As the new CEO of the MPAA for all of six weeks now, I’d like to welcome you to our new blog. There is a great sea change going on in our industry and I hope that the commentary on this blog will reflect the excitement we share at being on the cutting edge between the creation of new artistic and commercial content and the delivery of this material to consumers.
This blog is a new way for us to share our thoughts about some of the issues and innovations that are creating the most interest here in Washington, DC, in Hollywood, and all across the globe.
In recent weeks, I’ve visited sets, studios, and production facilities all around the country, and have met with some of the most innovative and creative people in our business. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading about the industry, including a marvelous biography of Samuel Goldwyn written by A. Scott Berg.
One of the stories that really struck me was about the 1914 premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s first full-length feature, The Squaw Man. He made it for $15,000, (you get what you pay for) with second-hand British equipment with ill-fitting sprockets, and so the first showing was marred by the fact that the audience could see the character’s hats and boots—and not much else.
As I read about this, I found myself wondering what DeMille, Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor would have said if they could have seen Avatar—in a theater, in 3D. What an incredible journey: We’ve come all the way from The Squaw Man to the blue N’avi in less than a hundred years. That century has been marked—and, in many ways, defined—by the giants of our industry, their incredible creative visions, and their mind-boggling technological innovations. Movies have come to shape the American psyche—and dominate the attention of consumers—like nothing else.
Last year the number of digital and 3D screens more than doubled—and our audience couldn’t get enough of it. One in five dollars spent at the box office now comes from 3D. And like moviegoers here at home and all over the world, I can’t wait, nor can you, I expect, to see what we come up with next.