Interview: about sexism in the film industry

I was asked to be interviewed for a finnish magazine about the Weinstein scandal and also about the sexism and culture in the film industry in Hollywood. Both interviews are in Swedish, however the problem is world wide and no industry is immune. More around this subject is definitely coming.

Hur är det med jämställdheten i Hollywood? Radio intervju

Filmmogulen Harvey Weinstein fick sparken men sexismen i filmbranschen forsvinner inte

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Valerian numbers and a second movie

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Background

Valerian was released in August 2017 and I thought we could go through the numbers a bit and see how it went in hindsight and how a potential second movie might happen in the future. I wrote about Valerian when I wrote about pre-sales, that might be of interest to you as well.

First of all, even though Valerian has a quite bad rating on RT and OK rating on IMDB it is not a bad movie. Quite the opposite if you ask me. The movie is a high quality sci-fi movie with some bad acting and some holes in the plot but it is high quality. So with that out of the way, the movie was a financial flop with not much upside for the investors and producers. However, it was not all bad and might be a big upside later on; I will get back to why that is soon.

Budget

With a budget of around 180 million USD they put themselves in a tough situation without a well known IP. However, if the plan was all along to make a second and a third movie, this might have been a perfect investment instead. The thing is, you don't invest in something unless there is (or will be) a market for it. The movie Valerian is based on a magazine and that is usually a good start, look at DC Comics or Marvel... That's what Valerian could be in the future. That is, if they use their IP in the right way and that is the upside.

They have invested a lot in producing and marketing the first movie and it's assets, now would be a bad time to close the books and go on to do other things. Instead they should (and I think they are) use the momentum to sell a second movie but with a much smaller budget, maybe half the budget or even a forth. With the right strategy and distribution, this could easily be a valuable strategy for the IP.

Update: Collider writes about a potential second movie in this article.

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Elsa Keslassy has written two interesting articles in Variety about the financials around Europa Corp. and Valerian. Well worth your time if you came this far. You can follow Elsa Keslassy on Twitter for more updates.

EuropaCorp Deputy CEO Ousted Amid ‘Valerian’ Crash

Luc Besson, EuropaCorp Face Day of Reckoning With Shareholders Over Flop of ‘Valerian’

Thank you for visiting.


Quick thoughts about VR, AR and MR

today's problem

I have yet to see indication that VR, AR or MR are getting the same "confidence" as other new products are getting. We see investments pour in but the consumers are failing. This is not very surprising since the market is small, maybe even non-existent today, it is also expensive for a family to purchase a VR-headset and a computer. What happens instead is that the same family buys a google cardboard instead to try "VR", the experience is not what they thought and that's where VR is failing big. The large companies are still waiting for the consumer influx in VR before they want to venture into unknown lands, the consumers will come when the market matures and can deliver on it's promises. Film and TV-series are a proven market whereas VR and Mixed Reality as a medium is not and I feel it is not suited as a regular entertainment system. VR will start to find it's place in 2018 and after that, we will see where it will take us. What I am sure of though, is that the "experts of VR" need to be more understanding of their market and potential users. Most of the time, the people involved in new industries, especially tech are hard core nerds not thinking about the consumer first and I believe that is the main problem today.

Take a look at Google, they have some things in the works that might invite more users to try VR.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Whale Augmented Reality Magic Leap

The other major problem is that most VR companies today does not know how to get paid. Many of the companies I meet look for investors and financing without having a way of monetize its product. That is plain stupid and crazy, not naming anyone but one person has asked me several times on different occasions to invest in their projects for a "good cause" by helping the VR industry grow. That is a big problem, if you don't expect to get your or an investors money back, that industry is dead.

On a positive note

Not everything is bad though, we see increasingly better experiences and hardware, the prices are being lowered and the usability is steadily getting better by the day. What people thought would take two years just took longer and I think that is fine as long as investments continue to grow the industry. Most of the "experts" will also decline and the number of quality productions will increase as well. Right now, the only way VR and AR are being used most efficiently is in the military. As with everything else, the military will probably be first to fully use VR and AR, consumers come second.

As always, thanks for visiting.


SpaceX is pretty remarkable

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Lowering Cost

SpaceX has had quite a year, or maybe a few years now with naysayers time after time proved wrong. The launch of the OTV-5 mission was another success in SpaceX relatively short history.

For each rocket SpaceX successfully send to space, the potential cost of a transport to low earth orbit will be lower than ever before. This will prove to be extremely important for ambitious companies with space as a business. Today, the cost of sending satellites and humans to space is still a costly endeavor and the only way to lower the cost, today, is to use reusable rockets. SpaceX continuous work to re-use their rockets will lower the prices this will be extremely valuable, not only for SpaceX as a company but for every human being in the long run. Deep space mining companies don't have any choice but to follow SpaceX example. Space tourism will come as a bi-product of low cost launches and hotels in low earth orbit is starting to become a thing that actually can happen.

Take a look at the launch of the OTV-5 mission. It is pretty remarkable how flawless it all looks and it's easy to understand how fast the prices will drop.

SpaceX and/or Elon Musk decided to put up a video with the not so successful launches. That too is pretty interesting to watch, not because of the explosions but it gives you an idea of how many things can go wrong. Behind every successful launch (and landing) there are many many crashes, explosions and other mishaps.

Update: SpaceX changes the mindset of not only the space industry but also the U.S. Air Force. In an article by Mike Fabey on SpaceNews, the U.S. Air Force take notice of the changes Space X is making and implements that in their own strategy while at the same time becoming more effective.

If you want to find out more about Space X and their work, check their site or their social media channels: Twitter and Instagram. I will keep my eyes on SpaceX and update as soon as we have other breakthroughs happening. That breakthrough happened in early 2018 with the launch of Falcon Heavy.

As always, thank you for reading.


four Videos to watch

Quick post today.

Once in a while someone creates quite impressive videos or timelapses, here are four nice ones. I don't usually post videos but these are a tiny bit different and deserves a few more views. Perfect if you have a couple of minutes to kill.

Tiny Drone Muscle Beach - Los Angeles

Panorama | LA - 10K

Timelapse - Los Angeles

Flying at night

Thanks for visiting and have a great Wednesday.