Kotaku Editorial: The Film Industry Sure Sounds A Lot Like The Game Industry

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Old 05 May 2013   #1
Kotaku Editorial: The Film Industry Sure Sounds A Lot Like The Game Industry

Quote:
"
What do films and video games have in common? Nobody really knows what they're doing.


A long lecture by film director Steven Soderberg has been making the rounds over the past 24 hours. It's an interesting read with some good thoughts on the film studio system, the idea of "cinema," and the role of independent film. It should also sound really familiar if you follow the video game industry.

See, while reading Soderbergh's thoughts on Deadline today, I couldn't help but notice some blatant parallels between film and gaming. For example:
Speaking of meetings, the meetings have gotten pretty weird. There are fewer and fewer executives who are in the business because they love movies. There are fewer and fewer executives that know movies. So it can become a very strange situation. I mean, I know how to drive a car, but I wouldnít presume to sit in a meeting with an engineer and tell him how to build one, and thatís kind of what you feel like when youíre in these meetings. Youíve got people who donít know movies and donít watch movies for pleasure deciding what movie youíre going to be allowed to make. Thatís one reason studio movies arenít better than they are, and thatís one reason that cinema, as Iím defining it, is shrinking."

http://kotaku.com/the-film-industry...indus-486418109
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Old 05 May 2013   #2
Finally, someone who knows what he is talking about.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #3
I couldn't read it all but is this about longing for the integrity of independent production as averse to art by committee?

If so, what's new?
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Old 05 May 2013   #4
Swap film or games for any industry or field where personal judgment and mass appeal are key, and the people moving the money aren't the same that produce the content, and it will work just the same. It has worked that way for quite a while.

I don't know how Kotaku seems so surprised or blown away by this, or how they consider it the defining element to draw a parallel between the two industries (which have a lot more in common than just that).

Book publishing, music, film, games... they all work like that. It doesn't make it ok, but I'm completely puzzled at how this is a revelation to anybody, or even the closest point between the two industries when you look at them from the inside.
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Old 05 May 2013   #5
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Swap film or games for any industry or field where personal judgment and mass appeal are key, and the people moving the money aren't the same that produce the content, and it will work just the same. It has worked that way for quite a while.

I don't know how Kotaku seems so surprised or blown away by this, or how they consider it the defining element to draw a parallel between the two industries (which have a lot more in common than just that).

Book publishing, music, film, games... they all work like that. It doesn't make it ok, but I'm completely puzzled at how this is a revelation to anybody, or even the closest point between the two industries when you look at them from the inside.



Book and music are still 'contained' so to speak, afaik. For book they just gave advance, while for music they just give budget. The author and the musician then produce the product.

Except for the real commercial ones, maybe comic? Or pop star where their job is to sing songs produced by producers (with help from composers and lyricists). Other than that its contained. A music group given money, they will rent out studios and maybe mansions to live in so that the whole group is staying together for a while.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #6
I think games today are better and have more diversity than ever, so I really don't get the complaints in the gaming industry. I can play an awesome $30-$50 million dollar budget game in Uncharted 3 and play the most innovative old-school games in Fez because of the thriving independent community. Look at how many great games were released last year in both the independent community and by big publishers. I sure enjoyed tonnes from both.

You can't ask to gamble with other people's money and demand to have complete creative freedom. If you want total control, fund the game/movie yourself. As much as I agree with aspects of the quote referring to asking a car engineer how a car is built, the director is gambling with someone else's money. IMO they must realize that when a studio is putting down between $100m-$300m for the biggest movies out there, they are really concerned about whether or not they are going to make that money back. Even with movies in the $40m-$80m range is still a considerable bet.

If you want creatives to be in control, you need creatives running publishing companies when it comes to games, and studios when it comes to movies. And look at Steven soderbergh's latest movies, they aren't exactly brilliant by anyone's standard (the average movie goer or the critics) so it's hard not to question his frustrations a little bit.

I would also like to add that I feel that the majority of successful developers out there are pretty content with their relationships with their publishers. It's the struggling ones that are screaming the loudest, and if you look at their track record, can you honestly not see why publishers would be hesitant to put down a massive amount of money on their next game?
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Old 05 May 2013   #7
Yeah i think the link between games and movies is weak. Yes im sure execs dont care about games but when did execs and shareholders care about quality of their product. If they do they are a rarity. Their job isnt focused on quality.

No one needs to point out how successful the indie scene is right now.

However what Sodenberg said is indeed very interesting though he isnt presenting many answers (he is way to honest and humble from the looks of this).

But i do think what is happening with games will happen with cinema. Anyone can make a game these days and pretty much anyone can make a short film, talent however is rare.

BTW i started to read his speech and then realized how much was left after he finished talking about his flight. Go download it on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/65060864
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Last edited by Phrenzy84 : 05 May 2013 at 07:59 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #8
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