the first cut

 

 

 

The First Cut will be targeting the following demographic groups: Women between the age of 18- 49 years old. Independent film goers between the age of 18-34. Audiences in Asia and Latin America.

Women/ Foreign Films and Global Markets/Ultra Low-Budget Films

Foreign Films and Global Markets

Latin American and East Asian cinemas Directors without borders direct the hot films in Hollywood today. Not only does their multi-lingual cinema intrigue movie goers, but their stories sell in the populous and growing markets of India, East Asia, and Latin America.

Hollywood has renewed its long-standing affection for foreign filmmakers in an era when international box office is crucial:

As Hollywood tries to stave off commercial stasis, the industry has been undergoing another chapter in its love affair with foreign writers and directors, particularly those from the Far East and Latin America. The international box office now accounts for more than 60% of a film's box office gross, boosting the street cred of such players as Lee and Brazil's Walter Salles, whose respective foreign-language films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Motorcycle Diaries were international hits. Although the studios still tend to Hoover up foreign directors and turn them into the purveyors of such glossy fare as Mission Impossible 2, Independence Day and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the indie divisions at least want the auteurs to retain the individuality that made them attractive in the first place.
(Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2006)

Latin American national cinemas have made a deep impact in the global economy with the recent phenomena of their experimental aesthetics and unprecedented box-office appeal within and beyond the subcontinent.

Films such as City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002) and The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles, 2004), from Brazil, Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001) and Amores Perros (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2001) from México; Nine Queens (Fabian Bielinsky, 2000) and The Son of the Bride (Juan José Campanella, 2001) from Argentina, have come to the foreground settling a new trend of Latin American pictures. The big US production companies have come into the region through alliances with local film industries.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2000. It cost only 2 million to make and made around 5 million dollars. It tells the intertwined stories of three sets of characters in Mexico City, whose lives are brought together by a prize-fighting dog and a car crash.

Iñárritu’s recent chart topper Babel interweaves three stories from Mexico, Morocco, and Japan. With a budget of 20 million US dollars it has already grossed 22 million worldwide and has not even begun its DVD and VHS rental shares.

A large portion of foreign film sales comes from the VHS and DVD markets, especially after global award nominations. Deepa Mehta’s Water, for example, grossed 3 million in the box office, but already has nearly 2 million in VHS sales.

India’s large movie going audiences have now matured beyond the days of Bollywood to appreciate films without stars and song and dance sequences. The purchasing power of this populous country as well as its growing middle class diaspora cannot be underestimated.

Producers and directors making movies in East and Southeast Asia these days think globally but act locally. Action in the Far East has drawn Hollywood's attention. Special overseas divisions or partnerships to produce and distribute films in languages other than English have been created by major studios like Disney, Miramax and Sony pictures.

East and Southeast Asia are the fastest growing regional markets -- especially China and India, whose huge populations make them potentially much bigger markets than Europe.

"Within another two decades," according to Christina Klein, writing for Yale Global Online, "Asia could be responsible for as much as 60 percent of Hollywood's box-office revenue... Asia is where the action is, and will be for the foreseeable future."

For years, the East played a subservient role to the West and remained at the receiving end of Hollywood visions.
Hong Kong movies, for instance, traditionally copied Hollywood plots shamelessly. But the Asian economic ascendancy, which started three decades ago, has changed that.

Hong Kong began to find itself in the late 1980s, and it was Hollywood's turn to copy. Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino all have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for the martial art genre, and Tarantino has admitted to being "inspired" by Ringo Lam's "City on Fire" when making his film "Reservoir Dogs."
(Andrew Lam, New America Media, Aug 1, 2006)

Jet Li’s action packed martial arts epic "Hero" grossed over $18m in North America this weekend, the highest August opening ever and the second largest weekend opening ever for a foreign language film. "Hero," which opened on 2031 screens, grossed $18, 004, 319, for a per screen average of $8865.

“We’re very proud of 'Hero’s' strong opening and how it has proven to be a successful film, not just a successful foreign-language film," said Miramax Chief Operating Officer Rick Sands. “Throughout Miramax’s history, we have always been especially satisfied when mainstream US audiences respond so strongly to foreign language projects like this.”

Jet Li’s Hero directed by Zhang Yimou with its 31 million production budget grossed 53.7 million domestically – but grossed another 123.7 million in its foreign markets, which was 70% of its total sales. It totaled 177.3 million worldwide.

Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer grossed over 42 million worldwide with over 20 million coming from the Japanese market alone.

The First Cut will succeed in reaching different global markets, including the Indian, East Asian, and Latin American markets because of the diversity of its lead characters, the ability of the people in these regions to relate to the atmosphere and environments, and their recognition of actors in these three stories.

While the film will be subtitled in English, all characters will be speaking the language of their respective regions and audiences will find it linguistically accessible.