Bill Mechanic: “The Next Few Years Will Be about Survival”

…Those who will win will be smart about what they make and how they sell their films. They will hopefully make good films but perhaps even more key they will make unique films that stand out, which means they will not have to compete against the bulk of the films for talent. They won’t look like all the other films so they won’t have to spend as much money marketing them…

An excellent article. A must read for those interested in the business.

MGM Makes Phone Plea To Bondholders To Stay Alive; Both ‘Hobbit’ And James Bond In Peril; Bondholders Tell Studio To Go Bankrupt; MGM Calls That Worst Possible Outcome

…MGM made a desperate plea for money because the studio had missed its numbers and was going to be out of funds very soon. “The implication was that it’s teetering on bankruptcy,” one source told me. MGM said it needed $20M in short-term cash flow to cover overhead, and an additional $150 million to get through the end of year and continue funding its projects, and to start Peter Jackson’s Hobbit.

No More Doom and Gloom? IFP Crowd Eye Distribution’s Silver Cloud

The sky is falling. Indie bloodbath. Independent film is dead. All are phrases that have provoked passionate discussions. Instead of going there, though, a group of distribution veterans eschewed dark talk in favor of optimism earlier this week at a signature IFP panel discussion on the current state of film distribution.

The old model-making a film with investors, taking it to festivals, selling it there and releasing it months later in theaters before hitting other ancillary markets-is nearly gone, the group seemed to agree.

Wake the Witch is a $10,000 Horror Movie

As hard as it is to get your ideas onto the page, getting them from the page onto the screen can seem like an unattainable goal. Even if you’re a smart scriptwriter who’s written scenes and chosen settings that can be recreated on the cheap, the task of the independent filmmaker can seem like a daunting one. But knowledge is power, and a group of DIY movie moguls can get a very long way on several thousand dollars and a lot of goodwill.

Toronto Wrap: Indie Bloodbath

If industry-watchers didn’t see it coming, they figured it out at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

The old independent market is over. A new one will take its place. But we are smack in the middle between the end of one paradigm and the start of another, and it’s a scary place indeed.

Record summer at global box office

Overall ticket sales clock in at $10 billion

Some have said that the rise in BO is due to higher ticket costs, but the weak dollar negates that theory–at least when we’re talking about global ticket sales. It’s just history repeating itself–during the great depression, the movie biz was the number 1 industry in the US. What do you think?