How Women Can Save The World By Telling Epic Stories In The Movies

Prima Cinema Brings First-Run Movies To Your Home

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When making the trilogy, Warner Bros. created a wholly-owned New Zealand company it named “3 Foot 7 Ltd,” in reference to the diminutive stature of the movie’s hobbits and dwarves. Company documents show that New Zealand taxpayers have so far contributed NZ$98 million to the trilogy through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to the country. Such schemes are common among U.S. states and foreign countries that compete for movies. The trilogy also appears to be one of the most expensive movie productions in which two or more movies are shot at the same time. Both Box Office Mojo and Guinness World Records estimate the most expensive single movie ever made was “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with an estimated $300 million production tag. That movie, in conjunction with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” which was shot at the same time held the previous record for the most expensive total production, costing an estimated $450 million to $525 million. According to Box Office Mojo, Jackson’s previous trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings,” cost a total $281 million to make. The Star Wars prequel trilogy, meanwhile, cost $343 million, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie costs and box office receipts. In making “The Hobbit,” New Zealand director Jackson chose to shoot both in 3D and at 48 frames per second, rather than the standard 24, in the hopes of giving audiences greater picture clarity and a more immersive experience. Both techniques added significant expense. The higher frames per second received mixed reviews, as did the movie itself, which starred Martin Freeman as the title character. The trilogy is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name and traces the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he attempts to help a group of dwarves regain their wealth and stature from the dragon Smaug.

It also raised the intriguing question: What might our culture be like if we had more grand, epic movies about the lives of women? And what if female filmmakers were writing and directing them? As women filmmakers, we’ve been told to accept small stories, low budgets, and modest expectations. But what if we have much larger visions? What if we want to make blockbuster movies with heroines who are full of valor, keen intelligence, and a desire to change the world? And what if women’s epic movies could change the world — by providing the uniting narratives that can overcome the division and fragmentation of our civilization today? This past week I had the pleasure of speaking on this subject at Social Media Week LA’s “Power Women in Entertainment” panel . (You can see the full video from the event below.) We had a bright and enthusiastic audience, and as often at such events, the recurring question came up: how do we correct the ongoing imbalance in women’s representation in media and entertainment? We all know the dismaying numbers: Only 5 percent of the top 100 studio films are directed by women, 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women, 3 percent of all tech companies are started by women (and yet they are 35 percent more profitable than those started by men), 27 percent of top media management jobs are held by women, and only 27 percent of on-screen movie roles are played by women (a number not changed substantially since the 1920s!). I suggested to the audience that the best way we as women could overcome these inequities was by focusing on the excellence of our work — and by taking on big stories and using digital technology to deliver big results. My co-panelists Rachael McLean of JuntoBox Films (an innovative film company co-founded by Forest Whitaker), Sarah Penna of Big Frame, and Jesse Draper of Valley Girl outlined how they were working toward these goals. We agreed that we needed many more women entrepreneurs and entertainment creators to make these efforts stick. In the film world, this means insisting that women be given the opportunity to write, direct, and act in the major movie properties that have the potential to achieve the greatest box office success. The excuse that Hollywood executives give that women-led movies don’t make good business sense is pure nonsense. Research studies show that the chief determinant in the box office success of a movie is not the gender of the director or lead actor — but the size of the budget and the breadth of the film’s release.


The player itself is made in the US and is rack-mountable. The separate fingerprint scanner (you read that right), has a die-cast aluminum chassis. The player connects to your display via HDMI. Movies are automatically downloaded, but you only pay for the movies you watch. Prima claims better than Blu-ray quality and twice the sharpness of Blu-ray which is a bit of a stretch, seeing as the resolution is 1080p/24 (same as Blu-ray). The encoded bit rate is twice that of Blu-ray (less compression ) and there are more bits per color . So presuming your equipment can handle the latter, it should be a little better than BD. That said,even if it looks the same as Blu-ray, thats still excellent. Currently, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Magnolia Pictures Millennium and Cinedigm offer movies on Prima. If other services are any indication (like Netflix Netflix , iTunes, Google Google Play and etc.), expect to see more studios sign on if Prima does well. Cost(s) If youre expecting the Prima Cinema to be expensive, youd be right. Just the hardware is $35,000.