Progress

This week is madness. Today the gang are furiously going through the casting applications and shortlisting and giving the Sony F55 workflow a closer inspection. I’ve come to London on a top secret mission. Later this week I’ll be in Berlin to do some scripting with Ben Arntz and hopefully catch up with some of the German peeps that support the 72 Project. It’s also my birthday this week (Brendan – was it your’s at the weekend????). Tomorrow is a big meeting with a potential sponsor. I’d love to have some good news to report to you by the end of the week about that, but we’ll have to see.

I was in a meeting last week discussing the future of cinema. I go to some pretty cool meetings. The central tenet was surrounding why people choose to go in the first place, and why will people choose to go in future. A prominent figure within the discussion said that cinema was based on ‘events’, ‘experience’ and ‘exclusivity’. I immediately cringed. I get the events and experience part. But the notion of exclusivity is exactly where I think cinema has gone awry. The basic notion is that you get some kind of experience at a cinema that you wouldn’t get elsewhere (earlier release dates, bigger screen etc). This is dinosaur logic in my opinion. The problem is quality. People don’t feel that the price for this so-called ‘exclusivity’ is worth it. I argued for ‘inclusivity’. I argued by tweet, because I’m modern like that:

tweet

 

He argued that only so many can fit in the room, which is enforced scarcity and therefore ‘exclusive’. I ceded my argument in the room to be diplomatic. But here is the rub – I agree that cinema thinks it is exclusive. But what if they were inclusive??? In other words, what is in the room is also available out of the room, simultaneously live elsewhere? Then, the process isn’t that you charge a premium for coming into an exclusive space, is it that you charge a premium for being more inclusive. If this sounds semantic, I apologise. Here’s the difference:

‘Exclusive’ is ‘excluding or not admitting other things’. I’d argue that locking out other parties is losing potential revenue (these people LOVE revenue). ‘Inclusive’ is ‘all the services or items normally expected or required’. I’d argue this is a sliding scale of inclusivity, whereby some will want to be closer to the action and some further away. But being closer shouldn’t be badged as ‘exclusive’ because then you lose the interest of everyone who isn’t involved. You should simply have different levels of simultaneous ‘inclusivity’ instead of any bullshit of exclusivity. Most people go to the cinema to be part of the conversation anyway – which is INCLUSIVITY.

Why shouldn’t they be exclusive? Because exclusivity isn’t scalable. It is by nature ‘finite’. And that is small pickings, and not what cinema was designed to do. That is why cinemas are now showing theatre plays via satellite and asking for black ties etc. It’s a desperate attempt to be exclusive. Like I said in Melbourne. Cinema quality is if you feel you’re money has been worth it. Nothing else. No technology, no exclusivity.

I hope we will produce a project that will prove it.

James

 

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