Friday, 29 May 2009

Boring Stuff That I Like

In preparing for one of my papers, I came across Terry Ilott's Budgets & Markets: a study of the budgeting of European Films, which is a thorough examination of thirteen different European films, some hits, some failures, looking carefully at their budgets and marketing plans.

The language in the book is enough to drive any pure cinephile nuts, as it argues that Europe should adopt more of the Hollywood techniques (audience and market research) and develop a much more business-savvy industry, in order for it to compete with the US.

The statistics in the book undermine its own argument, however, since it cites France as the only European country that has a healthy film industry and that has been able to contain the American invasion of product that has so completely overwhelmed the UK, for example. France's mixed system relies on heavy state subsidy.

Not that there aren't lessons to be learnt: apart from a few privileged auteurs, filmmakers should have to explain who the films they are making are for...

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