Professor at the University of Paris III, director of the Institute for Research on cinema and audiovisual (IRCAV), Laurent Creton is a specialist the film economy. It looks at the controversy started in Le Monde by Vincent Maraval distributor for large fees that undermine economic actors movies.
The biggest hallmarks of French actors? Ais they have exploded in recent years?
Many observers argue, Vincent Maraval denounces, but we have no reliable study. An analysis that could launch the National Film Centre and the Moving Image (CNC) from data stored in perspective, would certainly clarify this debate, avoid sweeping generalizations and generalizations. That said, other data help explain the current tension on the seals of the actors at the top of the box office.
The question of the character and legitimacy, is the question of the value of the actor. In the case of a huge star like Depardieu, who is undoubtedly one of the greatest French actors? Ais, this value can not be measured in the few minutes it goes to the screen. A star, as laid Edgar Morin is a character that condenses a very strong symbolic value that can be converted into a market value. The incredible drama that has taken place in recent weeks, which feast on the television, radio or newspapers illustrates this phenomenon: Depardieu r the title, the arrival of Putin Bardot with two elephants is its worst movie, but it illustrates better than any other star of overkill. His words and gestures take a disproportionate scale.
This status put in a situation to require money, limousine, chauffeur, whims … It is as old as Hollywood myth, but in a context of questioning income, working conditions, it is not trivial. It also gives him the ability to be heard in the public debate. One result of this case is that it leads to re-examine the tax system in France, and even international relations between France and Russia.
The star it ensures entries?
No, and it also explains the tension. In the 1950s, we can build a film project with a reasonable expectation of reaching a wide audience on popular players like Fernandel and Bourvil. Louis de Funes took over in the 1960s and 1970s, and then in another genre, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon.
From the 1980s, the star value crumbles. Fewer actors guarantee success. Movies phenomena such as Sticks or untouchables are not confined, far from it, their actors (whose value at the box office exploded precisely because of the exceptional success – always unpredictable – these films). In the film, characterized by a high level of economic uncertainty, the names of the actors involved greatly promotional strategies, but mostly serve deposit “insurance-”. They reassure investors, especially cha ing television, which are very attentive to their ability – real or perceived – to attract viewers.
Is it the same in the United States?
Yes. We are the last twenty years, in the era of high concept movie, the star of the film is not the actor, but the concept. This translates the logical result. We create value by capitalizing on prior success. The trend is accompanied by a strong development of all public animation. This economic logic born in the United States won the France. The best scores at the box office in 2012 confirm the trend: Ice Age 4, followed by Skyfall, On the Trail of the Marsupilami, La V??rit?? si je mens! 3, Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Puss in Boots, Asterix and Obelix 4 Madagascar 3 …
With very high fees, film financing is obsolete?
Certainly not. The system for cinema fran? Ais is a system of regulation and redistribution of money from basically the admissions and funding that are bound video editors or cha donkeys television. It was con? U in an integrated and coherent vision, which aims to live together movies big commercial potential and artistically Ambitious films. He favored a single movie industry in the world. The admissions, for example have not risen steadily since 1992, when attendance was at its lowest level (116 million viewers). We then planned the death of the room, killed by screens, this was the time when we were talking about the death of cinema. However, since that time, attendance is bullish. It increased by 85% until 2011, passing over 200 million.
And contrary to what you hear, the film fran? Ais economy is not public. This is a market that has a control device such as many areas in France. Seals within the private sphere. Link their amounts of public assistance and apply causalities unfounded system is to amalgamate. And is itself open to those, many who seek to undermine this system. This is the meaning of the recent set of Aur??lie Filippetti and eric Garandeau guard, which I totally agree.
Vincent Maraval there yet right to denounce the low profitability of movies in theaters because of big pills?
According to the French Film? Ais each year only 3-5 movies fran? Ais over 250 have box office covering their budget. But we must remember that those who are funded by a string of television worked well when they repay 25 to 30% of their budget with the only operating room.
In France, in fact, since the 1980s, television is the main outlet and the main funder of cinema. The room generates revenues but it is mostly a place that allows a symbolic value, then declined on other media where the film continues to be profitable – TV, DVD, VOD … You will not buy on DVD or VOD, a movie you’ve never heard of. The theatrical release gives rise to criticism, debates on television and radio … It is a necessary backdrop to the film that is a true cinematic existence, and may be part of a collective memory.
Mr. Maraval is a distributor, whose job is to make movies out in theaters and in the promotion. The problem of distributors is that their work is valued throughout the chain of distribution of the film – room, television, video, etc.. – While their revenues come only from the room.
They may feel they are not getting a fair return on their investment while they are at the forefront in terms of risk-taking. This explains the intense annoyance of Mr. Maraval. Recall in particular that distributors must invest more in advertising to educate the public: 193 000 000 in 2001, 574 million in 2011. This is huge.
Why the inflation co? Ts promotion?
It is characteristic of all cultural sectors today. Competition is increasingly fierce (between films, more and more, which are less and less time in theaters, but also between movies and other leisure activities). We must invest more to make them exist, it is a form of speculation. We are in a casino economy.
Funding for French movies? Ais he causes inflation co? Ts?
This is a problem. The total investment in French movies? Ais increased from 440 million euros in 1994 to 1,390 million in 2011. When injecting more money into a system, it expects an improvement. Better films, or better export competitiveness, for example. But a budget increase as this, inevitably, the implications of inflationary type of greater or lesser extent. But the current inflation is partly based on a questionable speculative system illustrated very well the logic of films on as Asterix, La V??rit?? si je mens!, Bronzed …
The first album is co? Usually you not too expensive, success is unexpected. This is a jackpot. The second responds to the desire to extend this success and led to a budget and much larger seals. But the recipes are rarely there: 14.6 million entries for Asterix and Cleopatra, Asterix and 6.8 million for the Olympics, and 3.7 Asterix at the service of Her Majesty. 3.7 million is a very good result in itself, but compared to 61 million co What side On the film is disappointing. Especially for the distributor. The scenario is the same for the last episode of The Truth if I lie! The last episode was made for a budget of $ 25 million (including $ 5.7 million for the actors).
TVs play any r? Inflation in the seals of the stars?
The heat donkeys who schedule films are forced to spend a proportion of their sales in their financing, pre-sales. This logic leads to calculate fees as a reward for past successes pleased t as an incentive to future revenues. When you know that the remuneration of the producer, who also pays upstream is calculated based on the film’s budget, it is understood that he may have an interest in seeing the hallmarks of film stars climb.
But why are they expensive pay TV movies they pr??ach??tent?
Until the 1990s, movies were their flagship products, scheduled in prime time. For fifteen years, they are considerably less – except on Canal + and Arte, the models are very specific. As a result, each donkeys general (TF1, France 2, M6), if we stick to them, tend to concentrate the money they have to spend a few unifying films, big potential audience . And they are fighting for the stars, hoping to attract viewers. This obviously contributes to inflation stamps. But inflation concerns only a handful of players. They form a kind of bubble. Actors and technicians, in their vast majority, are away from it all.
What about the case Daniel Auteuil, including Vincent Maraval says it has reached a total of 1.5 million for three successive films financed by France Television, which were three failures in theaters?
These figures are to be compared with the reputation of Auteuil and its value limitation on television. If his fees are high, it is probably to? an inertia effect, which will not be sustainable if it fails to show in the future, at least for a few films, its ability to contribute to the spectators come in many rooms.
Can we require that televisions limit the amount of investment per film?
This is a track for consideration, but it does not say they accept. The event logic cinema chain donkeys general argues instead for a concentration of investments. Want to redefine their obligations is to take the risk of seeing disengage … Nonce Paolini has benefited the rest of the debate to say his desire to revise down the obligations of TF1.
And can we supervise large pills?
Difficult. This is a private contract, determined by negotiation. What you can imagine, however, is to set a reasonable amount of compensation for players and add a profit-sharing.
This raises the issue of revenue transparency …
Transparency is indeed a key point. No actor would agree to see a significant portion of his salary to be variable if revenues film appear to be too opaque. This probably explains also the view of Maraval.
The ISPs benefit from the distribution of films online. Can we force them to help finance the film?
It does not seem obvious. When we see the reluctance of Google and Apple to fulfill the imp? T income, it is difficult to believe that they will agree to pay a fee for the French cinema? Ais. And they will find allies in Brussels, which taste you this little “French exception? Comfortable” on film.
The difficulty in bridging the gap between large and small tablets she refers to the difficulty in reducing the gap between films with high audience and confidential movies?
Yes, the debate on the stamps is part of the fracture, still greater between the films. In 1950, the twenty films that were the most entries attracted 25% of viewers. Today, they attract 40% of the public. At the bottom of the scale, the films are less visited it distributes more – about 600 a year – and the big films account for the screens. ? The French Production also rose much ease: 111 movies in 1994 and 272 in 2011. . Besides the big films account for more screens. In the same film, it is not uncommon to see one blockbuster deal with two or three. Therefore manifests a growing tension between the abundance of supply and limited opportunity for spectators to understand.
What means the Ministry of Culture to change the debate?
Is pleased t the TNC to organize things, creating a dialogue, promoting the development of shared eligible figures and studies offering a perspective of issues ultimately quite complex analyzes that s’ part of a system to think as a whole and in the long term, not just from a shot zoom on some of its components.
This is what was done at Club 13 by Pascale Ferran, but without great results.
It is true, the logical concentration attendance on a small number of films were reinforced for decades, and they persist despite the importance of the commitment to diversity. The debate opened by Maraval is in the actual continuity of the report of the Club of 13, which denunciation? Has the polarization and the growing gap between films m??gabudg??taires high commercial ambition that capture a growing share of resources and attention, and many other films that are struggling to exist and to find their place.