Friday, September 30, 2005

The List Keeps Growing

CARLITO'S WAY: RISE TO POWER - Universal Studios Home Ent.
8 SECONDS pt. 2 - New Line Home Ent.
HOUSE PARTY 5 - New Line H. E.
8MM 2 - Sony
3 BARBIE sequels - Lions Gate Home Ent.

And not to forget the MTV and NICKELODEON series coming D2DVD.


Scott the Reader said...


Bill Cunningham said...

What yikes?
These movies are opportunities for newer writers. These movies get made. These movies get seen.
No yikes here.

Scott the Reader said...

It's just the idea that there's something so unnecessary about these sequels that they can't even get a theatrical release.

I know, I know, D2DVD is a perfectly good way to go. But there is still the sense that these are movies that don't need to get made.

So yikes. But I'd agree to write one in a second.

Bill Cunningham said...

only 35% of the DVD business comes from movies that originally had a theatrical release. That leaves 65% for D2DVD, TV DVD, Music DVD, special interest, etc...

Studios want to hold onto audiences and maximize the value of a property THEY ALREADY OWN. They aren't gamblers. They know they can expect a certain number of people to want to watch more about a certain character or situation.

I think STEWIE GRIFFIN is a great companion piece to the TV show and will do really well.

Scott the Reader said...

So I noticed that they opened the Carlito's Way prequel in one L.A. theater this weekend. Does that change the official classification at all?

Bill Cunningham said...

Not really. It's a publicity screening to help USHE promote this and the other D2DVD sequels and originals they have coming out. If it were released in several cities for a period of time, then I would say "maybe". It's widest release is still on DVD. This also would be a way for the studio to fulfill a guild or academy requirement that it has a theatrical screening in LA. Thus it could qualify to be nominated for an award or two which would be another promotional avenue.

It shows you that, studios are up for promoting these releases with lots of money - the LOST TV DVD and LILO AND STITCH D2DVD promotions in Hawaii were big budget affairs. Lots of stars, press, retail execs and fun.

Anonymous said...

8mm2? why didn't they just call it 9mm and make it an all new one

Dave Fogerson said...

Being a horror fan, I noticed that Universal is having one-night-only theatrical screenings of the unrated version of LAND OF THE DEAD the night before the DVD release. Great promotional tool, seems to me. I'm betting the DVD does better than the box office.

CD said...

Bill --

Wish I'd got this thought to you earlier but I noticed
that they've really put a lot of promotional dollars
behind the Carlito's Way prequel. I mean I think I've seen more advertising for that than I have for some theater-release movies. Do you think this is a growing trend?

I think you're right this does represent a terrific opportunity for newer writers. Of course the one thing is that all of these D2DVD films are sequels which, I'm thinking, long term doesn't seem real great for the growth of mainstream cinema.

No one's mentioned it but I think there's still opportunties for "indie cinema" D2DVD releases, too. I couldn't find it mentioned anywhere, but I thought GreenCine (the indie film version of Netflix) was releasing films they'd acquired under the GreenCine label or something. So you can get "first run" movies

The only film that I can remember that was released like that was Manito starring Franky G (appearing in Saw II shortly). Obviously in a situation like that, you're hoping that you become the next Craig Brewer. Anyway, just trying to point out that the D2DVD market might have a future beyond simply sequels.

Bill Cunningham said...

The point would be to get into the system (whether that's studio or independent or combo thereof) and work it from there.

Brian Bendis was writing JINX and AKA GOLDFISH indie comics when he was discovered by Todd McFarlane and hired to write SAM & TWITCH. From there he went to Marvel and got kudos for ULTIMATE SPIDERMAN.

That brought the audience around to some of his original works. Then he created POWERS - something he owns.

Do you see the trend I'm pointing out here between Gary Scott Thompson and Brian Bendis? Developing the craft while working for the studio - then going off and doing something you own (or are at least really well paid for)?

These D2DVD movies are sequels but they are sequels that will be seen, they will pay some people $$$, and they will promote the writer, director etc...

You don't necessarly get to write what you want your first shot out of the gate. Nothing original I've ever pitched has been made...

BUT when they had a property that needed to be written, that needed to be fixed - I was the guy they turned to, twice.

In order to get work in this industry you should be writing specs as A CALLING CARD - a means to get you in the door so you can write THEIR PROPERTY. That's all they want you for. They really don't want your original stuff this early in the game.

CD said...

Bill -- good point.

I'm sure you've read this but for sake of discussion there was a Creative Screenwriting article a couple months back on D2DVD market. Part of the article was about the guys who wrote the recent film S.W.A.T. They were noting that even on DVD assignments they were up against a lot of competition. They said that even a major studio credit didn't make it any easier for them to land the job of writing Sniper 2.

Interesting stuff.

Also, Bill, what do you know about J.S. Cardone ? He seems like he's carved out a nice career that straddles the DVD market and the film market. 2001's The Forsaken was released in theaters (and, man, that a film that's ripe for a D2DVD sequel), and it looks like he's written a film for Renny Harlin as well as some other D2DVD titles that you mentioned earlier (SWF2, Sniper 3).

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Forsaken (aside from how much it seemed to owe to The Hitcher).


Bill Cunningham said...

Here's J.S. Cardone's IMDB listing:

Note how he started working with Charlie Band and Full Moon and went up from there. He's doing some of the D2DVDs mentioned in the post.

He has worked with Nu Image (Hi Boaz!) Sony, etc... through his company Sandstorm.

I know what you're talking about with SNIPER 2 as well. I worked with the director of that film, Craig Baxley, on another film back in SC called ROMEO AND JULIET MURDERS (that was shown on NBC as TWISTED DESIRE). Great guy!

I recall that the guys who wrote S2 said they got paid just as much for S2 as they did for SWAT based on the time involved (it took TEN YEARS to get SWAT made. It took them ONE YEAR from writing to release to get S2 made).