November 2019 Digest

I took my own advice from my last post, Thanks for Nothing, and treated myself to some real time off over the holiday. I drove to the west coast of Michigan to spend the weekend with some of my oldest and dearest friends. We ate leftovers, we drank at local breweries, we went bowling, we sat by the fire and caught up on life, and on the drive home I stopped at antique stores, which is one of my favorite things to do. I left my computer at home, I did not look at Twitter, and I never turned on the news. And I can honestly say that I came home feeling a little bit lighter. Taking time off does matter.

As #GivingTuesday approaches tomorrow, I hope that you will consider making a donation to Dear Producer so that I can keep the site up and running and growing in 2020. I will only send one email about this tomorrow and will not bombard you like your college alma mater because I know you don’t need more emails… Go to the DONATE page to contribute now. 

Keep Going, 


Adam Driver’s Thriller ‘The Report’ Is Sensational, But Does It Even Exist?
Academy Awards buzz is hard to bottle, but you know it when you hear it. For most movies, the Oscar bees start buzzing early on, turning awards chatter into a self-fulfilling prophecy. As Bruce Springsteen said, though, you can’t light a fire without a spark.

The Justice Department Attempts to Justify End of Paramount Decrees
The move by the Department of Justice to seek the elimination of the Paramount Consent Decrees is not the end of the story.

With the Removal of an Historic Court Ruling, the Movie Landscape as We Know It Might Change Forever
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is moving to completely wipe out the Paramount consent decrees, a ruling which, for the past 70 years, has regulated how movie studios distribute films to movie theaters. If those decrees are indeed overturned (and it looks like they will be), it could have devastating consequences to the theater industry as we know it, and the entire movie landscape could shift as a result.

Netflix Film Chief Scott Stuber And Ron Howard Talk Pay Models, Theatrical, Green Light Process
Netflix film chief Scott Stuber and filmmaker Ron Howard discussed pay models, theatrical strategy and Stuber’s green light philosophy in an hour-long session kicking off the Produced By New York conference.

Streamers Give the Documentary Field a Boost
It’s been said that the golden age of nonfiction filmmaking is upon us. From “The Jinx” to “CitizenFour” to “Free Solo,” the documentary sector has exploded creatively and commercially in the past few years. 

90 Million or Bust? Streaming TV’s Great Subscriber Race Begins
As Disney, Apple, AT&T and Comcast bet big on direct-to-consumer services, lofty membership goals are met with analyst concerns over marketplace crowding.

Managing Grant Expectations in a Tough Funding Landscape. Plus: Our Fall 2019 Funding Calendar!
It’s happened to all of us. We have a fantastic project, a top-notch creative team and a well-researched and presented application, but we still get knocked back for funding. Often, we turn inwards, lamenting: “What’s wrong with my film? Why didn’t they like it/me?”

Is AFM A Waste of Time and Money?
The American Film Market (AFM) takes place in Santa Monica every year in early November. It just wrapped up this week, so I wanted to take a minute and share some of my observations from the ground floor. More specifically, I want to talk about what AFM is, what it isn’t, how it’s changing, and how you should think about it as an aspiring filmmaker. 

Why Low-Budget Horror Will Never Die
In the blood-splattered world of killer clowns, homicidal bunnies and crime-fighting dinosaur priests (yes, really), turning a profit isn’t easy — but blockbuster grosses aren’t the point.

Indie Producers Face a TV Movie Squeeze, but Streamers Are Looking to Buy
The TV movie business is a fickle one, even in this era of Peak TV and new streaming services. The independent producers behind made-for-TV films must navigate tiny budgets, narrow audiences with specific tastes, outlets that want to own those titles and just a few traditional networks that still buy such projects in bulk.

“Strap on Your Flak Jacket and Lean Into It”: Charlize Theron, Peter Chernin and the Producer Roundtable
David Heyman, Dan Lin, Debra Martin Chase and Emma Tillinger Koskoff also open up about the threat of lawsuits, how they deal with eleventh-hour scrambles and why controversy isn’t necessarily a bad thing: “To encourage a conversation is really healthy.


In a Never-Before-Published Interview, Robert Evans Talks ‘Chinatown’: ‘We Weren’t Sure If We Had a Disaster on our Hands’
Former Paramount chief Robert Evans—who died on Saturday, October 26—was the mogul behind some of the greatest films ever made, but he rarely talked in-depth about one of the very best pictures he ever produced: Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. In fact, he rarely talked to journalists at all.

Paramount’s 2020 Slate Includes 16 Movies, and Just One Is Directed by a Woman
Paramount’s current 2020 film slate includes 16 films, and exactly one of them is directed by a woman: Reed Morano’s Blake Lively-starrer “The Rhythm Section.” As it stands, about six percent of the features they’ll release next year are helmed by a woman.

Next Gen 2019: Hollywood’s 35 Rising Executives 35 and Under
What do a ballet dancer, a badminton star and a guy who sold to Spotify for $50 million have in common? They’re on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of young execs leading “a seismic change” and poised to take the industry into the future, in whatever form it takes.