Archive for September, 2010

is the video store going the way of the record store?

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

last week, blockbuster video in the u.s. filed for bankruptcy. according to the wall street journal, hollywood video was liquidated earlier this year.

there was a time when you could walk into a mom n’ pop record store and feel like you were amongst your people. i never really got that impression from video stores. i always felt like i was among a bunch of geeks who couldn’t get a job working in the mail room at a film studio.

walking around london, one would be hardpressed to locate a record –i mean, music store. they just barely exist. it’s okay if everything goes digital. it’s nice to not have so much crap in one’s home. but the interaction between people –face-to-face has been lost. and for those who live in big cities, in which ironically, people, surrounded by tons of people, feel more isolated than those living in small villages, this feeling of isolation will continue on its upward trajectory -or should i say downward?

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will tarantino’s films suck now that sally menke is dead?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

sally menke, editor of reservior dogs, pulp ficition, kill bill, and basically all of the tarantino films that don’t suck–with the exception of inglorious bastered, has died apparently while hiking in an area usually frequented by yuppies. but unfortunately, she had the misfortune of being out in 113 degree farhrenheit heat (yes, americans still haven’t followed the world and switched to celsius) and so no yuppies were around. arguably it is the editor who makes a film. and by looking at tarantino’s body of work without her name on it, we learn a bit more where his signature style came from and probably who picked all of his music. or at least integrated all the tunes effortlessly into his films. like in signature sequences like the ear scene in reservoir dogs. but, and we just have to point this out, she also edited teenage mutant ninja turtles.

the music industry and internet marketing

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

there was a time back in the noughties when loads of people had gigs in the music industry in traditional areas like product management, sales, and publicity. these days, due to a combination of the recession (which we’ve been told is over despite unemployment still being sky high in places like the u.s. and spain) and the evaporation of the cd market and the disappearance of the music store, most of the people from these departments have been left for dead. but they’ve mostly been pretty adept at reinventing themselves as internet gurus.

can you break an artist on the internet? can you break a film, musician, author on the internet? the answer is still out on this front. in terms of music, the answer is probably ‘no.’

bands and singers need fans. and in order to get the kind of fans who will follow you around the country and pay 50 euros for a frickin t-shirt, you need to find time to get out there and play gigs.

for authors. it’s possible. the answer is ‘maybe.’ stephenie (twilight) meyer initially connected directly with fans through her now defunct myspace page. at its inception, she was great about speaking directly with fans and built strong relationships with her early readers. but she also did readings and book tours. and since music is such an intrical part of her writing her publisher would set up readings in which bands would open. i’m sure these concepts were more about making money for meyers and the publishers rather than placating the fans. but the fans were placated. and meyers presumably got her cut of the door and sold more books.

for a film i think the answer is ‘yes, sometimes.’ films can be discovered online. but marketers (as opposed to marketeers, which would imply that this info is merely for disney schmos) should be cognizant of the phase ‘quality is better than quantity.’ it’s better to have 500 really enthusastic followers on twitter than 2M lax ones like ashton kutcher does. if each follower has 100 fans you have a reach of 50,000. and if each of these people has 100 followers your audience rises exponentially. you are in tweet heaven.

but there’s also such a thing as overkill. which films like ‘snakes on a plane’ suffered from. you can actually build an excellent award-worthy viral marketing campaign and nobody turn up for your film. but it’s the same in the offline world. one of the best marketing campaigns of the 90s was for godzillia. the campaign alone got loads of people out to the theatre opening day. but since the film sucked, WOM immediately killed its boxoffice. but not before roland emmerich made out like a bandit.

new rules for u.s. healthcare bill kick in on thursday

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

the st. louis post-dispatc gives a nice run down with detailed info.

will spain recover

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

the center right in the country rode their wave of success on the backs of merely 3 industries: construction, real estate and tourism. –construction and real estate being intricately tied together we could merge this number into 2.

the socialist party, lead by zapatero got caught up in culture wars against the church and using george w. bush as a whipping boy to increase their approval ratings and neglected to see the crash looming in the distance.

i recently returned from spain and yes, there are zombie buildings and zombie subdivisions everywhere. but you still can buy a 100 quare meter apartment for 325K euros which seems a bit high for a country with 20% unemployment and climbing.

slow growth for u.s. projected til 2017

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

is this why larry summers has been given the boot by the obama adminisration? will tim geithner be next?

and does anyone in the u.s. really believe that the recession ended in june 2009?

u.s. jobs not coming back for ages

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

a recent article in the st. louis post-dispatch explained that the job situation in the u.s. won’t recover to pre-2008 levels until 2014. well, that’s about the time the healthcare law fully kicks in.

it’s clear to any small business owner or the cfo of a large organization that there’s no point in hiring warm bodies until one figures out exactly what’s in that 1000 page healthcare bill. in fact, one could only imagine that the aforementioned people are thinking, perhaps it makes more sense to cut head count.

did the democrats anticipate this when they signed off on the bill? was this not anticipated because nobody in the present white house has ever run a company? more thoughts later.

carly fiorina versus barbara boxer the lone debate

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

you can watch the debate between barbara boxer and carly fiorina duking it out for one of the u.s. senate seats in the state of california.