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Old 12-13-2012, 09:49 PM
zoog zoog is offline
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How much do they get paid for this?

So Mrs. Zoog was watching this gawd-awful movie, The 12 Disasters of Christmas, on SyFy. She likes stuff like that, go figure. I looked at it for about 10 minutes, it was every bit as craptastic as you might imagine.

And as I'm watching this, the question comes to mind as it occasionally does when she watches these things: Somebody actually spent money to make this? Seriously, some writer pitched this to a producer and the producer thought "yeah, that sounds like a winner" and green-lighted it and committed money to make it happen.

So I'm wondering if some doper might have some insight into these kinds of made for cable TV movies - how much do the various people involved make doing this? From the lead roles to the small supporting roles, writers, directors, etc.? I'd guess it's more than you might think.

And an even scarier question comes to mind - how many of these things get made that never see the light of day?
  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:06 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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The exist because they make, or are expected to make more than they cost. Most of the time, they aren't pretending to make high art, and it should not be a sign of a crappy production company. Witness Roger Corman, who is often cited as a major influence by Oscar winning directors and producers, and also makes films like Dinocroc vs. Supergator. Then there's Uwe Boll, who claims to be making serious films, but also possibly for a time benefited from German tax dodges when his films flopped due to being crap.

Also, for every would-be famous director, they need to eat, and it's a paycheck. Some can keep making them.

Also, most of the ones you're talking about are made by SyFy, and they probably have it down by now as to what budget to set, etc.
  #3  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:21 AM
zoog zoog is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
The exist because they make, or are expected to make more than they cost. Most of the time, they aren't pretending to make high art, and it should not be a sign of a crappy production company. Witness Roger Corman, who is often cited as a major influence by Oscar winning directors and producers, and also makes films like Dinocroc vs. Supergator. Then there's Uwe Boll, who claims to be making serious films, but also possibly for a time benefited from German tax dodges when his films flopped due to being crap.

Also, for every would-be famous director, they need to eat, and it's a paycheck. Some can keep making them.

Also, most of the ones you're talking about are made by SyFy, and they probably have it down by now as to what budget to set, etc.
No doubt these guys have a good idea of how to make these things profitable. I can't help but wonder sometimes if the margin on one of those made for SyFy movies is better than, say, a rerun of an old theatrical release.

I suppose it's good that they are making new stuff like this - it keeps actors & crews employed, and some of the people getting work here could very well be getting some valuable exposure and experience. I know one young actor who's been trying to get work for a while. He's landed a couple of minor stage roles and a couple of local TV ads, and I'd imagine he'd kill somebody for two speaking lines in a bad SyFy movie.

And hey, my wife digs them. If for no other reason than for the campy and often unintended humor in some of them. I just have to leave the room when they're on for fear of losing valuable brain cells.
  #4  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:56 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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For TV movies, the income stream is pretty well defined: you know what SyFy will pay for one. You add in an amount for DVD sales. Viola: your income. Then you budget things so you make money. As a bonus, if you sell to SyFy, you don't have marketing costs.

SyFy, OTOH, knows how much money they will make from selling ads for two hours on Saturday afternoon, so they make an offer that's less than that.

The quality is not important. Remember -- television in not in the business of providing entertainment; it's in the business of selling ad time. As long as they can sell the ad time, it doesn't matter what's on the air.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:52 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The quality is not important. Remember -- television in not in the business of providing entertainment; it's in the business of selling ad time. As long as they can sell the ad time, it doesn't matter what's on the air.
But if no one watches Prehistoric Manatee vs Irradiated Antelope, SyFy will stop making them. People can say "TV channels are only in the business of selling ads" all they want. But the actual practices of said networks (including canceling underperforming shows and constantly developing new ones) proves that what they air does matter.
  #6  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:05 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
....Remember -- television in not in the business of providing entertainment; it's in the business of selling ad time. ...
Not really. TV is in the business of selling audiences to advertisers. So quality matters only to the extent that the audience size is large enough to get their advertisers to pay the asked for price for the audience. A better quality product may or may not do that. A predictable quality is more attractive because it's most likely to bring in a reasonably predictable quantity of viewers that can be sold for a predictable quantity of money.

Also, the movie doesn't have to pay for itself with the sales of one viewing. It's cost is spread over repeated viewings over repeated years. If they get lucky and it draws an unexpectedly large audience, they might try ashing in and reshowing it almost immediately, and might charge the advertisers more for the time. OTOH, if it completely bombs it might be tossed on a shelf and never seen again, and they'll write off the loss. Though I'm at a loss to imagine what might be bad enough for the SyFy Channel to do this.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:18 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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From the Syfy wikipedia page;

"Sci Fi Pictures original films are typically independently-made B-movies with production budgets of $1 to 2 million each".

and

"Since 2001, Syfy has worked with a number of different production companies (most of them indie) to make over 200 original movies of this type."
  #8  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:31 PM
Saltire Saltire is offline
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One should also keep in mind that there are more people who want to make movies than there are movies to make. So a lot of the people involved in B- and C-grade or worse films would prefer to be working on the next blockbuster, but all those jobs were taken. Instead they end up working on a PoS movie.

But in their minds, working on any movie is better than any other job in the world.

It's like the old joke about the guy shoveling elephant crap at the circus. When he complains, his buddy asks why he doesn't just quit. He answers, "What, and give up show business?"
  #9  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:57 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Not really. TV is in the business of selling audiences to advertisers. So quality matters only to the extent that the audience size is large enough to get their advertisers to pay the asked for price for the audience. A better quality product may or may not do that. A predictable quality is more attractive because it's most likely to bring in a reasonably predictable quantity of viewers that can be sold for a predictable quantity of money.
It's the same thing as I was saying: they're in the business of selling ads. If there aren't enough viewers, then they have trouble selling the ads -- but they can also reduce the charge for the ads to account for a smaller audience.

Having an audience only makes it easier or harder to sell ads, and to charge a different rate to accommodate it. But they primarily want to sell ads, and if they could get the same ad rates, the audience doesn't matter.

SyFy knows the base number of viewers they'll get for any movie in a particular time slot. They set their ad rates accordingly.
  #10  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:02 PM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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I got the impression from the 20th anniversary special that they know exactly what they are doing: showing movies that are precisely the right amount of camp.

The fight between Tiffany and Debbie Gibson in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

p.s. Yes, SyFy originals on Saturday night is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Last edited by Oslo Ostragoth; 12-14-2012 at 08:03 PM.
  #11  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:19 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
A predictable quality is more attractive because it's most likely to bring in a reasonably predictable quantity of viewers that can be sold for a predictable quantity of money.
And there is nothing in the world of arts and entertainment whose quality is more predictable than a SyFy original.
  #12  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 PM
turner turner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo Ostragoth View Post
I got the impression from the 20th anniversary special that they know exactly what they are doing: showing movies that are precisely the right amount of camp.

The fight between Tiffany and Debbie Gibson in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

p.s. Yes, SyFy originals on Saturday night is a guilty pleasure of mine.
Ditto. Its a family affair for us. We do our own mst 3000. We do have standards though:

1. It must have "vs", "oid" or "Mega" in the title
2. It must have a former 70s or 80s hearttrob in it".
3. A hot science chick needs to appear within the first 15 minutes.
  #13  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:27 PM
turner turner is offline
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Missed the edit window. Forgot "spiders" in the title or a shark as the bad guy.
  #14  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:41 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
And there is nothing in the world of arts and entertainment whose quality is more predictable than a SyFy original.
This is the truest statement in the thread so far.
  #15  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:17 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Well, it's nice to see that Caprica didn't signal the end of Magda Apanowicz's career.
  #16  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:31 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Prehistoric Manatee vs Irradiated Antelope
You know, I think I'd watch this.
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