a classic I want to watch over and over.

E.g., Ghostbusters. Men in Black. Blazing Saddles.

Three perfect movies that are timeless.
 

tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
He is saying that in context that a Tentpole film is not meant to bring in a huge amount, just gain enough that they are winners in their own right. Pixar films in context is the Big Top.

Eisner had the same mentality. Throw out enough animation and something has to stick. Make sure that when you throw out so much, that there is a 5 year cut off not matter if it is successful or not so you can keep up the volume. THAT mentality is what got him fired as well. Economically it works, but for story, spirit and not caring about the fans overall, it sucks. It is not about timeless films, it is about making money and that is it.

I agree that this type of mentality is just what Lassiter is NOT looking for. It does have a niche place but it is soulless to do so.
 

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Larry Young

Master Member
"Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film."

The CTO of a major studio speaking at Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques conference is speaking to a different audience than regular joes on the Internet.
 

Larry Young

Master Member
He is saying that in context that a Tentpole film is not meant to bring in a huge amount, just gain enough that they are winners in their own right.

He's saying the exact opposite: "A tentpole film is one where you can seed the desire to see the film to everyone in every distribution channel. It's the only kind of film you can spend $100 million marketing." and "Once you're out of theaters your maximum profit potential is over.''
 

Kerr Avon

Master Member
Eisner had the same mentality. Throw out enough animation and something has to stick. Make sure that when you throw out so much, that there is a 5 year cut off not matter if it is successful or not so you can keep up the volume. THAT mentality is what got him fired as well. Economically it works, but for story, spirit and not caring about the fans overall, it sucks. It is not about timeless films, it is about making money and that is it.

It's a ****TY economic model. It grants short term increases but sets up no long term income. There are movies that are so timeless and great with such soulful stories that I will keep buying them on whatever format comes out that improves the viewing experience, and buy various merchandise put out for it as well. All for the investment of a good story, those movies keep paying for themselves time and time over again.

Then there's the **** they put out I might see once until I've seen what a garbage movie it is and then never spend another dime on it, no DVD, no merchandise, nothing.
 

SVTStingRay

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
hes wrong, whether you like one or all their movies, pixar is a good example of story over money. even tho each one has made money, the story is the thing.
 

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Jet Beetle

Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
And that is why most of those generic Hollywood films are going to be forgotten in five years, while those that have solid stories and characters you care about are going to continue to have a strong viewership years later.

Just to address this one point -- they don't care if these movies are forgotten, they are happy with them doing wham bam business opening weekend and then moving out of the way for the next POS they have all all sated and ready to go. Not one of them care to make a classic because who can predict a classic? Always remember, the movies we label as "classics" (and I'm talking modern) all have one thing in common -- all of them happened on accident and almost didn't happen at all.
 

Kerr Avon

Master Member
It's simply short sighted poor management and executive decisions to simply staff movies with big name actors with little effort or money spent developing a good script. They could keep making money on movies long after they were out if they expended the effort.
 

MooMooEgg

Sr Member
Yeah, but imagine if they actually made a good story for a "Mission Impossible" movie. That's what makes a one time viewing of a popcorn movie into a classic I want to watch over and over.

Well, Brad Bird is directing M:I - Ghost Protocol. Hopefully, the story will be decent and he'll be able to do something with it to elevate it into something spectacular.
 

tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Larry, hate to differ with you but by definition:
"In broadcast programming and from motion picture industry the term, tent-pole programming is for a production expected to hold up (as is the function of a tent pole) and balance out the financial performance of a movie studio or television network. In the movie business, tent poles are sometimes widely released initial offerings in a string of releases and are expected by studios to turn a profit in a short period of time."

I wrote a business management thesis on Pixar and Disney. This execs comment is a throw back to the Eisner era of management. Frankly I think it is a great example of the downfall of studios and a path to mediocrity.

Yes, I agree, Pixar does not pop out the tentpoles, again, Pixar puts out the Big Top Tents, films that are timeless, main attractions, meant to create a profit over a long term and continue retaining franchise value for long periods of time.
 
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