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Monday, February 20, 2006

 
Hollywood - Not A Chocolate City

At least not at the studio executive level, Spike Lee complains:

He tells US style magazine Complex, "You go to any studio, the (only) black guy you are going to see is the guy at the gate. In Hollywood, there is not one African-American who is an executive that has gatekeeper position that could greenlight a picture.

"They'll make a movie with DENZEL (WASHINGTON) and JAMIE (FOXX)and EDDIE (MURPHY), but only because they can make money off them."

He has the answer to the problem and doesn't even know it. Movie studios exist to entertain and to make money in the process. They will hire Denzel Washington because he has demonstrated a talent for entertaining moviegoers. Studio execs pick films to produce. Therefore, if blacks or anybody else wish to aspire to become studio executives, they must demonstrate a talent for picking film projects that will be successful.

Spike Lee himself offers one lesson on successful filmmaking. Check out the financial data on his most recent box-office hit, The Original Kings of Comedy (2000): $3M budget, $38M US gross. If you're targeting a niche market, do a low-budget film.

For examples of niche films not adhering to this standard, refer to Aeon Flux ($55M budget, $25.8M US gross), Syriana ($50M budget, $48.2M US gross), Munich ($75M budget, $42.9M US gross), and The Island ($122M budget, $35.7M US gross).

Update: Oops, forgot to include the link to the original article. Link is now in place.




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