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Friday, December 29, 2006

Learning Project Management through the Movie Industry

Dear Professor and Club mates:

I saw my parents last weekend. They have been running a movie related business, Mom 2 Pop for a decade now... they shut it down. They had 7000 titles in tapes, and a thousand DVD. The business was a rental setup that loaned 50-100 movies to apartment projects each month, paid for by the management company as fringe benefit for its tenants. In the monthly shipment were the "new releases."

I helped inventory many times, and 8000 movies is only a drop in the bucket, of total number worldwide. Also, some new releases in the old days cost $100 just to get them on release date. Each month after release the tape goes down in value. They kept the entire collection old and new movies in storage shelves at one of the apartment sites, and thereby avoided the storefront debacle. Good business idea, eh? But they are retired now.

So they were looking for a suitable place to market, giveaway, or trade all those tapes. Flea markets were okay but sales were just barely enough to cover expenses. Other avenues also proved too negative.

It turns out "Habitat for Humanity" was a very willing organization. Mom donated the tapes all to the charity group "who build those houses," she said. "They have the hardest working people you ever saw."

Is that the saddest or happiest story you have heard this year? What is more lonesome than an old video sitting in storage? Is happiness then in going to a new life donated to earnest people? Movies are not living things; they are dumb, and expendable. You tell me. PD

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From: d2r2

I have been closely involved with this operation since the git-go.

Truly, the only thing more lonesome than the video in storage is, possibly, the book the movie was based on sitting on a shelf.

I had to sort thru the tapes and discs many times, while in storage, and they were sirens singing to me. Sometimes I would grab up great quantities and stack them carefully to re-box and take somewhere. Then I would snap back to reality and put them back. Sometimes I would take out one here and one there, to watch later with great interest to discover what all the talk was about. Some of those are on shelves in my house. I also picked up my all time favorites, and there are many.
"Predator", no words, just action.
Even the Mom mentioned likes this one. "The Incredibles", says it all. "Easy Rider", My Generation.
"Life As A House", Fatherhood dissected.

Movies are American, like Jazz.
We live our movies and they tell our stories. American is the teeming masses of the world in a coast-to-coast-to-coast-to-coast landscape of purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. Home of the brave and land of the free. I drive around a 100 mile loop called Beltway 8 and see every church in the world showcased by its faithful congregation, operating and worshipping with no strings attached. The people get tired and discouraged with leadership and they, how mundane, vote them out of office.

Movies are made about life, the universe and everything.

I'm cinematically yours, Dave

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