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The Hollywood Economist 2.0: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies [Format Kindle]

Edward Jay Epstein
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

A fully revised edition of the popular guide to Hollywood finances, updated to reflect even newer films and trends

In a Freakonomics-meets-Hollywood saga, veteran investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein goes undercover to explore Hollywood’s “invisible money machine,” probing the dazzlingly complicated finances behind the hits and flops, while he answers a surprisingly difficult question: How do the studiosmake their money?

We also learn:

+ How and why the studios harvest silver from old film prints ...

+ Why stars do—or don’t do—their own stunts ...

+ The future of Netflix: Why the “next big thing” now seems in such deep trouble...

+ What it costs to insure Nicole Kidman’s right knee…

+ How Hollywood manipulates Wall Street:
including the story of the acquisition of MGM… wherein a consortium of banks and hedge funds lost some $5 billion… while Hollywood made millions.

+ Why Arnold Schwarzenegger is considered a contract genius…

+ The fate of serious fare:
How HBO, AMC, and Showtime have found ways to make money offer adult drama, while the Hollywood studios prefer to cater to teen audiences.

+ Why Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is considered a “masterpiece” of financing ...

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 inspirant 5 février 2014
Par de
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
livraison rapide et gratuite. Livre très inspirant pour voir comment hollywood et l'industrie du cinema travaillent aux USA .
A lire absolument. A recommander
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A collection of articles 27 mars 2012
Par Thad McIlroy - Publié sur Amazon.com
I bought the book thinking it would be a coherent account: it's not. It's an uneven collection of articles from different magazines and web sites published over several years. The "2.0" means there are some additional articles. There's no index, further limiting the book's value.

Epstein is a very good journalist and a good writer, so what is in the book is generally good.

The degree of detail available with specific examples of film financing deals is excellent.

So as long as you know what you're buying you won't be disappointed.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Quite interesting and easy to read 29 janvier 2012
Par Duck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Quality of the writing resembles a series of blog posts, so some topics are repeated more than a few times. The chapters added for the second edition at the end of the book, mainly about streaming and downloadable movies, feels a bit rushed and the writing style in them feels a little different. Otherwise, it is a fine book for anybody interested in the business model of the movie making and how it evolved over the past couple of decades. The tone of the author is not critical or hectoring or full of adulation. I did not get the feeling that he was trying to make political points, for or against the studios. He just describes what he has learnt about this business over the years.

Government subsidies in many states and countries and the infamous tax loop hole in Germany are covered, as well as the risks studios take with expensive blockbusters and how much money they make through pay-TV, DVD sales and rentals. The book also explains how movie theaters earn a living -- and repeats it a couple of times in different chapters. It also explains the effect of the business model on the story lines used in movies and why formula movies dominate theatrical releases compared to TV shows, which are a lot more varied nowadays. How the studios react to new technology from VHS video to DVDs to streaming video are among the other covered topics. Some famous people in the business, such as studio executives, directors and actors are also briefly mentioned, but the book does not focus on their personalities or life stories.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 NOT completely revised, or updated 6 mars 2013
Par Tim1965 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am a very strong admirer of Epstein's "The Big Picture," and found his "The Hollywood Economist" strong -- but mostly because it contained most of what he'd already written in "The Big Picture." What I found weak in "The Hollywood Economist 2.0" is the lack of thoughtfulness. Epstein loads 2.0 with several pieces he's written for other publications (or his blog). Unfortunately, these often lack consistent tone of voice with his book chapters, making for an uneven reading experience. There is also a great deal of repetition in the added material, which means you get less for your money (and investment of reading time) than you might think.

Some of what Epstein has included in 2.0 is outright dated, even wrong: His discussion of Netflix is highly outdated (Netflx is stronger now than ever before due to VOD); his analysis of why HBO likes adult fare is terribly dated (in 2013, Epstein writes that HBO is devouring Hollywood's teen-oriented product voraciously); and he still doesn't really address the economics of 3D, or where that technology, pricing structure, and studio commitment is headed. But some of what he includes provides information that you just can't find elsewhere. His reporting on Hollywood is excellent, heads and shoulders above what you find in the "New York Times" or "Los Angeles Times" or "Associated Press" or, even, "Variety" or "The Hollywood Reporter". Epstein is not embedded with Hollywood, and it shows in his strong reporting.

One final note: This book STILL STILL STILL lacks an index! What the...??

With the dated information and repetitiveness, "The Hollywood Economist 2.0" should be required reading only if you've not read "The Hollyood Economist" or "The Big Picture". If you have read his earlier works, you'd be better off just reading his blog and not buying this. Wait for a real, honest-to-goodness revised-and-updated edition.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 20 Shell Game 26 janvier 2013
Par James East - Publié sur Amazon.com
Review of Kindle edition of 2.0

As some have referred that the book is a compilation of previous articles/blog entries, one could agree but does not necessarily take away from the content. Continuity fails in a few places as the content repeats, but overall this quick read will provide one with `some' of the inside workings of Hollywood.

Many are familiar with the `3 Shell Game' where one attempts to find the pea. In this book one learns that in the movie business where illusion is front and center, the finance side has more illusion than the movie itself and is a '20 Shell Game'. Movies rarely make money as a standalone entity and are purposely structured not to. As the author documents, the finance structure of the movie itself is an illusion and is used as a veil to somewhat hid the fee structure of the key principals behind it.

Nevertheless content in the end will still be king, but as we move more and more to the digital world content may suffer. Suffer as fewer and fewer folks attend movies and content needs to appeal to many markets with simultaneous distribution. Will villains start to disappear as Communists, Nazis, and terrorists are now deemed off limits when 70% of your potential revenue is on a global scale? Time will tell, but in the meantime have fun at the movies.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Informative and Entertaining Examination of the Film Industry 25 juillet 2013
Par Liebo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A few years ago I read an article in the Wall Street Journal explaining that many American blockbusters were set in Manhattan because the location was a familiar one to foreign audiences, who were becoming increasingly important in studios' revenues. I thought it was a fascinating piece on a rather under-reported aspect of the entertainment industry: the dynamics of the business itself. Edward Jay Epstein's The Hollywood Economist 2.0 attempts to fill this knowledge void and describes the current state of the film industry and the economics driving it. Epstein has written about the film business for The Wall Street Journal (though I don't think he penned the aforementioned article about movie settings) and The New Yorker and his articles seem aimed to the curious moviegoing layman with a cursory understanding of business. The Hollywood Economist 2.0, which builds off of several of his pieces, is a quick and oftentimes entertaining read about the basic concepts of how the industry generally operates and (sometimes) makes its money.

The book is organized around several main areas, including film financing, the studio-theater dynamic, and talent contracts. Many segments of the book appear to be fleshed-out versions of previously-written pieces from the author, but I felt everything was well-organized and nothing felt very disjointed. While Epstein spends a good bit of time on some unsurprising and basic elements of the film business, like the generous subsidies offered by particular localities to attract film shoots and how risk-averse studios like to stick with franchises and sequels, there is plenty of material that will appeal to readers with a large amount of background knowledge as well. Some more startling revelations include how onerous ADA regulations which kicked in once a theater hit 300 seats led to the development of multiscreen cinemas and how studios would raise revenue through extracting and selling the silver from old film prints. I thought Epstein's breakdown of actor contracts, such as the plum deals secured by Tom Cruise for Mission Impossible and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Terminator 3 were especially interesting and covered rather uncharted territory. I do wish Epstein mentioned whether such arrangements were par for the course for megastars like Cruise and Schwarzenegger or rarer anomalies. As a result of its article-y foundation, the book proceeds at a fast clip but I feel that Epstein elaborates enough on every main concept to do it justice. Even when he delves into topics such as film financing and contract legalese, Epstein maintains a nice balance between being informative and entertaining.

Epstein also offers some insightful analysis about the industry and its current trends. He notes that studios' reliance on foreign audiences has shut down many potential villains for screenwriters, as using former stock evildoers such as sinister Chinese and Russians is now commercial suicide. The book also provides a brief overview of premium cable channels and how their shift towards exclusive series such as The Sopranos and The Wire freed them from being as beholden to studios for content. While the "expanding upon previously-written articles" makes some sections seem slightly antiquated (such as the first chapter that discusses the rather horrid 1998 Godzilla remake and other similarly-atrocious late 90's fare) the book was published in 2012 and Epstein's chapter on Netflix and the future of the business is enlightening and does not feel dated.

The Hollywood Economist 2.0 is designed for a mass audience and Epstein doesn't employ any obscure economic or accounting jargon within its pages. As long as you have a cursory background understanding of business you will get a lot out of this book. I have found that most film industry books are "how-to" works geared towards aspiring directors or actors and I am thankful that Epstein aimed his book towards the general film-interested reader. Some sections drag a little bit and sometimes he touches upon some of the industry's more commonly-known elements, but the book is ultimately a quick, entertaining, and informative read.

In Sum

A very readable account of how films are financed, talent is compensated, and basically how money is earned by the film business. The Hollywood Economist 2.0 is worth a read if you have any curiosity about the innerworkings of this topic that is surprisingly underserved by the literary industry.

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