To quote the quote by the quotable Mr Goldman.
Like the studio execs who gave away the merchandising rights to Star Wars to George Lucas because they thought it was just a schlock Sci/Fi movie.
Or the exec whose comment on Fred Astaire's screen test was ' Can't act, can't sing, can dance a little'
What Goldman was referring to of course was that no one knows if anything is going to be a hit. I mean really REALLY knows.
Like all the distributors who roundly ignored The Illusionist at Sundance last year so that the main financier had to realease it himself. It made 40 million dollars.
And that's just it. No one knows. Because a hit depends on a whole series of imponderables that have to come together at the same time. And those include timing, taste and the current zeitgeist.
I have no idea what the current taste and zeitgeist is, let alone what it will be in 3 or 4 years time, which is when your average movie producer is looking at his newely optioned project hitting the screens.
As for timing? I wonder what would have happened to 'TITANIC' if in real life the QE2 had been sunk a month before the release?
I don't believe there is any point in trying to second guess the market in movies. I've stopped trying to do it in TV also. I've blogged before about how last year I was trying to get a spec investigative series away, only to be told by various prodcos that they were too hard to shift as the networks weren't looking for them.
Six months later I'm being asked by another prodco if I have any investigative series ideas. The networks are looking for them. No offence to Prodcos, but many are forced to act like puppets jerked around on their strings by the network puppet masters. Because very few of them have any money to develop something themselves.
So I just write what I like. What I would like to see. Sooner or later it'll hit the right person at the right time, and get a green light.
But will it be a hit? Who the hell knows?
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5 years ago