Yearly Archives: 2007

The Art of Film Financing

We’ve heard plenty about mysterious accounting practices in the film industry so I was very curious to hear what the suits have to say about financing films at the American Film Market. For an avid moviegoer and cultural critic like myself, going to the AFM Finance Conference is like glimpsing… More

The Folly of Trying to Own Fashion

Imagine if blues great B.B. King were able to prevent other artists from imitating his signature riffs, or Einstein’s estate could prevent scientists from using E=MC2 without first getting permission or paying a royalty. The blues would languish as an art form. Theoretical physics would remain stuck in the 19th… More

Maestros of the Attention Economy

Could it be that artists — those struggling musicians, actors, dancers, sculptors, grafitti artists and painters who move to New York or Los Angeles to get their big break — will be the big winners in the rising “attention economy?” I’m tempted to think so after reading The Warhol Economy:… More

Innovation in Advertising

According to Esther Franklin, a self-styled “media anthropologist” at Starcom, no one has an attention span anymore. While that might pose a problem to content providers — and I am one of them — it’s an even bigger problem for the advertising industry. If Law & Order can’t hold your… More

Watch Mr. Wizard

What Woodward and Bernstein’s All the President’s Men was to journalism, Don Herbert’s Watch Mr. Wizard was to science. As a kid in Newark, I was one of those 7- to 12-year-olds who tried never to miss my Saturday morning appointment with his NBC show, and it’s a safe bet… More

Do-Gooders in Hollywood?

I mentioned to a colleague that I was going to be interviewed for a documentary about do-gooders in Hollywood, and he found the concept laughable. Isn’t a do-gooder in Hollywood an oxymoron? Of course there are plenty of worthy causes in Hollywood. Hundreds of advocacy groups subsist on the fringes… More

Public Input Makes Public Space

Now that 25% of Griffith Park is charred, Los Angeles will suffer with even less parkland than before. Groups such as the Trust for Public Land and the City Project have issued reports indicating that only 33% of LA schoolchildren live within walking distance of a park — compared to… More

US Films Don’t Translate

As the Cannes Film Festival winds down, many were shocked that a small Romanian film about communism and abortion beat out the Coen Brothers’ adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel for the much coveted Palm d’Or. But it brought to the fore a trend in the global film business that… More

Learning is Fun, Right?

Doesn’t it seem like interactive games would be excellent teaching tools? I know I’m a little biased — I used to work in the educational games industry — but I don’t think you have to be a C++ programmer to realize the educational potential of this technology. I helped develop… More