news WarnerMedia Chief Says HBO Max Filmmaker Outrage Is ‘Painful’

Warner Bros.’ decision to drop its entire theatrical slate for 2021 day-and-date onto HBO Max has stoked ire among affected filmmakers. Directors like Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”) and Christopher Nolan (“Tenet”) have released scorching statements slamming the streaming service. “There is absolutely no love for cinema, nor for the audience here,” Villeneuve wrote about the HBO Max decision last week. “It is all about the survival of a telecom mammoth.”

In a new interview with The New York Times, WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar has offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the thought process that contributed to the big announcement. In the profile, he called the reactions from filmmakers “painful” and said, “We clearly have more work to do as we navigate this pandemic and the future alongside them.”

He did defend the decision, however, and said that it was ultimately done with innovation, and the consumer, in mind. “There is no situation where everyone is going to stand up and applaud,” he said. “That’s not the way innovation plays out. This is not easy, nor is it intended to be easy. When you are trying something new, you have to expect and be ready for some people who are not comfortable with change. That’s OK.”

Kilar admitted to The Times that Warners should have been “more sensitive” to how the news was going to be received by talent and filmmakers — and with such short notice. (Sources say that Legendary Pictures, the production company behind “Dune,” found out about the deal merely 30 minutes before Warners went public.)

“A very important point to make — something I should have made a central part of our original communication — is we are thoughtfully approaching the economics of this situation with a guiding principle of generosity,” he said.

While the company has been criticized for not consulting all stakeholders about the decision, Kilar defended that decision as well. “There are some things that you can talk and talk and talk about, but it doesn’t necessarily change the outcome,” he said. “I don’t think this would have been possible if we had taken months and months with conversations with every constituent. At a certain point you do need to lead. And lead with the customer top of mind and make decisions on their behalf.”

Read the full story over at The New York Times.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
luddites

everyone with a virtual reality headset has their own cinema complex right in their own home.
we dont need a physical structure to watch digital content. get with the times.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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Sometimes it takes one bold move by one bold company to set the future in motion. Like when Apple removed the floppy disk drive when they introduced the iMac. People were all wtf??!!!
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I see it as more of a money/revenue issue than anything else.
Without theatrical revenue, the proceeds per movie are likely to go down substantially, which will impact budgets as well as what movies get made.

I agree that it's the future, but I also see why those who are doing well in the current structure would be pissed off.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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It's always the benjamins!
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
And the benjamins are not in the theaters right now. So:

Girl Why Dont We Have Both GIF

:)
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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I remember the same hoopla over dumping a series all at once to binge or watch at your leisure. That seems to have worked out okay. The people chose what works for them.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I see it as more of a money/revenue issue than anything else.
Without theatrical revenue, the proceeds per movie are likely to go down substantially, which will impact budgets as well as what movies get made.

I agree that it's the future, but I also see why those who are doing well in the current structure would be pissed off.
Yeah its a story thats as old as technological innovation... those in power resisting change to increase their total profit.

It's like the 242nd rule of acquisition says... more is good, all is better.

Deep Space Nine Explanation GIF by Star Trek
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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I should mention I have always been a hermit so 🤷‍♂️😆
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
For me the most enjoyable way to experience a movie is in a theater with
an audience.

I'm guessing that most people born after 2010 will rarely - if ever - have that
experience. I never experienced what my dad did; the Saturday matinee with
two features, a couple of serials and a bunch of cartoons. He has shared fond
memories of going with friends and spending most of the day in the theater
with popcorn and candy and a bunch of other kids, then spending the rest of the
week talking about the next chapter.

Since I never experienced it I never missed it like he did. So I know that in 2030
there won't be a 15 year old who missed the theater experience.

And for you hermits this is great news. You can see the latest movie without having
to leave the house. So in a way this is good news. But regardless, time marches
on.

I'll be that grandpa telling the grand kids about seeing a movie with hundreds
of strangers and feeling the excitement and hearing the laughter of other movie
lovers. They'll smile and nod and put their face back in their headset to experience
a movie in a way I just don't get.
 
I went to the movies for the first time since March last Friday (they’ve been otherwise closed here) and was reminded why I love it so much.

Saw Tenet at the IMAX on 1570 film. What a way to watch a movie.

For me, it ain’t really a movie unless I’ve got a fountain soda, a giant tub of popcorn and a choc-top ice cream....
And a screen and a fantastic sound system.

I enjoy watching movies at home, of course - but nothing beats the cinema. Plus, it’s significantly harder to be completely distracted by your phone when you’re watching a movie in the cinema...

Maybe I’m too much of a purist. I hope the cinema experience doesn’t become niche in the future, though I’m sure it will. The good thing about the movies is there’s only a few to choose from at any one time and if you make the effort to go to the movies you have to then, you know, watch it.

Too much choice on the streamers means I can spend an hour deciding, only to no longer be in the mood to watch something.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
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Admin
Isn't the big picture covid? Why encourage venturing out just to sit in a room with people when you can encourage staying home to enjoy the same movie? Now you have both options. That's bad?
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
For me the most enjoyable way to experience a movie is in a theater with
an audience.

I'm guessing that most people born after 2010 will rarely - if ever - have that
experience. I never experienced what my dad did; the Saturday matinee with
two features, a couple of serials and a bunch of cartoons. He has shared fond
memories of going with friends and spending most of the day in the theater
with popcorn and candy and a bunch of other kids, then spending the rest of the
week talking about the next chapter.

Since I never experienced it I never missed it like he did. So I know that in 2030
there won't be a 15 year old who missed the theater experience.

And for you hermits this is great news. You can see the latest movie without having
to leave the house. So in a way this is good news. But regardless, time marches
on.

I'll be that grandpa telling the grand kids about seeing a movie with hundreds
of strangers and feeling the excitement and hearing the laughter of other movie
lovers. They'll smile and nod and put their face back in their headset to experience
a movie in a way I just don't get.

I still watch movies with audiences in a cinema with VR... i mean we are all avatars and its digital but they have a presence and they can talk out loud during the movie just like the real cinema lol. except in VR you can mute people.
 
Isn't the big picture covid? Why encourage venturing out just to sit in a room with people when you can encourage staying home to enjoy the same movie? Now you have both options.
Of course. And varying lockdowns will assumedly effect who can and can't see one movie or another (Australia for example has all cinemas open, whilst it sounds like much of the US and UK don't).

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues though, as it's hardly a new concept. The fact that they've committed to the entire 2021 slate does not necessarily bode well for their confidence in things returning to any semblance of normalcy for most of 2021....
 
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