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Why so many promos before a movie?


KidChaplin
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I get so frustrated that you have to go thru so many promo screens before a movie starts. Can someone tell me what the process is? For example,  before a movie starts you see a company and a presentation and a films and a this and a that and etc.

I hope I am explaining this ok. You see four or five different promos that say "A So and SO Company," "Example Films," "A This and That Production," "Something Studios"  and then the film begins. If a movie is done with say, Paramount Studios, what are all the other companies and films for?

 

Thanks!

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11 minutes ago, KidChaplin said:

I get so frustrated that you have to go thru so many promo screens before a movie starts. Can someone tell me what the process is? For example,  before a movie starts you see a company and a presentation and a films and a this and a that and etc.

You see four or five different promos that say "A So and SO Company," "Example Films," "A This and That Production," "Something Studios"  and then the film begins. If a movie is done with say, Paramount Studios, what are all the other companies and films for?

It's a plot. They're trying to make your brain soft so you'll believe Hollywood's agendas.

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What "agendas" would excessive intro nonsense promote?

I know what you mean KID....  I've griped about that for years.  I at first thought your complaint was about all the TCM promos  in between movies.  But You're really annoyed with  (ie);

"Paramount  presents".........

"A Schlock production inc. presentation"

"Of a Joe Schmoe film"

"Distributed by Foist On 'Em"

"In association with....."

"Plot Hole Productions" 

"Of A.."

"Basement Studios production of...."

Yeah.  By the time you're let in on the title and who's in it, your popcorn is soggy from the now cold butter and your soft drink is warm and flat.  :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

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It's the reason for virtually everything: money.  Whether it's to raise enough money to begin with, or to spread the risk in case of failure, most movies these days have a lot of players on the production end.

Or, an actor may have a pet project, and they may have their own production company, but they may not have deep enough pockets to float the whole production alone.  So they bring in partners.  Productions have become so expensive (all those people credited at the end got paid one way or another, hopefully) that it takes a lot of money to get a picture made.

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I guess I dont understand, txfilmfan. I get the part about the actor having their own prod. company. But, again, if Paramount makes films, why is there a "ETC. Films" too? I guess what I am looking for, and sorry for going a long way to ask, is what part does each play? Why is there a "Films", a "Productions", a "Presentation", a "Distribution", a "Studios" for one movie? I thought Paramount (and others) made Films and was it's own Studio. So why have another "Films" and "Studios"?

Why so many cooks making the stew?

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I'm supposing it's "outsourcing".   You know, it's maybe cheaper or at least a more profitable write-off than  doing all of that stuff "in house" where they might need to put WAY more people on the payroll( meaning extra assistants and equipment or dressing trailers and catering, etc.)  

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12 minutes ago, KidChaplin said:

I guess I dont understand, txfilmfan. I get the part about the actor having their own prod. company. But, again, if Paramount makes films, why is there a "ETC. Films" too? I guess what I am looking for, and sorry for going a long way to ask, is what part does each play? Why is there a "Films", a "Productions", a "Presentation", a "Distribution", a "Studios" for one movie? I thought Paramount (and others) made Films and was it's own Studio. So why have another "Films" and "Studios"?

Why so many cooks making the stew?

Because there are very rarely "sure things" regarding making money from movies.  It's why they keep remaking the same stories over and over, and why there are so many "franchise" movies today.  It's all about risk management.

For the most part, this has been the model since the 1950s.  It started slowly, as the monopolies of the 40s had been broken up.  Independent production companies were formed by deep-pocketed stars.  Sharing production costs would enable more films to get made; otherwise, you'd have to be at the mercy of the studio head, or, the studio's board of directors.

 A lot of film studios teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in the 50s and 60s (and some did disappear, like RKO).   Hello, Dolly almost took down 20th Century Fox.  MGM hit problems in the early 70s.   This accelerated the trend to seek out production partners.  Film studios had less appetite to shoulder all the risk of making a movie, so they would enlist other production companies.  Silver Screen Partners financed films for HBO and Disney through the 80s and 90s.

Very few movies are made and distributed "in house" by a studio without outside production and/or distribution companies getting involved.  

A very similar thing happened on Broadway.  Once there might be a producer or two, and they might raise money from outsiders.  But today, productions are so expensive, it takes a small army of investors and "producers" to fund a show.

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

It's the reason for virtually everything: money.  Whether it's to raise enough money to begin with, or to spread the risk in case of failure, most movies these days have a lot of players on the production end.

Not only do those people/groups help budget the movie, they are all in line for Oscar glory if said title becomes a Best Picture. So it boils down to money, achievement and vanity.

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If I recall correctly, isn't there a scene in the film Shakespeare in Love in which this sort of thing is parodied?

I remember it being during a scene in which just before one of the Bard's new plays is being introduced at the Globe Theatre, one person walks on stage holding up signs to the audience which he drops one after another and which reveal the various people responsible for the play's production.

(...anyone else remember this?...I've only watched this film once, and frankly, once was enough)

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5 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

I guess I dont understand, txfilmfan. I get the part about the actor having their own prod. company. But, again, if Paramount makes films, why is there a "ETC. Films" too? I guess what I am looking for, and sorry for going a long way to ask, is what part does each play? Why is there a "Films", a "Productions", a "Presentation", a "Distribution", a "Studios" for one movie? I thought Paramount (and others) made Films and was it's own Studio. So why have another "Films" and "Studios"?

Why so many cooks making the stew?

In addition, many declare themselves a corporation for tax, legal, and liability purposes (to qualify for inland marine insurance or other coverage packages as used in today's entertainment production work).  Some incorporate under their own name, though most incorporate under a disposable name pulled out of a hat (anything but their birthright name).  So let's say you have 5 movers involved, you might have 5 different corporations listed (random really stupid names pulled out of a hat).  Then you might also have a collaboration made up of 2 or 3 movers each in a corporation, the same 2-3 individuals who declare themselves as a corporation individually.  Not to mention their working names being listed in the credits.  It's all  very tedious to try and follow, but ultimately none of that is meant for the viewers.

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2 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

I guess I dont understand, txfilmfan. I get the part about the actor having their own prod. company. But, again, if Paramount makes films, why is there a "ETC. Films" too? I guess what I am looking for, and sorry for going a long way to ask, is what part does each play? Why is there a "Films", a "Productions", a "Presentation", a "Distribution", a "Studios" for one movie? I thought Paramount (and others) made Films and was it's own Studio. So why have another "Films" and "Studios"?

Why so many cooks making the stew?

In such cases, usually an independent producer/production company made the film and Paramount or another studio  picked it up for distribution.

I'm guessing you don't see many foreign movies? The opening credits are even longer and namecheck TV channels and government agencies and funds, in addition to the various production companies. All of these entities put money or other resources into the production, and per their contract get recognized in the upfront credits.

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8 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

I hope I am explaining this ok. You see four or five different promos that say "A So and SO Company," "Example Films," "A This and That Production," "Something Studios"  and then the film begins. If a movie is done with say, Paramount Studios, what are all the other companies and films for?

Paramount doesn't actually MAKE the movies, as they did in the studio-mogul days.

Disney, for ex., didn't actually make the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Jerry Bruckheimer did.  So the tree gets zapped with lightning.

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9 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

I get so frustrated that you have to go thru so many promo screens before a movie starts. Can someone tell me what the process is? For example,  before a movie starts you see a company and a presentation and a films and a this and a that and etc.

I hope I am explaining this ok. You see four or five different promos that say "A So and SO Company," "Example Films," "A This and That Production," "Something Studios"  and then the film begins. If a movie is done with say, Paramount Studios, what are all the other companies and films for?

 

Thanks!

Ha, my local theatre before it closed showed local advertising (ITP), all those next Friday, coming soon teasers / trailers, then a short (Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willie  or 3 Stooges), finally a Bic ad asking not to smoke in the theatre before the main feature presentation.

Oh almost forgot a Lionel Richie Pepsi rock video ad.

Commercial ads in a theatre.....the heresy!

sddefault.jpg

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12 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

I guess I dont understand, txfilmfan. I get the part about the actor having their own prod. company. But, again, if Paramount makes films, why is there a "ETC. Films" too? I guess what I am looking for, and sorry for going a long way to ask, is what part does each play? Why is there a "Films", a "Productions", a "Presentation", a "Distribution", a "Studios" for one movie? I thought Paramount (and others) made Films and was it's own Studio. So why have another "Films" and "Studios"?

Why so many cooks making the stew?

The films are actually made by the studios you never heard of, and the giant studio you have heard of is merely the distributor. Every studio put up some of the financing. They all expect credit. Moviemaking is a very expensive business. Not many studios can finance a film by themselves.

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15 hours ago, NostalgicNautilus said:

If closing credits were as short as they used to be...it wouldn't be so bad holding it while waiting for the end credits scene.

Heh!  When was the last time(besides on TCM) when you saw a movie that ended with just "THE END" in big letters on the screen then have the screen go black?  

Now, I can't remember what was involved in the opening credits of Disney's 101 DALMATIANS ('61)  but that was the first movie I remember seeing at a theater with what seemed to me to be long opening credits.

The next longest for me was  SUPERMAN ('78) .  And those "multi-credit" openings really ramped up in the '80's.  Then there was the trend where we had to sit through indeterminate lengths of "outtake bloopers" before the oh, so long closing credits began.  But sometimes they were so entertaining that we felt cheated if a movie didn't have them!  :D 

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Heh!  When was the last time(besides on TCM) when you saw a movie that ended with just "THE END" in big letters on the screen then have the screen go black?  

Now, I can't remember what was involved in the opening credits of Disney's 101 DALMATIANS ('61)  but that was the first movie I remember seeing at a theater with what seemed to me to be long opening credits.

The next longest for me was  SUPERMAN ('78) .  And those "multi-credit" openings really ramped up in the '80's.  Then there was the trend where we had to sit through indeterminate lengths of "outtake bloopers" before the oh, so long closing credits began.  But sometimes they were so entertaining that we felt cheated if a movie didn't have them!  :D 

Sepiatone

Around the World in 80 Days had a lengthy (for the time) list of closing credits, as did West Side Story (panning from one piece of graffiti to another).   I think this was typical for the big road show films of the 50s and 60s, and smaller films still had the shorter list of credits.  By the late 60s and early 70s, though, credit bloat started creeping in.  

YouTube has the opening credits for 101 Dalmatians...

 

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21 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

Ok. Much better understood now. Thanks for all the responses!

But, I gotta say....it's still pretty irritating! 😂

If you're watching a CD (I know, who does that anymore?) just fast forward through them.. Some streaming services, like Netflix and HBO Max (to name a couple) have wonderfully convenient onscreen tabs that allow you to advance 10 or 15 seconds. Do that. Or just work the progress bar (which might require some trail and error guessing.) I don't see it as a problem.

I rent DVDs from Netlix and what annoys me there is the preponderance of previews that start right at the beginning of the disc. Thankfully there is thingy in the task bar my home medias software that you to go to the "Next" thing. You will go through several previews "This Preview has been approved for all audiences"  Ugh, to that. It's exasperating, especially if you have actually bought the CD of the movie and all that crap is there permanently. I know I'm dreaming but the considerate thing to do his just inform the viewer that previews can be seen at the end of the feature, or just make it a part of the extras. Yeah, I know, fat chance. Part of my problem here is that I abhor previews. They are often misleading and they give away too much. And they try so hard to make us think we might like it. Get out!!!

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That's one thing I like about movies On Demand on Spectrum and the few streaming services I use - you can fast forward through the opening credits.  In fact some, even let you press a button to skip the openings.

But I agree with KidChaplin.  Regardless of the reasons they do it now, why not just list all the "companies" on one quick screen at the beginning and then go straight to title and actors.  One great thing about the old "B" movies:  title on screen one; leading actors ( 4 or 5) on screen two; everybody else on screen three and then the producer and director.

It's vanity, pure and simple.  And don't forget the "companies" all have to have time for their logos or other graphics.

And yes, the closing credits are way too long now.  In the past I would imagine 70% of the people now listed were still involved, but not listed.

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Certainly something I've learned from my 20 or so years of watching TCM is that generally old movies dump all their credits into the opening portion of the film, while at the end, they merely say "The End" or maybe they also re-display the cast members. The five-eight minutes of closing credits that go on now are entirely due to unions, I assume. But I sit through them anyway because there's usually a kick-ace song or two that plays during them, because I can see the movie's song credits if I hang around long enough (they're usually the very last item presented) and because I can leave the theater without having to interact with other humans, since everyone else left the microsecond the closing credits began. This is not the case with Marvel movies for which everyone assumes and expects a post-credits "stinger" scene, and I typically watch my resolve fading as I turn my head around and see the entire theater is still packed.

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20 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Around the World in 80 Days had a lengthy (for the time) list of closing credits, as did West Side Story (panning from one piece of graffiti to another).   I think this was typical for the big road show films of the 50s and 60s, and smaller films still had the shorter list of credits.  By the late 60s and early 70s, though, credit bloat started creeping in.  

YouTube has the opening credits for 101 Dalmatians...

 

Sure.  Not so bad now, but in 1961 three minutes WAS a long time.  Especially for a 10 year old with a typical ten year old's level of patience.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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I remember the interminable opening credits for SUPERMAN (1978)!  Way back when I was a mean widdle kid I remember never seeing a movie prior to "Superman" with such a long credit sequence to start the movie.  It stuck in my youthful brain and has been there ever since.  

The end credit roll for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) is quite long, too.  Lotsa folks involved in its production! 

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I used to kid about that stuff sometimes.  Like, when it was clear the movie was over, my wife wanted to immediately leave the theater.  But there was such a crush of people leaving I preferred to wait until the crowd thinned out.  But I'd always use the exuse of, "No, not yet.  I wanna watch the credits and see who the BEST BOY and GAFFER  was!"  ;)  Or sometimes I'd say "The caterer."  :D 

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