FIRM Discussions

June 14, 1998 - December 31, 1998

News and Commentary
James Jaeger
6:24 pm Thursday June 14, 1998

For those of you who are interested in reform-substantiating information on the film industry (and wish to proffer comments), you might visit "News and Commentary" from time-to-time, which can be accessed here.

James Jaeger
3:04 pm Friday June 19, 1998

Discussion of reform issues will remain. All else will be deleted.

Handles vs Impersonation
James Jaeger
4:16 pm Friday June 19, 1998

:Lighten up John. Someone is posting under my name. Your site has :no way to protect your identity.

Like John, I also hope this childish playing around stops. Both he and I have been impersonated as well as others on this site and elsewhere.

As I said in an earlier post, it's one thing to use a "handle" or "pen name" on the Net, and in fact this has been an acceptable long-time tradition on the Internet (and the Arpanet before it), but it's not playing fair to impersonate another person's handle, (or worse, their real name) especially when you are in the same discussion forum.

John may wish to know a poster's identity before he takes his time to answer them, and that's fine. Whether you agree with him or not, if you want the benefits of debating views with someone who has taken a considerable amount of time to study, not only film history, but several areas at law, (probably more academic achievement than most), the least you can do is be responsible and follow the simple guidelines that have been established.

I don't see anything wrong with a person using a handle when they are communicating on the Internet, because to me it's the view that is important, not the identity of the view. However, I draw the line at impersonation of either handles or realnames.

We've been reasonably liberal up until now, but hereafter, anyone suspected of impersonating will be deleted immediately. And lastly, if you want your post to stay posted for the benefit of others, make sure it is dealing with the subject of film industry reform, not (furthering) personal attacks or playing around.

Engineered Conflicts of Interests
Joe Goldenberg
6:40 pm Friday June 19, 1998

The studios tie-up as many of the lawfirms around town as they can so that they can create artificial conflicts of interest thus inhibiting the ability of disgruntled (net) profit participants to litigate. See for the details.

re: Issues

Mr. Pink
7:07 pm Friday June 19, 1998
They've done it again.

Once again deleted several posts of mine that WERE about issues but just happened to disagree with them about those issues.

Cones and Jeager once again display their lack of any real desire to communicate unless that communication fits in with their prejudices.

Their attitude can best be translated as. "I can call myself Goldenberg and talk to myself (to make these views look more popular than they are), one of the Mr. Blanks is also welcome to do so, as are certain other anonymous posters, because THESE PEOPLE AGREE WITH US."

Those who disagree must use their real names and receive threats from Mr. Cones.

Cones claims people have made no good points in the above posts. Well, nonsense Mr Cones. JM has made substantive posts. I have made substantive posts. One of the Mr. Blanks has made many good posts too. All YOU want to hear is "Yes, it's the Jews". Anything else is mysteriously not substantive enough for you. Recognize your prejudice.

If this erroneous identification creates so much static, avoid this issue. But you won't do that. Because, although you say it's not a major issue for you what specific religion your "control group" belongs to, it clearly is.

To talk as if Murdoch, Turner and Sony are not major players in this interconnected industry is a farce and reveals that prejudice is triumphing over any knowledge you may have. We need

distribution both inside and outside of cinemas. We need cable. We need satellite. You want to ignore these phenomena because their owners are not Jewish enough for you.

As JM has pointed out, there IS NO scientific basis for your points. You begin with a prejudice, and - like the guy who saw all these invisible Jewish names at the end of "Godzilla" - just pick up on anything that affirms your prejudice. First thing you have to prove to make your point is that these movies even have or purvey a Jewish world view. They have no such thing.

Maybe movies DO have a liberal worldview, but liberalism is at least more inclusive than conservatism, and an endemic problem among artists anyway. (You want to legislate that 50% of all artists should be Republicans?) If crap like "Godzilla" gets made, the problem is NOT the Jewish influence, the problem is non- Jewish artists who think their audience are morons.

Many of us DO see problems with the film industry, many of us DO prefer movies made outside Hollywood, but because we don't see those problems in the way you do you want to take your toys and go home.

Unlike Usenet this is a moderated group anyway. You DO have the power to delete. You even deleted the posts one of you ripped off from misc.writing.screenplays. You admit you will delete posts that you don't like in future. I guess what that means is that only pseudonyms that agree with you will be permitted.

The point is your reform movement is going to fail. You have no real actual substantive ideas about concrete actual moves that could be taken. Neither of you. Mr. Blank wants Fundamentalist Christians in the studios, the mythical Goldenberg wants ethnic musical chairs. Jaeger (under his real name) and Cones make no concrete suggestions whatsoever. I asked you for concrete suggestions, I even asked you not to evade the issue, and you denied that any point was made, and in standard Cones and Jaeger style, evade the issue anyway.

In your dealing with the industry your attitude is "These guys haven't played by my rules, so I am going to take my toys, sit in my yard and call them nasty names. " In your dealing with this newsgroup your attitude is EXACTLY THE SAME.

Of course, in the industry's case you also want the government to come in and take the other kid's toys and share them out amongst you. It ain't gonna happen.

I ask you to not get defensive, to think about what I've said, and to wonder - just a little, how much your own attitudes have contributed to the difficulties you find yourselves in, both on this newsgroup and in the industry.

When I see a real desire for open debate I might contribute more. Here, there is none.

Mr. Pink

:Discussion of reform issues will remain. : All else will be deleted. :


re: Issues
James Jaeger
7:45 pm Friday June 19, 1998

:They've done it again. : :Once again deleted several posts of mine that WERE about issues :but just happened to disagree with them about those issues. : :Cones and Jeager once again display their lack of any real desire :to communicate unless that communication fits in with their :prejudices.

Mr. Pink,

We do desire to communicate and discuss all aspects of the film industry and we're sorry if anything you have placed on this site (about the issues) you feel has been deleted unfairly. Please feel free to re-post and we will leave it posted. In the past week, this site was hit with over 45 posts that were just playing around.

I ask you kindly, please just state your views, stop doing things like calling us names or me Goldenberg, or speaking rudely to Mr. Cones, or impersonating (if you HAVE been doing any of these things) and please don't discuss anything that is not going to help with the issue of reform.

We really do welcome your input and want to discuss it in a civilized manner. Please point out specific language in John Cones writings if you take issue with anything.

If you want to call yourself Mr. Pink, that's fine with me but John Cones will probably not address your posts. I will if I can and others may care to also.

Growth of Religious Diversity
John Cones
2:36 pm Monday June 22, 1998

Growth of Religious Diversity

A three-page article on the growth of religious diversity in the United States appeared starting on page one of the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times (June 21, 1998) this past weekend. Some of the factual information reported in that article has been posted in the News and Commentary section of the FIRM site, and is accompanied by observations tying such information into the topic of film industry reform.

re: Some of Your Specific Points
James Jaeger
2:38 pm Thursday June 25, 1998

Many of us DO see problems with the film industry, many of us DO prefer movies made outside Hollywood, but because we don't see those problems in the way you do you want to take your toys and go home.

Unlike Usenet this is a moderated group anyway. You DO have the power to delete. You even deleted the posts one of you ripped off from misc.writing.screenplays.

Yes, in all honesty, when we found that those posts were actually protected under copyright, we did make sure they were deleted from our site immediately. We have no intention of ripping anyone off or harming anyone, especially writers, and I want to relate a sincere apology to anyone who may have felt threatened in any way.

You admit you will delete posts that you don't like in future.

No, you are misinterpreting my words here a little. I did not say I would deleted posts that I "don't like in the future," I said I would delete posts that are not on the subject of Film Industry Reform.

I guess what that means is that :only pseudonyms that agree with you will be permitted.

No that is not correct. You know who you are talking to right now, Mr. Pink. I actually have a pretty good idea who you are too, Mr. Pink, but that's okay if you don't want to tell me, I am more interested in the quality of your considerations than in what body you currently occupy and at what place on the surface.

The point is your reform movement is going to fail.

No, I'm sorry, this is not the inevitable out come of this. It may be, but it is still way too early to predict yet. We have not even gone public with this reform movement yet. We are so far only addressing you folks in the movie business in the hopes that you will see fit to take responsibility for your industry before the rest of the country may have to. If you feel that the issues John brings up regarding the control group and their specifications is an issue you do not want to confront, fine don't deal with it, deal with other aspects of the Industry. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. I will say this, the American public may not care about net profit participation problems of a few people in a relatively small industry, such as the movie industry, but they will care about the issues of violence and control, once they know more about it.

You have no real actual substantive ideas about concrete actual moves that could be taken. Neither of you.

That's not exactly true. I have posted suggestions about better ways of paying investors and profit participants called Automatic Royalty Parsing. We are also working on establishing video-on-demand and as alternative distribution systems. I have dedicated the past 18 years to working on this problem. Let's talk about these things.

Of course, in the industry's case you also want the government to come in and take the other kid's toys and share them out amongst you. It ain't gonna happen.

Please show me where that was said, the government to come in.

I ask you to not get defensive, to think about what I've said, and to wonder - just a little, how much your own attitudes...

Have you been offended personally in any way? You brought up the word "attitudes". If so on what specific thing?

...have contributed to the difficulties you find yourselves in, both on this newsgroup and in the industry.

If you think I will have any difficulties in the Film Industry because I have chosen to work in reform of this industry, I think you are mistaken. I happen to know several studio heads, many industry elders and one ex-supreme court judge who happen to agree with most of the planks in this reform movement. The studio execs might jeopardize THEIR jobs and have some "difficulties" if their identities were to be known in connection with this agenda, but I have perfect confidence that this Industry will continue to treat me no differently than it always has - and I have been involved with movies since 1962.

When I see a real desire for open debate I might contribute more.

That would be great. What would you define as more open debate?

Have you read any of the material posted at Background Information?

If so what?

Film Industry Research
John Cones
11:53 am Friday June 26, 1998

If you are conducting, intend to conduct, or have conducted any research relating to the U.S. film industry, regardless of whether the results of such research tends to confirm or contradict any statements made on this FIRM site, or such research relates to other issues altogether, we at FIRM would be interested in knowing about your research.

Summer Reading
James Jaeger
8:10 pm Wednesday July 1, 1998

Since it's so quiet around here, I thought I'd give you some books you can read by the pool.

Minorities in Hollywood
John Cones
12:47 pm Thursday July 16, 1998

A couple of new reports came out this week relating to the progress or lack thereof of minorities in Hollywood. Brief excerpts from the reports and comments are provided in the News and Commentary section of the FIRM site.

Net Profits Lawsuits
John Cones
1:11 pm Saturday August 8, 1998

A new article about several of the film industry net profit lawsuits appeared in the August 1998 issue of the California Lawyer magazine. A few brief quotes from the article along with some comentary have now been posted in the News and Commentary section of the FIRM site.

What's Wrong With This Picture?
John Cones
1:28 pm Saturday August 8, 1998

During this past year after I decided to go public with my research and analysis regarding what is really going on in Hollywood, one contingent among the so-called Hollywood apologists have consistently clamored that it is not appropriate to say anything, even if true, about the shared religious, cultural and political backgrounds of most of the top level Hollywood studio executives. On the other hand, these same Hollywood apologists seem to take no offense at the use of one of the 20th century's most powerful communications media (the feature film) by these same studio executives to consistently defame (i.e., consitently portray in a negative or stereotypical manner) millions of Latinos, Arabs, Italian-Americans, Christians and Whites from the South, for decades. In addition, these film "makers" have never hesitated to use that same powerful medium to consistently project their liberal and non-religious points of view, along with other powerful messages about race, religion, culture, ethnicity, regional populations and so forth onto an unsuspecting movie-going public. What's wrong with this picture?

John Cones

New Speech on Hollywood
John Cones
6:09 pm Saturday August 8, 1998

A new speech entitled What's Really Going On In Hollywood, parts of which were delivered this past week to an audience in Washington, D.C. is now posted under the "Background Information" section of the FIRM Site.

John Cones

Studios Ligitimizing Homosexuality
Sara Lilly
2:44 pm Wednesday August 12, 1998

I have noticed that the Hollywood movie industry, especially the MPAA studios and the networks, including PBS, are increasingly trying to ligitimize homosexuality.

This is another example of how the movie industry - being controled by an a-religious and incestious group for so long - just can't see certain truths anymore, let alone greenlight movies about same.

After 400 million years of procreative trial and error, the genetic entity of the human race would never build into the genome any command-genes that would validate homosexuality on a physiological level. Therefore, homosexuality is learned behavior, ipso facto, and is being promulgated by the "mainstream" Hollywood establishment as a "normal or acceptable

life-style" deserving of the same rights as heterosexuals.

Hogwash: I resent the movie industry propagandizing my children to give them the idea that it is okay or normal to be gay or lesbian when this is clearly human aberration at its most destructive to the future of the race.

Since the kids are one of the largest moviegoing groups - it is parents' responsibility to make sure none of their money, in the form of allowances, finds its way into the boxoffice of any of the studio (or independent) releases until they stop useing the feature motion picture as a vehicle for ligitimizing homosexuality.

Latinos in Hollywood
John Cones
1:01 pm Sunday August 16, 1998

Recent developments regarding the progress, or lack thereof, of Latinos in Hollywood was recently reported in the July-August, 1998 issue of Hispanic Business. Brief excerpts from the article and commentary appear in the News and Commentary section of the FIRM site.

John Cones

Interlocking Directorates
James Jaeger
4:56 pm Tuesday August 18, 1998

"Furthermore, the bank had gained interlocking directorates with ABC. In 1974, Congress issued a report, stating that the Chase Manhattan Bank's stake in CBS rose 14.1 %, and in NBC to 4.5 % (through RCA, the parent company of NBC). The same report said that the Chase Manhattan Bank held stock in 28 broadcasting firms. After this report, the Chase Manhattan Bank obtained 6.7 % of ABC, and today the percentage could be much greater. It only requires 5 % of ownership, to significantly influence the media (Reference 25, P.56-57). This is only one ,of the 300 wealthy, shareholders of the FED. It is believed, other FED owners have similar holdings in the media. To control the media, FED bankers call in their loans, if the media disagrees with them (Reference 25, P. 134-137)." Source:

Effects of Loss of Exhibition
James Jaeger
5:32 pm Thursday August 20, 1998

:Saturday June 27, 1998 :Restore the original oligarchial studio system of the 20's :30's, and 40's by allowing studios to purchase their own :cinemas. It worked once and it can work again.

I have always felt it was unfair to the studios to have their exhibition wings cut off. I'm reasonably sure part of the distribution problem we are seeing manifest today is to make up for the loss of income the studios suffered when they lost exhibition.

As soon as the studios lost control over their point-of-sale theatrical revenue, cash flow became less predictable hence employment for writers, directors and acting talent, and everyone else, became much more ad hoc.

In my opinion, this long-ago government intervention in free enterprise caused a negative trickle-down effect all the way to Garrison v. Warner.

I'm not saying we should go back to the old studio system, but aspects of it DID seem to work better than the "system" we have today. Some sort of a mid-ground might be an optimum balance for management and talent.

Distribution Paradigms - Today & Proposed
James Jaeger
4:56 pm Tuesday December 19, 1998

In a world of FAIR distribution, the very people responsible for creating and financing independent motion pictures from sources OUTSIDE the film industry, would be held in higher regard. Unfortunately, as Lee Garmes and the ISPA pointed out EARLY (and as countless other victims (through their law suits) and researchers with the courage to speak out (such as John Cones) have pointed out LATELY -- this is NOT the way it is in Hollywood at all, Today.

When you buy a movie ticket at a box office, for let's say $8 (to use a round number), the movie theater (the Exhibitor) immediately takes about 60% of this $8 (known as the "Box Office Gross") and turns over $3.20 to the studio/distributor who released the movie. Many times the movie theater is fully or partially, directly or indirectly, owned by the studio/distributor.

THEN, the studio/distributor charges its "distribution fee" of about 33% against this $3.20 leaving $2.14 from the $8 ticket sale.

The studio/distributor then reimburses itself out of this $2.14 for anything it spent on prints and advertising (P&A), and all other expenses relating to distribution, for the movie. This is an area where distributors have traditionally inflated their costs and is usually where any cashflow back to the producers and production financiers stops dead. If the expenses amount to "only" 20% and such 20% is charged against this $2.14, a whopping $1.71 would be all that's left. This means that from the $8 ticket sale, $1.71 is now available to turn over to the Production Company, provided the studio/distributor does not ALSO have participation rights in this sum as well, reducing such cashflow to zero. This $0.00 to $1.70 is what is known as "Points" or, in certain circumstances, known as "Producer's Net" (or, as Eddie Murphy called it in connection with the Buchwald v. Paramount suit, "Monkey Points").

The Production Company, thankful that it has received its Monkey Points, now has to split them (that $1.71) with its film production Investors, usually 50-50. So, wow, that leaves a whole $.86 for all you Producers/Writers/Director/Talent/Dev Investors AND $.86 for all you Production Investors, from that original $8.00 ticket!

The Investors, who BELIEVED in the Production Company (and who may have believed in promoting culture as well) enough to finance the movie (and who may have millions invested), go away praying that these little puny chunks of $.86-here and $.86-there will someday add up to (recoup) their total multi-million dollar investment (plus a reasonable return on investment) at the very least.

As mentioned above, The Production Company, now gets to pay its producers from this $.86 for the years of hard work they put in (as many as 10); and they get to pay back any sums deferred by the Cast or Crew and lastly; they get to pay back the Development Investors, those gutsy people that put up THE VERY EARLIEST MONEY (probably to put a few sandwiches in the refrigerators of a starving writer and producer) -- yet don't get paid back until NOW, if at all.

The above scenario is EXTREMELY optimistic and, pursuant to John Cones’ research (explicated in vast detail in his book, The Feature Film Distribution Deal) "The truth is that only about 5% of the major studio/distribution deals actually result in the payment of net profits to anyone, regardless of how much money the film makes (that's the best estimate of a profit participation auditor who is out there on the front lines every day auditing the studio books)."

Thus my estimate of $.86 per ticket is exactly $.86 too high in 95% of the cases, and significantly high in most of the other 5% of the cases.

THIS is Today's basic Distribution Paradigm. This is the "PLAN" the current studio/distributor-driven movie industry has waiting for YOU (as an independent producer, writer, director, actor or investor).

Rationale for Today's Paradigm

Whether or not, the advent of digital delivery requires less energy be expended, i.e., money, to move matter around on the planet's surface (i.e., truck cans of 2,000-ft reels of 35mm motion picture film: that action of a studio/distributor) - is not the reason why a new paradigm is needed.

In Today's Distribution Paradigm above, each level of the marketing chain, from exhibitor to distributor to producer to development financiers has the opportunity to "divert" or "siphon-off" money before turning it over to the next group. I don't like to use the word "steal" because we usually reserve this word for people who DON'T have the money to afford $250 per hour accountants and lawyers.

Today's system of studio-type distribution is based on the unwritten word: YE WHO GETS THE GOLD FIRST, GETS TO POCKET THE GOLD FIRST.

Thus, those who created and financed the works of filmic art get the gold LAST, if at all, because all the people who truck and futz and display the films are in the equation FIRST and hence in a position to levy charges for THEIR "invaluable services" against the newborn cashflow, a cashflow generated by the filmmakers' ability to thrill audiences.

Of course the bloated industry of studio/distributor executives, truckers, exhibitors, boxers, popcorn sellers, postal service delivery boys, building maintenance crews for marketing strategy teams and the thousands of screen credits you DON'T see on the tail of a movie (thank god), will NOT agree with any paradigm other than the current one.

Their view is, it takes MUCH more "skill" to market a movie than it does to "produce" one... AND this is unfortunately TRUE, probably, because today's movies are so POOR and UNORIGINAL - it DOES take marketing GENIUS to RAM all this "lousy" (i.e., remake, sequel, violence-oriented, exploitation) product down the public's throat.

Under a FAIR system of distribution, one where more of the creators were supported and validated, (not just 100 over-paid stars and executives in Hollywood) something unheard of might happen: more original, better-made, more creative pictures might be produced and they would SELL THEMSELVES through word-of-mouth (the most natural, hence powerful, advertising "technique" known to Humankind).

In other words, if starving filmmakers the world over, were not being robbed by Today's Distribution Paradigm, they might be able to spend more time making movies of higher, more original, quality - than having to pump out more of the same SAFE stuff to please their slave-master, studio executives' thinking, thinking based in the rationale that they (the executives) GENERALLY can't afford to take chances on "unproven" concepts or talents, because the costs of distribution are SO high. Their justifier. ;- ) Hence all the people in the above line up, "must" be in place, hence all these people preempt the cashflow as they get their hands on the GOLD first.

This is part of the rationale behind Today's Distribution Paradigm: Everybody is
fighting for first dollar, because THEY "deserve it more."

The New Paradigm - WHEN

A New Distribution Paradigm is based on the change of two major factors in Today's Distribution Paradigm (as explicated in two previous posts):

A) WHEN everyone gets paid; and,
B) WHAT everyone gets paid.


Since it is clear that everyone connected with exhibition or distribution or production of a movie feels that THEIR contribution to the "thrill of an audience" is most important, all will feel their justifications for getting their hands on the newborn cashflow from first dollar are valid.

So, rather than argue forever about this, why not PAY everyone from first dollar. This would never have been possible in Lee Garmes' day, but now with computers, credit/debit cards, electronic banking and the internet, it is quite possible.

Just think, Writers, Producers, Talents and Development Investors, no one (having the opportunity to siphon) would get THEIR hands on the GOLD before YOU. Just think Distributors and Exhibitors and Truckers, you STILL will get paid your fair share, only sooner and without ANY temptations connected with touching the cashflow. :-)

Once all parties in the production/distribution/exhibition chain agree on WHAT everyone should get, modern electronics can make it instantaneous to wire-transfer these sums directly, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY, into bank accounts of the TWO camps in the movie industry: the Creative Camp and the Business Camp. First dollar, from a ticket sale or the click of a button on the Internet, can be transferred to a "film revenue collecting and allocations agent" who is a type of escrow agent we'll refer to as a "Parsing Agent." This phrase has been coined from the word "parsing" as such is used in CGI/Perl scripts which control/direct the flow of data (such as inputs, emails and credit card numbers) on the world wide web. This Parsing Agent will immediately divide the sum of money authorized on a credit card authorization for the purchase of a movie in accordance with the new distribution paradigm and transfer each agreed-on sum to all parties, in both camps, who built and marketed the movie. Thus all will be effectively paid out of first dollar gross.

This is the first, and most important, part of the New Distribution Paradigm.

The New Paradigm - WHAT


Forgetting some of the mechanics for now, if one can agree with the basic philosophy that the distribution and display of a product is NOT more important than the CREATION of that product, but actually less important . . . then part two of a proposed New Distribution Paradigm may make sense.

As we saw in previous posts, Today's Distribution Paradigm provides that from an $8 ticket sale, the people who create a movie end up with about $1.71 (if they are the lucky 5%) and the people who distribute/exhibit that same movie end up with about $6.29. About a 20/80 split.

Thus Today's Paradigm is a reversal of the above philosophy and a reversal of what reality could BE, especially in a digital and electronic Era.

From the first dollar of an electronically parsed "ticket" sale, and especially from an electronically delivered movie with Automaticly Parsed Royalties certainly no more than 50% of the ENERGY (money) earned should be allocated, directly or indirectly, to the distribution/exhibition of that product. In fact it should be no more than about half of even this, or 25%, a little less that the 30%-distribution fee generally levied by Today's Distribution Paradigm. This would leave 75% for the production-side of the equation and 25% for the distribution/exhibition-side.

In other words, in a digital Era, the people who distribute and exhibit a movie should ultimately receive 25% of the ticket price. The people who develop and produce that movie should receive 75% because these people are the source point and creators of the product; they are more important than the distributors and exhibitors of that product because without them, there would be no movie distributors or exhibitors, and no jobs for all the other service industries (film, processing/printing labs, camera and light rentals, post houses, completion guarantors, film offices, etc.).

The creators of a movie also create the jobs for the distributors and the exhibitors as well. In other words, NO MOVIECREATORS = NO DISTRIBUTORS, TRUCKERS OR EXHIBITORS because there is NO movie in existence.

Thus, the New Distribution Paradigm calls for, after all the dust and futzing settles, the people who develop, package and produce movies to have 75% of the cashflow generated from audience excitement and the people who distribute and exhibit movies to have 25% of the cashflow generated from audience excitement. A 75/25 split, not a 20/80 (or more probably, a 00/100) split as in Today's Distribution Paradigm.

Also, 25% rather than a 33% distribution fee because movies can now be "simply" highly-ordered arrangements of bits, rather than 2,000-foot reels of silver halide ions and hence can be "distributed" with a flow of electrons rather than a flow of trucks.

And, forgetting some more of the mechanics for now, if one can agree with the basic philosophy that the ENERGY to build a product prototype (each feature is a prototype because it is a unique creation, a debatable statement with all the remakes these days) equal to the KNOW-HOW in creating that product . . . then part two of a proposed New Distribution Paradigm may make more continued sense.

In other words, the people that provide the ENERGY to build a movie: the money, the finances, the funds, the guarantees, the budget, the-what-ever-you-want-to-call-it, as opposed to the people that KNOW HOW to build it, the producers, the writers, the directors the actors, the production managers and First Assistant Directors are equally important. A pile of dead energy, (i.e., dollar bills sitting around) will simply evaporate into the hands of frauds and flakes unless it is spent into KNOW-HOW and managed efficiently.

Therefore the New Paradigm posits that the investors connected collectively with the development, production, distribution or exhibition of a movie, are JUST as important as the people who bring it all off, those KNOW-HOW people from BOTH Camps, creative and business.

Thus 50% from every dollar collected from a newborn cashflow should go to Investors, especially those Investors who believed in the creation of the movie the earliest when there was the least TANGIBLE evidence of a possible success.

Thus the New Distribution Paradigm's WHAT-aspect is that 100% of the cashflow generated from first dollars is AUTOMATICALLY, SIMULTANEOUSLY and IMMEDIATELY parsed as follows:

Development/Packaging/Production/Financiers get 75%
Distribution/Exhibition/Financiers get 25%

Of the 75%:
Producers, Writers, Directors, Talent & Crew get 50%
Development, Packaging & Production Financiers get 50%

Of the 25%:
Distributors, Labs, Newspapers, Exhibitors get 50%
Distribution, Advertising and Exhibition Financiers get 50%

AND EVERYBODY PAYS FOR EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THEIR SERVICES, THEIR SIDE OF THE PARADIGM I.e., expenses are not endlessly "slipped in" or "charged to" everyone else's segment in the manufacturing/marketing process, as is done Today. Why should the producers have to pay for all of the marketing people's prints, advertizements and transportation expenses, especially when they are the ones that have jurisdiction over those expenses and may even over-order or pad their budgets thus killing the cash flow completely just to keep "their people" paid first?

Once the Financiers have received 200% return on their investment (or x% return on investment), the creators and distributors of the movie have paid everyone back substantially for use of their ENERGY and now should NOT have to continue to pay more.

This is the proposed New Distribution Paradigm: Everyone gets automatically paid at the same time, from first dollar gross such sums that are more in line with each element's overall contribution to the "excitement of the audience."

What Filmmakers, Talent or Investors would want to continue to support Today's Distribution Paradigm if a New Distribution Paradigm such as the one postulated (not only by MEC, and others, but by Lee Garmes and the former-ISPA) is possible? I would like to hear from you if you are out there.

Independent Film - DOA
Joe Goldenberg
5:06 am Wednesday December 23, 1998

It's too bad this year's independent film scene is even worse than last years - but is anybody supprised?

I'm not. Seems to me that between the Canadian exchange rate and the MPAA studio/distributors the Independent Film Scene is pretty much dead on arrival. Don't say the research at the FIRM site didn't warn you.

Well, there are plenty of jobs still available at McDonnalds, and there's nobody who knows how to creatively direct a hamburger into a bun better than an ex-filmmaker or screenwriter.

Joe Goldenberg

Ethnic Slurs
Lisa--&--Tim Weedn
4:16 pm Friday December 25, 1998

The question of who controls the Hollywood film industry by "race" is something that bothers us. Whether jewish, christian, liberal, or conservative makes no difference. Members of the "human race" are in control, and noting otherwise smacks of racial degredation. If humans and dolphins were simultaniously in control, and there was a push to make more underwater films, We would say there might be a problem. But because humans are as diversified as they are, we think that variety of thought is a rather healthy thing.

To suggest that jews, or any other people of like beliefs, conspire to push out others from a particular industry so that only they can control it, is nothing more than a racial slur. How could anyone hope to reform something when they are so busy hating thier fellow beings?

Lisa&Tim Weedn
VisionCraft Productions

Trim Bin Writers
Sara Lilly
4:33 pm Monday December 28, 1998

It seems to me that as soon as all the Hollywood apologist writers over at misc.writing.screenplays realized that they were making fools of themselves by posting a whole lot of Nazi-type slurs on the FIRM web site (See How Hollywood Handles Dissent), they realized all too late that they could be shown as the bigots they are by providing such slurs for possible use in future publications.

Ever since, they have been quietly pecking away to each other over their tiny little industry grapevine to keep quiet:

                         APOLOGIST WRITER
                 Shhhhh, don't post anything more
                 on the FIRM site.

                        WOULD-BE WRITER TOO
                 Why not?

                        APOLOGIST WRITER
                 They might put it in a book.
                 Then the whole world would not only
                 know that we write trite, formula
                 screenplays, but that we're
                 also moron bigots.

                        WOULD-BE WRITER TOO
                 Oh, okay.  Thanks for telling me.
                 I don't want to reform anything

And so it goes. Hollywood takes responsibility for not only failing to reform itself, but uses false cries of anti-Semitism, as usual, to justify its laziness and placate its fear of the entrenched studio system that could care less about their well-being in the first place.

Sara Lilly

re: Ethnic Slurs
John Cones
1:39 pm Thursday December 31, 1998

Lisa & Tim:

It is shocking to see that some people can read what is posted here at the FIRM site and come away with so many false impressions, conjured in their own minds for whatever reasons, but not by what is actually written here. For example, no where on this site do we talk about "Jews" generally. No where on this site do we suggest that anyone in Hollywood is conspiring to push others out. No where on this site is there any expression of hatred directed toward any other human being or group. And finally, please review your own understanding of what it means to be Jewish. My understanding is that it involves religious and/or cultural matters, not race at all. Thus, your suggestion that something written at the FIRM site is a "racial slur" is pure nonsense. On the other hand, if you feel it is inappropriate to study and determine the backgrounds of those who have occupied the top executive positions at the major Hollywood studios for the last 90 years and to factually demonstrate a positive correlation between prejudice among those individuals and the screen portrayals of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, women, Christians, Muslims, Arabs and others through one of the 20th century's most powerful communications media (i.e., feature films), we'll just have to respectfully disagree. After all, it is clear that movies do tend, to a large extent, to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers. Happy New Year!

John Cones

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