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July 10, 2008:

DEMOGRAPHICS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, since they have demographics for everything these days – films, Broadway, books, TV – I feel we should figure out what the demographics of this here site are. I think the first thing we can rule out are the main demographics of all of the above – teenagers. I just don’t see teenagers running to read these here notes and then peruse our discussion board, although, that said, we have had some very bright and talented teens here on and off. So, does our demographic skew male or female? Did I just use the word “skew” in a sentence? Is our demographic middle-aged, young, old, or in between? Are we working class, upper class, do we have class, is class dismissed? Certainly we know the following – over two million people visit this site every year – perhaps even four million, if I’m reading our numbers correctly. That’s not bad for our little corner of the Internet universe. What is the demographic of our lurkers? Are they young, old, or in between. If the latter I won’t mess with them because I never mess with Mr. In Between. Once we know our demographic, then I begin pandering to them, just like Hollywood and, of late, Broadway. As most of you know, pandering can be lots of fun, although sometimes the fun abates – we call this phenomenon pander and ebb. In any case, I feel we have the finest demographic in all the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, yesterday was a kind of a stop and start day. I got up early, did some errands, e-mailed some more sheet music and mp3s, and then jogged two miles. After that, I was hungry, so I had a couple of small sandwiches on toy bread. After that, I did a few more errands, picked up a package, did more errands, and then finally came home and sat on my couch like so much fish, where I thought about demographics and how I don’t give a flying Wallenda about them.

Last night, I had a hankerin’ to watch a motion picture on DVD entitled A.I. I’ve written about the film before, so I won’t cover old territory. The film received a lot of critical brickbats from critics and audiences alike. There was a lot of animosity towards its writer/director Steven Spielberg, because the project began as a Stanley Kubrick project. However, Kubrick didn’t think he was the right director for it and handed it to Spielberg – and then he passed away. Spielberg brought it to fruition, using some of Mr. Kubrick’s ideas from his storyboards. Many people thought he ruined what was an interesting idea for a film because of the film’s final act. People hated it, said Stanley would never have done it, said it was standard issue Spielberg treacle and that the film should have ended with David, the young robot boy, under the sea staring at the Blue Fairy. That never ceases to amaze me – I feel there is no film at all without its final act, and as the naysayers eventually learned (and conveniently disappeared so they wouldn’t have to say they were wrong) the last act of the film WAS Mr. Kubrick’s, including the design of the robots at the end (everyone thought that they were Mr. Spielberg’s invention because they looked like ET’s and not robots, but the ideas and look were Mr. Kubrick’s. But, that’s the way it is with certain films – they just come along at the wrong time or don’t appeal to the dreaded demographics. Plus, the Internet was just coming into its own and a lot of people loved to hear themselves blab on the various Usenet movie groups. The film failed at the box-office, and Mr. Spielberg rarely acknowledges it. I said back in 2002 that eventually people would come to understand that it’s a really good film with some potent ideas and a good deal of emotional pull. Mr. Spielberg’s direction is excellent as are all the performances, especially Haley Joel Osment. John Williams’s score is brilliant, his last great masterpiece (unless there’s another to come). I do think the tide is turning, critically, because I find more and more people who now really love the film, and I think it will end up being thought of as one of Mr. Spielberg’s major works.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I feel that this section no longer appeals to our demographic, whatever the HELL that is.

Today is going to be a very busy day. I have a telephonic call with the publisher people at eleven, during which we’ll go through all the book details, which should enable them to get me a galley by the end of next week – at least that is my fervent prayer. After that, I have a short work session with the musical director of the Kevin and Sean show, then we head over to the rehearsal studio for a four-hour session – two hours of cue to cue and then a complete non-stop run. After the session, I go directly to a restaurant called La La’s to sup with cousins Dee Dee and Alan, which I’m looking forward to.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping that our rehearsal won’t begin until 12:30 or so. If that’s the case, then I’ll spend the morning hours hanging with friends at the Hollywood Collector’s Show in Burbank. Then we have our rehearsal – we’ll run it once, early on, then do cleanups, but with them marking it so they don’t blow their voices. At seven, we do our informal dress rehearsal and it sounds like we’ll have a nice group of folks in attendance, including new dear readers Mark and Amy, as well as old dear reader Meg.

Saturday, I’ll be spending a good deal of the day at the Hollywood Collector’s Show, and then I’m not sure what Saturday evening will bring. And then Sunday is mine all mine.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, have a telephonic call, do errands, have a short work session, and then attend a rehearsal, and then sup. Today’s topic of discussion: What films are your favorite films that got knocked by critics and audiences and failed at the box-office – those films you think were severely underappreciated but that someday may come into their own? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and let’s make sure they appeal to our demographic.

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