LOS ANGELES AP — Hollywood — long considered the land of excess — is becoming more cost-conscious, as movie executives rethink what they’re willing to pay to make a blockbuster.
After years of beefing up budgets to meet audience expectations, movie studios are cutting back and canceling projects that are too costly. Half-baked, expensive movie ideas that would have received approval a few years ago are now under scrutiny. For movies that are made, producers have to settle for toned-down special effects, cheaper actors and fewer locations for shoots.
In the past five years, major studios have trimmed the annual number of films they release by nearly a third to cut costs and avoid having big movies compete head-to-head on opening weekends.
In July, two major projects were stopped mid-stream because of budget pressures. The Walt Disney Co. halted “The Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Depp, even though sets were already half-built in New Mexico. Universal pulled out of “The Dark Tower,” a three-movie, two-TV-series colossus based on books by Stephen King.
Strange Random Budget Quote:
“Some couples go over their budgets very carefully every month. Others just go over them.” – Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand Writer, 1888-1923)
- Hollywood And Big Budget Movies: Is The Love Affair Over? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Hollywood studios uneasy about big budget movies (ctv.ca)
- The Further Adventures of ‘Lone Ranger:’ The Budget is Cut, Disney Remains Undecided (slashfilm.com)
- Johnny Depp Denied?! Lone Ranger Movie Scrapped (eonline.com)
- Johnny Depp’s Wildly Expensive Ride: Crash Update (huffingtonpost.com)
- Not Dead Yet: ‘The Lone Ranger’ And ‘The Dark Tower’ Still Fighting For Survival (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- Johnny Depp’s ‘Lone Ranger’: Disney Hits The Brakes (moviesblog.mtv.com)
PRESS ASSOCIATION — Changes to copyright law to be unveiled later this week are expected to open the door to new services for film and music fans. Unlike most countries, Britain’s current intellectual property regime makes it technically illegal to transfer content from CDs or DVDs on to a different format, such as an MP3 file on a computer. Business Secretary Vince Cable is expected to say on Wednesday that he will legislate to sweep away these restrictions, according to a copy of his announcement seen by Channel 4 News. The move would make it legal for consumers to build up personal libraries of music, videos and films on their home computers and transfer them on to devices such as iPods – as millions already do without being aware that they are technically breaking the law.
Strange Random Copyright Quote:
The idea of copyright did not exist in ancient times, when authors frequently copied other authors at length in works of non-fiction. This practice was useful, and is the only way many authors’ works have survived even in part. – Richard Stallman
- ‘Crocodile Tears Jibe at Vince Cable (express.co.uk)
- In Praise of the Independent: finding strengths in Vince Cable and the Lib Dems (solutionfocusedpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Vince Cable ‘good news for business insurance holders’ (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- Sorry, I can’t change £1.4bn trains deal decision, says Vince Cable (thisisderbyshire.co.uk)
- Vince Cable reinvigorated: the banks should start worrying (appgifs.org.uk)
- Move to back private digital copying (ft.com)
If you’re looking for a laugh before crawling back to work tomorrow, look no further than this short Easter- themed animation!
Strange Random Easter Quote:
I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing! – Edna Dean Proctor, “Easter Bells”
- Portal Easter Egg Fun (geeksaresexy.net)
- Easter Traditions (buttcheeksandtoiletbowls.wordpress.com)
- Big cats and Easter eggs (americablog.com)
- Happy Easter (skytroopsofcp.wordpress.com)
- Fun games you should not play during Easter (thotplaces.com)
- Easter Egg Fights (zikata.wordpress.com)
Next month marks the 20th anniversary of the start of Twin Peaks, David Lynch‘s absorbing, frustrating and frequently surreal TV series about the murder of one Laura Palmer in the quiet town of Twin Peaks. Here are a few suggestions for those of you who want to celebrate or just find out what you missed.
Strange Random Twin Peaks Quote:
Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee -Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper
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- I’m Going to Rave About Twin Peaks Now (kimwerker.com)