Just because people are stupid doesn’t mean their art has to be

Deadline Hollywood Daily

Nikke Finke says of the unsatisfying Sopranos conclusion:

The Nielsen reality is that people don’t watch TV closely anymore, much less remember what went on from week to week, to give such a subtle ending its proper due.

Well by all means let’s make sure all our art kowtows to the idiots in the audience. Remember when The Sopranos was being praised for being complex, Shakespearean and a cut above the normal TV fare for its evolving morality and lack of tidy wrap-ups? Now David Chase is being condemned for ending his series in that same way.

I didn’t watch the show since I haven’t subscribed to HBO for a while and have just never been moved to rent the DVDs – though I’ve now added them to my Netflix queue. But it seems to me that leaving the fate of Tony and his family open to interpretation is completely in line with the series as it had been to date – there are no easy answers and there’s never really a light at the end of the tunnel, whether it’s redemption or death.

Good for Chase for completely messing with people’s expectations like this. It’s good that the audience be presented with art that is thought provoking instead of easily palatable and bland.  If people feel the Sopranos or any other show is too complex to keep up with I suggest any of the number of reality or procedural dramas on the networks that offer easy-to-follow plots and nice tidy wrap-ups at the end of 45 minutes.

LOTD: 6/11/07

  • Finding a job as a blogger is hard, according to the New York Times. It’s even more difficult to be a blogger within a corporation where you have to be on edge about what you’re writing about and how it can impact the larger business. (CT)
  • Technorati could see its traffic growth come a very sudden and very dramatic halt if Google decides to stop indexing tags as part of its search results. (CT)
  • If you’re planning on going to the Bon Jovi show in Newark, NJ (who lives in New Jersey?) you can get ticket packages that include an iTunes copy of the band’s new album. (CT)
  • A new social network has launched called Wis.dm that seeks to connect like-mined people who find each other via a series of yes/no questions. I like it when we can break down human interaction to the point where it’s binary – saves time. (CT)
  • The Onion’s Doyle Redland had some fun a couple of days ago with something that sounds very PR-worthy, that a “Company Produces Lifestyle, Not Corn Chip.” Nice. (TB)

TW’s Parsons on day/date movie releasing

watchingcomputer1.jpgMore like this:

Electronic downloading is coming to the movie business too, Mr. Parsons
said, endorsing the concept of simultaneous release of films in
theaters and online. “Everyone’s afraid it’s somehow going to upset the
800-pound gorilla, Wal-Mart. We don’t think so. We think and what we’ve
shown in some of our trials is the video on demand can help increase
sell-through as well as change the economics dramatically for the
studios.”

Wal-Mart believes, plausibly, that on-demand and
digital-download movies released near the time of theatrical or DVD
release will hurt DVD sales.

Wal-Mart mistakenly believes it has a chance for success in this fight but it really doesn’t. If there’s anything that we’ve been shown by the shift in media worlds it’s that the power lies with the creator and not with the distributor. That’s why talent agencies are creating their own web video, why CBS is partnering with every distributor under the sun for online programming and why so much of what’s being watched now is not coming from professional creators.

Media companies and other, smaller content creators need to do what makes the most sense for them, not for those who are artificially trying to control the flow of that content to the audience. It makes sense for studios and others to work around them if that’s what they find provides the most efficient process on their end and the most satisfying experience for the end user.

Apple prepping movie rental service

ipod-video-3.jpgApple is working on adding movies for rental to its iTunes store, reports PaidContent.

Based on reports, the iTunes rental store would offer movies for $2.99 for a 30-day rental, essentially undercutting everyone in terms of pricing and length the movie can be kept. Current rental models have movies whose files expire just one to three days after purchase. The movies would also be transferable to another authorized device such as another PC or iPod. While iTunes currently has deals only with a couple of studios, a rental model could hold more allure for those that have held out.

Not only would this model through iTunes be trouble for movie rental companies but it would also present a significant challenge to VOD since the price point is less and users could view the movie repeatedly, as opposed to the one-time-only model currently employed by pay-per-view providers.

The move would be a great boost to adoption of both Apple TV and the new iPhone, with its cinema screen-esque landscape format display.