How many films employ an Intimacy Coordinator?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
3w ago
The film industry is pretty slow to change and usually opts to do whatever it was doing last year rather than embrace change. This is never more true than in the area of employment and the roles on-set. However, two types of roles which have popped into being almost overnight are the intrepid staff of “The Covid Department” and Intimacy Coordinators. While the former are a dying breed, the latter are going from strength to strength. I wanted to get a handle on just how prevalent Intimacy Coordinators were in modern moviemaking, so I turned to the data. I studied 385,723 live-action fiction mov ..read more
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Tips for attending the European Film Market
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
3w ago
In just over a week, many of the world’s film industry professionals will be trying to keep warm in Berlin. That’s because it’s the start of the annual ten-day film industry gathering in Berlin which is half film festival (the “Berlinale”) and half trade show (the “European Film Market” or EFM).  In a previous article, I looked at the films ‘In Competition’ over the past six decades of the Berlin Film Festival so today I thought I would focus on the experience of actually attending the festival and market. The EFM was steadily growing in size each year but was majorly affe ..read more
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Which country makes the sweariest movies?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1M ago
Warning: This article contains 17 uses of the f-word, 9 uses of the s-word and 8 uses of the c-word, among other examples of foul language. Even the graphs are graphic. You have been fucking warned. Like last week, this is another offshoot of my work for Guinness World Records, although the vast majority of what you’re about to read won’t make it into the 2025 World Records book for reasons that will become extremely obvious. What began as an investigation into the ‘Sweariest Movie’ grew into a much wider exploration of swearing within movies worldwide. I will post a longer explanation of my ..read more
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How often is the film title mentioned in James Bond movies?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1M ago
One of my most enjoyable side jobs is the work I do for Guinness World Records. They work with wonderful Bruce Nash at The Numbers for the headline records (Top Grossing Movie, Biggest Budget, etc) and so they look to me for the slightly… stranger World Records. One such record I delivered recently looked at James Bond movies. Specifically, the James Bond movie mentioned its own title most frequently in the dialogue. The answer is revealed later in this article, but for a bit of fun, I’d like you to spend a moment to ponder what the answer might be. It really makes you think about how movie d ..read more
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Does thanking too many people in the credits indicate a movie is bad?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
David Wilkinson got in touch yesterday asking for advice on his new crowdfunding campaign. One of the topics he wanted to chat about was the ‘cost’ of offering a “Thanks” credit to his backers. This involves awarding someone who backs the film a credit on the movie under the “With Thanks” section. This name check would appear at the end of the movie and, crucially, on IMDb. On the face of it, there is no cost to offering an almost infinite number of these as it would just be a case of a longer end credit crawl and IMDb doesn’t charge for listing credits. However, David brought up an anecdote f ..read more
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How we got hired to create an AI-generated feature film screenplay
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
For the past six months, I’ve been working in secret on a real-world experiment. Today, I’m delighted to begin sharing what we’ve been doing, why we’ve been doing it and to be part of a larger public debate about the questions it raises. I teamed up with a particle physicist and together we secured a professional script development deal to create a feature film script entirely written by artificial intelligence (AI). There is a lot to share about this project, and so I can’t hope to cover it all in this article. Instead, I’m going to introduce the project and tell you what’s coming out soon. H ..read more
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Understanding movie genre emotions
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
At the core of any movie-watching experience are the emotions you feel. The marketers will have used all their skills to create certain emotional expectations, the movie itself will take you on a journey, and afterwards you may continue to experience emotions as you reflect back on what you saw. For bad movie-watching experiences, this three-step process might be hope -> confusion -> anger. But let’s instead focus on the desired journey, in which the audience gets what they’re seeking. Audiences may want a movie to heighten their existing emotions, to counter emotions they want to shake ..read more
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Are lower-budget horror films more profitable than expensive ones?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
Regular readers will know that I’ve conducted a number of research projects into horror films over the years. Despite not being much of a watcher of horror movies, the business side fascinates me. The genre seems to break many of the rules of thumb which apply to other genres and deserves its own economic study. For example, The Black Phone is currently doing great business in theatres, on a modest $18 million budget. I was asked on Twitter if this is another illustration of the idea that “the less you spend, the more you make” with horror movies. I went back to my past (pre-pandemic) data to ..read more
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The experiences of American Pavilion interns at the Cannes Film Festival
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
I have just returned from a trip to the Cannes Film Festival and market. While I was there I learned more and more about what it is like for the 200+ interns attending Cannes via the student programs run by the American Pavilion (“AmPav”). I have subsequently spoken with over 30 interns about their experiences and will share below what I’ve found. This is likely to be an evolving story. As I learn more I will update, correct and expand this article in response to the feedback and responses I receive. I have added a Change Log at the end to make it easy for you to see what’s been updated. The A ..read more
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Do older audiences want to watch older actors?
Stephen Follows - Film industry data and education
by Stephen Follows
1y ago
Today’s topic comes from a reader. They are in pre-production and were challenged by a stakeholder on their casting choices. The objection came from an experienced professional who said “My concern is that this film will play to an older audience and yet all your actors are young“. This prompted the filmmaker to get in touch with me to ask: “Is there a correlation between the age of the audience and the age of the lead actors in the films they chose to see?“. I love this question. It’s one of those ‘industry truths’ that could go either way. On the one hand, it feels valid to suggest that peop ..read more
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