You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paramount’s Adam Goodman Touts Value of Theatrical Experience

Prexy appears for keynote conversation at Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit

Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman wants to protect the sanctity of the moviegoing experience even as the studio stays open to all the other opportunities technology provides.

Goodman addressed the myriad issues new media poses in a Q&A Monday at the Variety Entertainment Technology Summit in Los Angeles with Variety’s senior features editor David Cohen.

With an increasing amount of Paramount’s movies taking advantage of 3D and other innovations in display on the silver screen, he sees theaters  continuing to be the first driver of content across the various windows.

“Frankly, I don’t really want to spend years of my life working on something to be able to watch it while I’m standing at a bus stop,” said Goodman. “When we first step out to do something, we want it to be presented in the best way it should be presented.”

Goodman cited the introduction of the Paramount InSurge division, which focuses on creating movies targeting distinct audience segments on budgets a fraction of the blockbusters the studio traditionally produces, as something best viewed in theaters as a communal experience with friends.

“You have to see it on the bigscreen,” he said of the social appeal of films from InSurge. “You don’t just want to steal that in a dorm room.”

While Paramount takes a close read of audience segments to figure out what movies come out of InSurge, Goodman believes there are limits to how a studio can leverage so called “big data” to identify programming opportunities considering the long lag time from greenlight to release in the movie world.

Consequently, content decisions have to be driven more by a gut sense of figuring out how audiences are best served. “We talk about what’s not out there,” said Goodman. “Those are the things that we run fastest too.”

There’s plenty of technology that excites Goodman in terms of innovating the filmmaking process, from pre-visualization to distribution. He has particular interest in the kind of first-person perspective a certain buzzed-about form of eyewear being manufactured at Google has in store for cinema.

Said Goodman, “I want to see the first Google Glass movie.”

Later in the day at conference, Goodman’s defense of the theatrical experience was echoed on a panel about “zeitgeist storytelling” featuring directors Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) and Joseph Kosinski (“Oblivion”).

For Kosinski, the primary challenge of filmmaking is coming up with concepts that encourage consumers to sidestep cost barriers like parking and concessions enough to want to come to theaters. “That means coming up with stories and ideas that will draw people out,” he said. “That means big stories, big ideas, big spectacle.”

For Chu, the lures of personal viewing and theatrical viewing don’t need to be at odds; they can be harmonized. He threw out an example of tossing content to consumers’ mobile devices at the close of a movie that allows the narrative experience to continue on their way out of theaters. “I like to guide someone in the dark,” he said, “but you can use a second screen to continue that storytelling thrust.



Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content