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August 1994


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Patrick B Bjork <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 5 Aug 1994 01:05:20 -0500
text/plain (61 lines)
One more post to perhaps stir the pot.
Patrick Bjork
Bismarck State College
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 1994 17:47:57 -0400
From:[log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Films & composites
Patrick writes.> Is it possible to draw a cultural composite of todays viewer
in contrast to say, 30 years ago?
Well I think that composite viewing data, audience segmentation analysis, and
all the other inexact and expensive methods used to define audiences, really
don t work and are often ineffectual in use  by the people who commissioned
There is a current wave going though the movie industry that really has not
been fully perceived by the viewing public as of yet, of studios making
movies of television shows the current crop of filmmakers watched as children.
 Already The Flintstones, The Adams Family have been produced and in addition
in the pipeline are Mission impossible and Sgt. Bilko (Steve Martin) and Green
Acres. I believe this is clear indication that what films are made are ones
that are known to have a cultural inheritance in the mind of the intended
viewer, in essence -  pandering as Peter writes. So the industry doesnt really
think or care? about the content, but rather the development of composites is
intended to define a market, not a cultural need. Thus in failing to use
research into composite viewing data as a indicator  of customer want and need
instead of a measure of volume expected they have planned to fail, which they
Patrick  also writes.> perhaps the movie industry believe that only the
spectacle can draw an audience.
Spectacle films are very important for revenue hungry production houses, and
are made simply because of the known audience volume, also there is also the
inherent problem that most film viewers lack the capacity to enjoy ideas not
already familiar to them... once again the current popular couture need to
have entertainment neatly served up... with no thinking required please.
Interesting the American networks A&E and PBS are good channels to watch if
you want to get a idea of what films are going to cross the ocean and end up
on  American screens, most studios ( international) have been airing shows
such as Cracker (UK) and Prime Suspect (UK) to gage American viewers opinions
on these American channels.
Anyone have any ideas why  American films lack strong story lines and
interesting characterization, and are  rather goofy when they attempt to
produce a film of value? --  is there any way of showing viewers that better
can be had and it much more interesting?