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misc Disney is caught in the Woke controversy.

We don't discuss politics here, but, given the recent controversy that Disney has been embroiled in, I wonder if there is a business opportunity for a production house to make family movies, in the tradition of Walt Disney. I like my science fiction to be PG rated, like Star Trek and Star Wars in the past, but any such movies made will have to be G rated, as I understand it.
 
It used to be effortless to avoid political discussions. I don't even think I had one for decades at one point. Now politics have become so extreme and divisive that they affect daily life a lot more than they used to. I could do without all of it.

Because of Disney's scale, any weakness they may develop is kind of inconsequential. Last year they became so powerful that one in every 4 dollars in the film space was made by Disney. Because of a series of major corporate acquisitions, they are moving towards a monopoly in film.

This article will show you the big picture pretty clearly, with all major players represented and individual properties compared.


Your question is phrased in a way that politics is central to the topic, so let me just answer a different question that I think is probably more relevant.

Family entertainment is and has always been one of the most profitable sectors of independent film. Horror is another major player, due to it's low production costs. Science fiction has never been very accessible to indie studios, but that is changing right now, due to technological factors.

G and PG movies are the most profitable across the board, which centers around demographics. Children consume movies most enthusiastically, then teens, then people in their 20s. At the bottom of the marketing demographic stack are people over 30.

Family movies are cheap, often set in simple domestic locations like home or school. Small children don't require big name stars to get invested in a film, so basically, you have an underserved market with low production costs. As a very small production company, it's probably the safest bet to churn out content at a profit. Most people don't follow this route simply because it's not why they got into film. Nobody watches Star Wars and then gets excited about making Hallmark movies.

Short answer, yes, there is an opportunity to make family friendly film, but no, not because Disney is in decline, they are not, this is just a speedbump for an organization of their size.
 
For the record, politics related to the film biz has always been allowed. As it should be. Unless you drift into general politics, but we should be allowed to discuss what impacts our industry.
Personally, I think it's nice to have a place where political opinions don't factor into every conversation. Entertainment, creativity, and making money all make people happy. Politics don't. They typically make people either angry, combative, self righteous, or divided. Politics may be affecting film these days, but to a degree, it's only happening as much as we let it. We can all just make a movie or have a conversation without it, and I think that ideologies have clawed their way into every movie, book, sports arena, and bowl of cereal to the extent that many people have forgotten that.

You can still just make a friend and make a movie with them about how tough it is to climb Everest or similar. Making every film, tv show, business venture, etc. center around politics is an idea someone else came up with, and I'd just like to point out that none of us are under any obligation to address every ideological concern in every venture, despite the fact that countless people seem to think that.

I'm making a movie right this minute..... it's just about a cat.
 
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Short answer, yes, there is an opportunity to make family friendly film, but no, not because Disney is in decline, they are not, this is just a speedbump for an organization of their size.

Fair enough, NN. But Disney can still be a big company and, eventually, decline - look at what happened to General Motors, Lehman Brothers, ITT, AT&T, Enron, and PanAm.
 
Fair enough, NN. But Disney can still be a big company and, eventually, decline - look at what happened to General Motors, Lehman Brothers, ITT, AT&T, Enron, and PanAm.
Also fair enough, but right now Disney is at a historic Apex. Success on this level has never been seen before, so it may be some time before their decline.

They are also heavily diversified, which means stability, much more stability than the political trends that currently threaten them. I could see another company presenting a threat to them some day, but having an entire generation grow up almost exclusively on your brand of fiction is an incredible advantage with a significant lifespan.

None of this means you can't carve out a niche in family friendly film. I think that mid budget family movies are a very interesting space.

There's probably some money to be made from children's animated films in the 5-15 million dollar range, as animation becomes less expensive, and the same for live action properties adapted from well known books. People make them from time to time, and they do ok. Some of them do extremely well.

This is a good list for reference -

 
Thanks, @Nate North. We do agree on many things, so we should meet up one day. :)

Anyway, I like your idea about the mid range, and there does seem to be a shortage. I may be interested in filling that niche as a business person, but, in terms of my creative outlet, it wouldn't do anything for me. That said, if there's money to be made, why not?
 
It's not unheard of to make some money in a lower effort area and then use that success to subsidize higher risk ventures that you're more passionate about.

I feel the same way about it. Kids movies are not what I want to make, but I wouldn't mind making one as a way to diversify a portfolio. And some of those old kids books were really pretty good. My first animation test was from a public domain children's book I read when I was very young.

And yes, looking forward to meeting you! Especially after seeing you post about being an Asimov fan. Classic Sci fi from that era was what I grew up on, and I've always wanted to bring stuff like that to the screen. I must have read 100 Asimov books, and I was a huge fan of Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card as well.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Lion King and Finding Nemo are some of the best movies ever made... having it kids movie doesn't mean its lower effort.
The one thing that I love about kids movies.. its the only type of movie that everyone has seen regardless of when they were born.

If you were born in 2000 you probably haven't seen the matrix.
But... if you're 40 years or under? you've probably seen lion king. (edited to add 40 years)
 
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Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
The whole Disney situation typifies what I dislike about the current political climate. For some reason corporations - and even individual celebrities - feel that they MUST take a very loud stand on the most controversial political topics.

Okay, you can take any position that you want, that is your right under the Constitution. But I will no longer support any organization or celebrity that becomes too rabidly partisan on either side of the argument; I won't watch your films, attend your sporting events or buy your products.

Whatever happened to moderation and reflection?
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Whatever happened to moderation and reflection?
Moderation is dead - may it rest in peace.

Reflection is - in my opinion - exactly what generates these responses, on both sides of the aisle.

I reflect. And I get angry. And I decide where I spend my money.
Which is, at the end of the day, exactly what the LGBTQIA community asked of Disney: that they not give their money (in the form of political contributions) to politicians who work against that community.

Money talks - on both sides of the aisle.

And I'd always prefer that we all use money and our voices (rather than violence) to express our opinions, however strongly we hold them.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Moderation is dead - may it rest in peace.

Reflection is - in my opinion - exactly what generates these responses, on both sides of the aisle.

I reflect. And I get angry. And I decide where I spend my money.
Which is, at the end of the day, exactly what the LGBTQIA community asked of Disney: that they not give their money (in the form of political contributions) to politicians who work against that community.

Money talks - on both sides of the aisle.

And I'd always prefer that we all use money and our voices (rather than violence) to express our opinions, however strongly we hold them.

I personally cite the LG+ boycott of chick-fil-a as the beginning of cancel culture.
Although it was a failure bc allies could not resist the delicious sandwiches, it's the first major cultural attempt in my memory to boycott anti-wokeness

Does anyone remember any major movements that happened earlier?
annnd can someone TLDR this disney thing for me? im out of the loop.
 
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Moderation is dead - may it rest in peace.

Reflection is - in my opinion - exactly what generates these responses, on both sides of the aisle.

I reflect. And I get angry. And I decide where I spend my money.
Which is, at the end of the day, exactly what the LGBTQIA community asked of Disney: that they not give their money (in the form of political contributions) to politicians who work against that community.

Money talks - on both sides of the aisle.

And I'd always prefer that we all use money and our voices (rather than violence) to express our opinions, however strongly we hold them.
I wonder if the current witch hunting season is just a passing fad, like the hippie movement of the 1960's.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Depends on your opinion on the "witches"
Personally, I hope not.
And I suspect that sociologists would say that the "hippie movement" had some lasting impacts on society, not the least of which are attitudes toward sex and the environmental movement.
 
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Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
Does anyone remember any major movements that happened earlier?

It wasn't a major movement, but...

Not long after 9/11 Juan Williams was hounded out of his PBS job because he said that several middle eastern men on his flight made him nervous. Not only is it ridiculous to attempt to destroy someone for relating honest feelings, if anyone had any brains it could have been used much more effectively. Instead of "What a horrible person he is" and getting him canceled, it could have been spun into "See what Bush's policies have done to us!"

Poor Juan Williams; he ended up as a punching bag on FOX News. At one time I enjoyed his commentary. Now he's goes extreme just to fulfill his role as token leftist.
 
Lion King and Finding Nemo are some of the best movies ever made... having it kids movie doesn't mean its lower effort.
The one thing that I love about kids movies.. its the only type of movie that everyone has seen regardless of when they were born.

If you were born in 2000 you probably haven't seen the matrix.
But... you've probably seen lion king. Everyone sees lion king.
I've NEVER seen it... LOLOLOL. Just sayin'.
 
The whole Disney situation typifies what I dislike about the current political climate. For some reason corporations - and even individual celebrities - feel that they MUST take a very loud stand on the most controversial political topics.

Okay, you can take any position that you want, that is your right under the Constitution. But I will no longer support any organization or celebrity that becomes too rabidly partisan on either side of the argument; I won't watch your films, attend your sporting events or buy your products.

Whatever happened to moderation and reflection?
Is there a way to like a post more than once?
 
Lion King and Finding Nemo are some of the best movies ever made... having it kids movie doesn't mean its lower effort.
The one thing that I love about kids movies.. its the only type of movie that everyone has seen regardless of when they were born.

If you were born in 2000 you probably haven't seen the matrix.
But... you've probably seen lion king. Everyone sees lion king.
Good point, some kids movies have been extraordinarily high effort.

That comment was made in the context of lower budget productions, so I wasn't saying that the genre in general was low effort, but more that hallmark Christmas movies were lower effort than Braveheart or Shawshank.
 
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