Friday, December 30, 2011


It actually takes more talent to make a creatively successful un-ironic film than the other way around. Sentiment and sincerity are much more difficult to pull off than detached irony, above-it-all nihilism, and superior snark. To make sentiment and sincerity work, the audience has to care about the characters and the situation, they have to invest in every aspect of the story. This also, of course, involves a much richer and more satisfying  experience for the audience.

- John Nolte

Thursday, December 22, 2011



National Geographic Films, which is associated with the hit documentary “March of the Penguins” in 2005, is shutting down, according to two individuals with knowledge of the independent studio.
The studio has brought in a scant $1.7 million in revenue this year, with five films in release including “The Last Lion,” “The First Grader” and “Life in a Day.”
So what is going to happen you ask?

The individuals said that the New York-based operation was shutting down, and that president Daniel Battsek was negotiating an exit.

Neither Battsek nor spokespersons for National Geographic Films were immediately available when TheWrap reached out for comment. 
National Geographic Films is a division of National Geographic Entertainment, created in 2007 and combining Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio into a single division headed by David Beal.
Battsek joined the company in January 2010 after leaving Miramax when Disney put that unit up for sale.
The weak showing at the box office this year and tepid development seemed out of step with expectations for the studio.  National Geographic had a deep source of funding from Abu Dhabi’s Imagenation, which put up $100 million to form a joint venture for movies in 2008.
When a company like this shuts down its often done quietly, with little fanfare and no announcements. No comments, TV ad buys, no internet ad buys, no production diaries (hey what did happen to them BTW?), no movie trailers announcing the shutdown. Rather just a quiet article on a third party website.

It's the way Hollywood works. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Watch this video of my good friend Elin sing a classic theme for Paramount.

You can check out Elin website here. (its worth it!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Tom Rothman is spot on when he talks about who decides what becomes a franchise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Anime News Network had a story about the 1/1-Scale Gundam.

 The self-described "Gundam videographer" darwinfish began streaming new time-lapsed footage of the 1/1-Scale Gundam reconstruction at Odaiba. The video features work being done on the upper body and torso. The statue is being rebuilt at Diver City Tokyo, a complex under construction on the island by Mitsui Fudosan and Fuji TV.



Friday, December 2, 2011


The Unemployment Rate has dropped to 8.6% according to

There’s two things I can deal with right now; the U-3 unemployment rate, and the non-farm jobs added. While the official unemployment rate dropped down to 8.6%, that is much more a function of people departing the workforce than people finding a job. The Atlantic managed to screen-cap the major parts of the household data, the basis of the unemployment figures (H/T – Jason Whitman.) The civilian labor force dropped by 315,000, which caused the participation rate to drop to 64.0%, down from 64.2% in October. James Pethokoukis ran the numbers, and declared that if the participation rate were the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.9%. Worse, if it were the same as when President Obama took office, it would be 11%.
Since unemployment has dropped you get a Gregalogue

 *  Jim Geraghty of National Review has a good overview of the numbers and what they really mean.

In response to the latest unemployment numbers, I’m seeing people still wondering how the unemployment rate can go down if people stop looking for work. Way back in February 2010, I made a short video explaining the phenomenon of “discouraged workers” (although I never got into how one is considered part of the labor force). If you can stand the poor audio and video quality, it’s still accurate: