For February 2020 Daniel and Melvin decided to talk about a hodgepodge of topics. In fact, this might be their most loose and casual episode to date. For starters, what begins as a discussion of Bob Iger’s recent choice to step down as CEO of Disney goes straight into a discussion on the Coronavirus and how COVID-19 has been affecting the film industry at large.
Then they swing headfirst into a discussion over Disney Plus (or as they call it, The Mandalorian streaming service). For the foreseeable future, Bob Iger will oversee Disney Plus’S development, and to put things in perspective Daniel and Melvin discuss their experience with Disney Plus, how it’s fought to differentiate itself from the competition, and what sort of changes may happen in the months to come.
They also take some time to discuss a potential Writers Strike that may hit the film industry in the near future, and look back to the writer’s strike of 2007 (which you can hear more about in our Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog episode) for some guidance on what to expect from such an event.
And finally, because Melvin’s been bugging Daniel about it for so long, they’re going to talk about Quibi. What’s Quibi, you might ask? Just the strangest upcoming streaming service you’ve never heard of, and they’re here to tell you about its bizarrely fascinating mission to be the most interesting yet miscalculated app to join the streaming wars!
Below are a few highlights from January 2020:
Bob Iger Steps Down as CEO to focus on Disney +
Bob Iger recently stepped down as Disney CEO with Bob Chapek replacing him. However, for the time being, Bob Iger isn’t done with Disney, and he plans to focus his efforts on the recently debuted Disney Plus, the Disney streaming service which provides exclusive access to Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other unique properties limited to the Disney brand.
However, it can’t be helped to wonder if that’s all it is; the Disney brand. Despite having express access to films like Avengers: Endgame, every Star Wars film (with The Rise of Skywalker rumored to be available in April), and a massive collection of Disney Channel original shows and television movies, there’s a question of whether or not this fairly massive library is nothing more than deceptively shallow.
With films such as the 1950’s Shaggy Dog, the Descendants franchise, and other at-the-time popular shows like Lizzie Mcguire and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, there still begs the question whether these properties are really worth paying for on a monthly basis. Sure, you get Marvel. Sure, you get Star Wars (kind of, as even A New Hope has seen a new aptly titled McClunkey edit). But what people want is new compelling content, and with The Mandalorian’s first season over, questions arise as to what Bob Iger’s plans for the future hold.
Potential Industry Worries: COVID-19 and a Writers Strike
You can’t avoid it, and it’s hitting on every major industry. Costco’s being raided, churches are converting to temporary online services, and toilet paper is the new currency. Coronavirus is hitting the world by storm, and apart from the unhealthy and rapid cynicism plaguing social media, there’s an appropriate sense of mindfulness that’s required when engaging what’s now considered the world’s latest pandemic.
And while retail workers are feeling the brunt force of panic-purchases, movie theaters are going to embrace a temporary vacancy as cinephiles and the general public alike think twice about sitting in a public seat where rando’s shoveled popcorn into their mouths. Not only that, movies are seeing their release dates pushed back later into 2020, with No Time To Die seeing its date pushed into Fall, and Fast and Furious 9 (or Fast 9 or Fast and Furious 9: The Fast Saga) being pushed back an entire year!
And that’s not the worst of it, as May 1st sees the end the Writers Guild of America’s last contract. The biggest worry regarding a new contract is in regards to streaming rights, and how much writers will earn for their works that appear across the multitude of streaming platforms. And if 2007’s Writer’s Strike showed us anything, it’s that companies would sooner populate your cable and streaming feed with reality television than pay writers their due diligence for their work.
As such, Daniel and Melvin take a look at what this means for the current state of the industry, what could become of it, and whether or not we can expect more seasons of your uncles favorite shows Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers.
Is Quibi Fundamentally Flawed, or Will it Work
“Quick Bites. Big Stories.”
That’s the tagline of the upcoming mobile-exclusive streaming service Quibi. Bolstering high-quality content all under 10 minutes per episode, Quibi allows the user to engage media in multiple ways. Want to watch in portrait? Go ahead. Want a more cinematic experience? Watch in landscape. Although, one might argue that watching anything on your phone would forfeit the cinematic experience.
Even so, there are some interesting storytelling prospects to the way Quibi works. You see, it’s not that the image is stretched to fit your screen, but that each format – portrait and landscape – feature completely different perspectives. Whether in portrait or landscape, Quibi will format the image to look at its best whichever way you engage its media, and at times show completely different angles giving the watcher different information or even easter eggs to a thriller, horror, or mystery show on the service.
Starting at $5 a month for a with-ads subscription and $8 for ads-free, Quibi looks to hit the ground running with unique shows featuring Zac Efron, Idris Elba, a Judge Judy style court room show, two daily news shows, and projects by industry titans Guillermo Del Toro, Sam Raimi, and even Steven Spielberg. And that’s just scratching the surface.
But this still begs the question… does anyone really want a high-quality streaming service that’s exclusive for cell-phones?
Monthly Movie News is a podcast/article released at the end of every month and contains a discussion of the month’s most interesting, funniest, or ground-breaking movie-related news.
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Melvin Benson is the founder, editor, and lead host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!