Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elijah Wood on Hollywood Studios

I read a great interview with Elijah Wood this morning. He was talking to The AV Club about his new show "Wildfred" and the conversation turned to the state of TV and film. He addresses my ever growing concerns about studios, budgets, and storytelling with sharp insight.

AVC: You mentioned that TV has opened up in the past five years. What have you noticed about the movie business over those same five years?

EW: Film’s in dire straits. It’s in a funny place. There tend to be these cycles where the studios are producing these groundbreaking, artistic ventures on a high scale. And then it shifted to where the great storytelling was happening in the context of smaller films. There was a huge independent upheaval that then led to all the studios having smaller divisions, which were essentially studio films. Then all those companies died out, and out of the ashes, the studios are doing the complete antithesis. They’re making these massive franchise, comic-book films, sequels—look, there’s always exceptions, because every year, the studios release a handful of great films, but last summer was dismal. There were movies that cost $200 million, where for the studios it was a sure thing, and they failed. It served to show that that equation can’t always work. I’m looking forward to when there’s balance again; right now, it’s either $200 million major tentpole, or $5 million or less for independent films. Those midrange films, which used to tell great stories and didn’t need $200 million, aren’t being made anymore. That gap needs to diminish.

There’s also this massive focus on 3-D as a medium to get people in seats, and that seems to be getting old as well. It’s a lot of tricks and efforts to get people to buy tickets, and less reliant on taking risks and telling great stories. But last year—when something like Black Swan can come out and not only receive critical attention, but also be successful on a box-office level, it seems like the beginnings of a shift. That’s exciting. You just want an even playing field, you know?

Please read the whole interview at....http://www.avclub.com/articles/elijah-wood,57878/

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