Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Predicting Sundance Success

Interesting article in the LA Times about a guy, Matthew Prince, who uses historical data to predict Sundance success. Interesting idea, but I think what it really suggests is that the Sundance Festival team has a pretty good idea what films have commercial prospects.

Consider these predictors:

1. Eccles Theatre a positive predictor. Well of course, since Eccles is usually reserved for bigger budgets and bigger stars and bigger-buzz films.

2. Geoffrey Gilmore and John Cooper choices do better than ... say Trevor Goth's and Lisa Viola's. Geoff and John are top dogs and I'm guessing they get first dibs.

3. More producers improve the film's chances. What's the saying: "Success has many fathers. Failure is a bastard child."

The most interesting predictors were the language used in the Film Guide, some of which is obvious (words suggesting international and documentary films did not do as well). But others are worth noting:

"Golden: academic, accomplished, bedroom, complex, dialogue, dream, death, focus, girl, human, high, journey, love, mother, narrative, romance, relationship, superbly, sex, ultimately.

"Kiss of death: Africa, America, American, beautiful, black, best, emotional, fascinating, great, inspired, lake, new, riveting, Sundance, sexy, story, subtitles, truth, vision, world."

I'm working on my script now, and I've asked Geoff Gilmore to review it as such: "An accomplished bedroom dialogue between a girl and her mother that provides focus to their relationship as a superbly complex narrative journey that follows the very human dreams of love, romance, sex and, ultimately, high academic death."

It will not take place in Africa.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, premiering at Eccles is a negative predictor.

2:48 AM  

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