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‘100 Feet Wave’, Surfing, ‘Tiger King’ from Filmmaker Chris Smith



'100 Feet Wave', Surfing, 'Tiger King' from Filmmaker Chris Smith

Twenty years after his breakthrough as a documentary filmmaker, Chris Smith is weeping in the non-fiction realm while directing “Jim & Andy: Great Beyond,” “Fyre,” and “Operation.” Variety Blues: The College Admissions Scandal’ has been running for the past four years and has also served as Executive Producer of “Tiger King,” which made a sensational documentary series sensation last year. His latest work, “” on HBO, follows surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara’s journey to conquer Portugal’s mighty waves. Another project is underway centered on Robert Downey Jr. and his deceased father.

Last August, young Downey spoke on the “Smartless” podcast, calling Smith “probably the greatest documentary of all time”, a tribute that resonated, especially given his father worked as a documentary filmmaker. .

Smith’s recent output reflects a renewed focus on documentary filmmaking after a largely exhausted focus on commercial directing for several years. The director won a grand jury award at Sundance in 1999 for “American Movie,” and signed a sub-million dollar distribution deal with Sony Pictures Classics, a major change for a documentary at the time. It was a notable achievement as it was his debut feature-length documentary and Smith’s second film, but the director at the time said he had no intention of making another documentary. He made a few bucks while pursuing a commercial director for the next 15 years, working on documentaries when Spike Jonze approached him with previously unseen footage of Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman. returned to

said smith Variety “100 Foot Wave,” with a knack for selecting historical documents, and his upcoming projects for the famous Downey father-son duo.

“100 Foot Wave” is their first project with HBO. Did HBO approach you with the idea, or was it yours?

In fact, producer Joe Lewis contacted me. It was an idea he had and he brought it to me. Then we started developing the material and brought out HBO and HBO.

What drew you to the project?

I wasn’t particularly drawn to surfing or surf culture movies. One thing I’ve learned is that you never know where a great story is. I am very open to exploring the subject to see if I can find something that resonates with me, hoping to connect with a wider audience. I had an initial Skype call with Garrett and he didn’t seem like what I would consider a typical surfer. He had his own view of his work and his way of doing it, and that appealed to me. He just seemed like an interesting character to spend time with. It was an instinctive thing. It didn’t matter if he was a surfer or any other sport. I thought Garrett was interesting and that was the starting point.

How long have you been working on “100 Foot Wave”?

It has been about two years since we started filming. What we’ve learned is that surfers document their lives very extensively. So we had access to many videos chronicling his experiences over the years. From there, we were able to create a larger range than we originally intended.

Was the archive video the reason you decided to make a six-part documentary?

Every project is different. For “Fyre”, we cut it into a full-length film at the same time as a four-part series. The closer we got to the finish, the stronger the feeling was. In this case, we started with a feature and our first edit was 6 hours. So then I took a step back and felt that we were closer to the series realm than the feature realm. There was too much documentation on this story. There were parts of Garrett’s story, as well as his story and the development of this little town in Portugal, where I felt I needed to take the time.

How did HBO feel about the transition from a one-off documentary to a documentary series?

When we went to HBO we were making it into a six-part series. During development, I work independently to understand what a project is. My biggest fear is setting up a project without really knowing what it is and being dependent on it when a format is more successful or a project can be more successful in a different format.

Was it hard to find a cinematographer who could catch Garrett and other surfers in the huge waves they surf?

There was definitely a learning curve. We were quickly introduced to a small group specializing in (big wave photography). I was really lucky to be connected to that network. In Hawaii we worked with a longtime surf cinematographer named Mike Prickett. And in Portugal there are people who have been there forever and know them better than anyone can compare. So I hired him for most of my two years filming in Portugal.

This film is very different from recent documents in that it is mainly a very personal story told by a man. Do you think it’s a departure from your previous non-fiction work?

I’ve never looked at it that way. I always follow what interests me. So it wasn’t a conscious decision, it was “Oh, this is an interesting world to explore.” In every project there is an opportunity to (create) and learn from life experiences. By doing so, you are creating something that your audience can also share in that journey. This was certainly one of those cases.

You have been working exclusively with Netflix for 5 years. Why didn’t you bring the movie to them?

We communicate our projects to everyone and strive to find a suitable home. So, it’s really a combination to see what works best at the time.

When you look at the documentaries you’ve made over the past 4 years, is there a single line connecting them?


Confirm. But you have directed the most popular documentaries in the last five years. You definitely have an eye for appealing to the masses.

I’m not very complicated. I just try to follow what I find interesting. (“100 Foot Wave”) was a world I wanted to explore, and my childhood would have thought, “Oh, I don’t care.” But as I got older, I realized that you can find great stories everywhere. I’d like to add that those who carve their own path are one of the consistent themes from the perspective of those I’ve focused on.

The first to pave his way was Mark Borchardt, an aspiring film director on “American Movie”. After winning the 1999 Sundance Grand Jury Award for the film acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, he told IndieWire, “I’ll never be interested in documentary work again, because I lose my sense of privacy.” Why did you want to quit western food after ‘American Movie’?

It was a really tough project. I went into film thinking I would become a narrative filmmaker and, like many people, I came across documentaries by accident. I was 25 years old and I was going to write a bad script and I had an amazing story unfolding before my eyes. So I started working 6 days a week for 2 years and recording the stories that happened while filming. In doing so, you sacrifice a lot in terms of life moving forward in your personal relationship. So it was something I felt very difficult to do again at the time. The latest documentary I’ve been working on isn’t something I haven’t put in two years of effort, it’s something I’ve never been to again because I’ve been in a completely different world for two years. .

Are you still in touch with Mark?

Unfortunately I’ve lost contact with a lot of people because I’ve been doing a lot of work. Mark and I used to talk every year, but I think it’s been years now.

Although he made more feature-length documentaries after “American Movie,” he was also widely known for his commercial work directing commercials such as Geico, Mastercard, and Bank of America. What made you want to start a documentary again after seeing Jim Carrey’s behind-the-scenes story in “Man on the Moon”?

It was strange. I went to Sundance and made a number of documentaries (after “American Movie”) that were critically acclaimed but not seen by many. At the same time, I was directing a commercial, but I was so tired that I decided to take a break (from the documentary). A filmmaker named Bryan Burk always told me this. You have to find a way to shoot something that you are passionate about and have an audience as well.” It took about eight years for it to actually seep in and I got a call from Spike Jones with an idea for a (“Man on the Moon”) documentary. I greatly admire Spike’s work and trust his instincts. I think it was a great opportunity to do something different. It was really a starting point for me in terms of understanding how to reach a larger audience and still identify something I’m passionate about. Since then I’ve been very disciplined in finding work I’m interested in, but it can cross over.

How has your work in commercial space influenced your documentary work?

Thanks to this, I was particularly exposed to the amazing talent of the cinematographer that I could observe, see and learn.

“Fire” and the eight-part documentary series “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann” both released on Netflix in 2019. How chaotic was 2018?

I had a pretty tough year going back and forth between the two stories in terms of filming and editing, but I managed to get through it. I’ve always been working on commercials and movies at the same time and at that point I had to cut back on the amount of commercial work to make time for the document. Since then, I have focused almost entirely on documentaries.

Errol Morris said he created the ad to fund the documentary. Were you only able to do documentaries thanks to the streamer?

Yes. The industry has completely changed. Going to Sundance as a documentary (before working for Netflix) was a success, but it was very difficult financially, so advertising allowed me to keep making films. Now is a very lucky time because you can do documentaries full time. For me it was a previous struggle.

You made the hit “Tiger King” on Netflix. How did you get involved with the project and how did you become interested in the subject?

A friend and filmmaker named Fisher Stevens asked me to see this teaser about the personal owner of a big cat, and I saw it and I just couldn’t believe it.

The world was really interesting (directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin) and the access and their combination was incredible. They agreed to work together because they were looking for someone who had experience with the series and was a fan of some of the movies I did. For me, it was an opportunity to share what I learned while making the series. I tried to be there as a soundboard when they made the series.

Netflix’s most recent documentary series – “Operation Varsity Blues” is a recreational hybrid documentary series featuring Matthew Modine as the culprit in the college admissions scandal Rick Singer. Why did you decide to make a hybrid documentary series?

I didn’t want to create a hybrid document, but it was about how best to tell the story. We didn’t have access to parents or Rick Singer, so while browsing the topic, we found transcripts of phone calls between Singer and his parents. As documentary writers, they felt they had revealed a greater truth than we usually get when we have a camera. So I wanted to give my audience access to that material through unfiltered phone calls.

On the podcast “Smartless,” Robert Downey Jr told hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes that you were directing a documentary about his father, Robert Downey Sr. Are you currently in production?

It’s a movie about Robert and his father and whatever he wants to say about it is at his discretion, but I’m not comfortable commenting on anything at this time.

“100 Foot Wave” will debut on HBO on July 18th at 10PM (ET/PT).

Originally reported by Source link

The featured images are, as they appear on the original report.


Survey: What International Consumers Want from Streaming Services



Survey: What International Consumers Want from Streaming Services

competitor to collapse inputNS NS Top tier of streaming services War can stay Been in the US for a long time. That is why HBO Max launch begins internationally input June. It is also the reason Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Reports Recently Argument Potential Streaming Partnership Viacom CBS management Help us take Peacock internationally..

HoweverAlluding to duplicating American products for an overseas audience won’t be enough. to provide Some clues that might help SVODNS Succeed outside the US, YouGov International at the end of June PollNS attitude towards streaming service Instead of Variety intelligence platform, nEarly 19,000 people 18+ across 17 countries answer.

The following are the five implications of the survey. video streaming service should draw close international expand:

1. Growth of ASia-NSPacific (APAC) Regions should be prioritized.

According to the poll, 3 out of the top 5 countries (Indonesia, India and China), when ranked according to consumer interest in paying reasonably priced Video streaming services providing localized content were located in the APAC region. NSHe said the Chinese data point is harder to act, of course, according to the instructions of the Chinese governmentlike Know what you can see online (NS rag the great Wall).

Additionally, most of the countries YouGov surveyed respondents were APAC or EMEA based, Increases the likelihood that the country in your region will emerge as an attractive region to expand through: graphic below. NSuh APAC prioritization points are giveen India and Indonesia are currently the second and fourth most populous countries in the world. July 2021, Party NS you.NS. Census Bureau.

2. Must have a healthy balance of l.localized content And Us International version of the hit video streamer.

Streaming executives must curb the urge to overwhelm the international version of SVOD with localized content. In particular, consumers in Mexico, UAE and India see great value SVOD, which provides content from famous American actors. Most of the countries were three countries. Research the respondent said A streaming service that provides content from American stars “Very important” or “Somewhat important” to them.

this goes to show The value of a streamer like HBO Max with access to a large library of cLasix (Hollywood star appearance) it can be easy Advertising In ~ House International SVOD screen. Also, Prime Video Satisfying consumers in regions such as Mexico and UAE with MGM classics such as “Too Blonde” and “Too Blonde”.unstable If the MGM acquisition is approved.

three. notable non-English speaking Countries in Asia and Europe are still English content.

while speaking english territory Naturally, it tops the list of countries where most respondents say they watch. English movies and TV shows “very often” or “slightly often”, meaningful part Consumers in unexpected places Indonesia, India, UAE and Mexico indicate interest in English video content.

NS majority of Respondents from 4 countries where English is not their first language; They said they watched movies and TV shows. input English It is marked as “very often” or “somewhat often”, with Indonesia, India, UAE and Mexico In YouGov’s survey, most respondents said SVOD, which provides content with famous American actors, is important to them.

4. There is especially high demand new Chinese content.

The top two countries were Hong Kong and China when ranked by the percentage of respondents who said there were not enough new TV shows and movies for SVOD in their native language. Video streamers can extend directly to Hong Kong by: Netflix And prime video Both were released in Hong Kong in 2016. In China, companies can still enter Hong Kong by licensing certain content to major video streamers in the region like iQiyi.

Netflix license Some originals were provided to iQiyi in 2017, but that partnership ended in 2019. However, it may be easier for streamers with an overall family-friendly library like Disney+ to penetrate China directly. Tim Gong Yu, CEO of IQiyi in 2019 said THR that the streamer’s Netflix deal didn’t go as expected because many Netflix originals didn’t pass censorship in China.

5. the expectation of absorption of bsolve Overseas must tempered.

many The country is still catching up with the US in terms of SVOD. quantum: The United States was the country where the majority of survey respondents said they paid for it. 4 or more video streaming services per month. This helps explain why Digital TV Research is in June. prediction The US will be the largest SVOD market in the world by revenue in 2021.

However It is also the management new Bundles of video streaming services for specific international markets, such as: France, Singapore or Poland are especially good. Only 1% of survey respondents in that country said they pay for 4 or more SVODs per month. This suggests that bundles will not necessarily serve as a growth hack for streamers in specific international markets, even with localized pricing.

Originally reported by Source link

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Long-term questions about social media’s ad revenue boom



Long-term questions about social media's ad revenue boom

The advertising recovery over the past year has been remarkable, but no one has benefited more than tech companies, especially social media platforms.

Businesses continue to pour cash into advertising on the platforms with the greatest reach, as this week’s Q2 financial results from social giants including Snap, Twitter, and Facebook show.

The total revenues of these three social enterprises, which come almost entirely from advertising, saw another divergence. Snap posted revenue growth of a whopping 116%, while Twitter’s revenue grew 74%, the highest growth since 2014.

On the other hand, Facebook’s sales growth rate was 56%, the highest since 2016, and there were advertisements to be grateful for, accounting for about 98% of total sales. The number of Facebook ads delivered increased 6%, and the social giant saw its average price per ad increase 47% over the second quarter.

This is not too surprising given the massive user engagement for these platforms. In Q2, Snap reported a total of 293 million daily active users (DAU), a 23% increase over last year, and Twitter’s monetizable daily active users (mDAU) or users viewing ads on the platform increased by 11% 2 reported 6 billion people.

And there is a giant called Facebook. It has 1.91 billion DAUs and 3.51 billion monthly users across its app suite, including Facebook’s main apps, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Facebook tops the older demographic for usage, according to a new study from GetWizer Consumer Insights of nearly 1,500 Americans of VIP+. The situation between the 15-29-year-olds, who more regularly and actively use various platforms, was even more interesting. They said last week they spent at least 30 minutes on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

Whatever these companies are doing now is definitely working, as advertising revenue is steadily growing at an alarming rate. However, there are concerns that the growth will not be sustained in the long term, and the recent Apple iOS 14.5 update is expected to act as a major threat to Big Tech’s advertising strategy.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snap use targeted advertising to reach their audiences. Personalized experiences that have proven to be more effective at getting people to click and even buy through the ads they serve.

However, new Apple software updates give users more power and control by giving them the option to opt out of app tracking. Snap, Twitter, and Facebook are all doing their best to estimate how much impact software updates will have, but Facebook CFO David Wehner warns that if the advertising business is affected, it will be worse in Q3 than Q2.

As social giants explore the current advertising landscape, the biggest opportunities are in video and mixed reality (VR, AR, etc.). Video advertising is showing healthy growth, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in its earnings call Wednesday that the company is seeing more than 2 billion in-stream ad-qualified videos every month. Facebook and Snap are both actively working to become leaders in VR and AR, respectively, and these moves could open new avenues to further drive ad revenue.

Facebook revealed in its earnings call that it plans to create a so-called metaverse. Zuckerberg said this will be a social and digital environment unlike anything else that exists. Building the metaverse doesn’t happen overnight, but the ultimate goal is to make money by selling virtual goods and advertising them internally.

Whether Zuckerberg’s metaverse ideas are as grandiose as he invented them, it’s true that social media companies will have to ponder and ponder for a long time to innovate and tap the next stage of growth in a rapidly evolving environment.

Advertising is the bread and butter of social, and new delivery methods will play an important role in determining who succeeds and who lags behind.

Originally reported by Source link

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Billie Eilish proved that her first album on ‘Happier Than Ever’ was no coincidence.



Billie Eilish proved that her first album on 'Happier Than Ever' was no coincidence.

If you’re a big fan of the confessional pop songwriting school, waking up to the release of Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” will feel like Christmas morning. It doesn’t feel too neatly tied with a bow. Her 2nd studio album hits a sweet spot where mixed emotions about love and fame, and sometimes self-contradictory emotions, seem to pour out in real time, despite the complex production and vocal rhythm betraying the song’s secret. All work is done. An intersection that somehow looks perfectly formed and at the same time perfectly messy? For some listeners, it may be the happiest place on earth.

What it isn’t: Noisy, or even particularly mezzo most of the time. Eilish is running almost the arena from now on, as anyone would expect, but she and her collaborator brother Finneas have resisted the temptation to bring the message to the media with any flair. Fill a space the size of a hockey field. It is an album that feels more friendly than the first, and the first one came to me quite friendly. “Happier Than Ever” has some explosive moments. The second half of the title track, which is basically a wall of distortion, is definitely important. But what shakes the room like “You Should See Me in the Crown” or “Bad Guy”? no way. And that will be fine by most of the fan base already ready to lean on instead of a blast. Great headphone record. How it goes on the Fabulous Forum is something to worry about later.

The whole release might seem anti-emotional because so many parts of the album have already come out. Seeing how 6 of the 16 tracks had previously entered the realm and were selected and killed (5 singles, 6 colloquially “Not My Responsibility”, video), how many people would therefore see how many people would think by the time the release date arrives. I am-pieces about the Eilish world left in it. The answer should be: Much more. Exactly a year after “My Future” was released as a single, as the fourth track after three previously unheard songs, it’s a little strange to hear the new album sound like it’s being interrupted by a hit. collection. But Eilish has a voice that’s good enough to speak and charming enough to sing, so you don’t feel spoiled by all the crumbs throughout the album. With all that interim music and documentary and internet-breaking Vogue cover, she still doesn’t feel overexposed. (Note to other singers who might consider that it’s a good idea to never leave the public eye for her ubiquity: don’t try this at home.)

It turns out that “My Future”, which has just celebrated its one-year anniversary, doesn’t indicate where the rest of the material has gone. Yes, perhaps a fairly subdued tone and showcase of vocal stylist Eilish, which is not the usual feeling of satisfaction. “We All Fall Sleeps, Where Do We Go?” I’ve been hearing a lot about her since then. What made her a global sensation in 2019 is how she got in a better position and overcame the teenage demon with a powerful family support system. The sensuous oral maturity of ‘My Future’ solidified that impression. But how can you not like her if she doesn’t get mad to overturn Bruce Banner’s words? As it turns out, we don’t need to know, at least yet. “Happier Than Ever” is perhaps a title with multiple levels of authenticity and irony. Eilish allowed her to be happier…Er. But when it comes to her personal damage and our interests, it’s a pretty annoying record. The Grammy-winning single “Everything I Wanted” (which Eilish did not include here and left as a standalone) was information that she had some feelings for fame, and Eilish didn’t limit it here. Even an older man and a narcissistic boyfriend who took advantage of her youth can see that there remains uncertainty about how the categories might overlap. Suicidal thoughts and night terrors no longer appear as they did on the first album. In “Happier Than Ever,” 19-year-old Eilish, after self-harm, deals with the everyday insults she must endure when she knows she has to go on living. Fortunately, the components that make up a daydream can be just as exciting as a lucid dream.

It’s an old self-evident idea that artists spend their lives writing their first album, and then sometimes spending the rest of their lives writing about how unhappy their first album’s success was. It is often the best trap to avoid. However, Eilish works for her on a significant portion of the album. She uses a lot of sharp observation and self-perceived humor to go with her post high-level celebrity self. -Consciousness. The whole log isn’t about it, but she’s a very interesting self-narrator, so you’ll hardly care. “you… I feel like I’m always watching.” She whispers in the middle of “Not My Responsibility.” And it breaks down the fourth wall, so intense that you can feel the Irishness right in front of you, and looking behind you. That particular monologue deals with body shame, the lust of the male gaze, and all the double standards she handles, and I’ve taken the edit if you feel it’s a bit biased compared to the rest of the album. Most others are observational and conversational, but often speak in a serious manner. Repeated references to her stalker are nowhere to go, even Taylor Swift. The inevitable paparazzi (“News? News to whom? Am I really just like you?”); A semi-ludicrous, half-poignant acknowledgment that she signed the NDA before sending him into the night. All these details should theoretically make her less relevant, but counter-intuitively, it has the opposite effect. We all know enough about the celebrity trap at this point, and we can see that Eilish is accurately portraying how we would feel if we were in her position. It’s like a much more beautiful variation of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” featuring celebrities. The aggravation doesn’t seem to be really that far away from us.

It leads to perhaps the scariest position on the album. “Things I once enjoyed / now stay employed.” There is the worst fear of all musicians, or what they should be most afraid of. “Happier Than Ever” would be a sad album if Eilish actually felt really faithful to it when making music. But for all that snark and kvetching it’s a really enjoyable experience. There’s not a single cynicism that infects the love of sound she and Finneas have, and what you can do within the minimum volume levels of an almost silent, two-handed, one-man band activity. The dynamics are so subtle that “When We All Fall Asleep…” sounds like a show off record. Finneas has her own empirical moments as a co-writer/producer. The record-breaking effect of giving “I Didn’t Change My Number” an extensive outro is the kind of fun he can do professionally, and welcome when “Oxytocin” leans harder on the beat to get you up. Breath of hot air. However, most of everything here exists to make up Eilish’s voice and only goes up once or twice. She has refused to be referred to as a “whisper” in her songs, and although it usually means compliment, I can understand how she could take the term reductively. Her phrasing is exquisite, and even more jazz-like when her singing is filled with rock ‘n’ roll lightness or has the rhythm of a rapper. Finneas is also accumulating more of her own backing vocals than adding her own, but co-writing has a kind of “blood harmony” that’s more than a song. It seems to be the work of one author, not two. (This is almost unheard of in the modern age of 10-person co-writing.) The emotions may feel vague, but the final musical effect is sort of like watching a series of unfiltered, raw diary entries unravel. of your favorite font.

After all, it’s not just music that Eilish likes to save. She allows moments of true love and/or true lust on the album, with a few co-workers whose evenings with her may not have ended with an NDA. Or maybe her affections from “Billie Bossa Nova” or “Halley’s Comet” may now be fantasies, but “I Didn’t Change My Number”, “Lost Cause” and “Your Power”. In “My Future,” the awakening of self-love is still realistic, but in order to at least slightly offset the rise of “I made every moment of yours yours,” a little “stupid me, stupid making me fall in love with you” You benefit from having “me”. / Just leave me fucking alone” screams the title track.

Don’t let all this seem too solipsistic. And why? This is the basis of grand pop music. Eilish also has an eye for the big picture. “Everybody Dies,” as the title suggests, does a great job on the subject of death. “You should know / when the time comes / you may not want to go,” she told fans. Some of them are young enough and may not have considered this before… Then she ends the song by adding: “But it’s okay. / It’s okay to fold. / But you’re not alone / You’re not unknown.” And damn, if in these moments of comfort she doesn’t sound almost… maternal.

Needless to say at this point, let’s say anyway. WTF? Are you still 19 and developing your music like this? really? At the beginning of the album, Eilish sings: This is one of the only records of how Eilish got through her teenage years that it’s hard to tell if she’s joking or serious. If she feels like a veteran, that’s how we can reasonably feel about her too. Eilish has a spookyly precocious personality that makes us feel like we got to know him by spending a lot more time than we know. The fact that she’s still relatively young to become an artist is part of the thrill of “Happier Than Ever.” Even if you don’t have to think about her future for the record itself to be a happy reward.

Originally reported by Source link

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