the importance of picking a fight you'll never win

CaseyNeistat
20 Mar 202412:09

Summary

TLDRIn this engaging transcript, the conversation revolves around Doug Liman, a prominent Hollywood director known for movies like 'The Bourne Identity' and 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith.' Liman discusses his decision to boycott the South by Southwest premiere of his film 'Roadhouse' due to Amazon MGM's choice to release it on Prime streaming instead of in theaters. He shares his frustrations about the changing landscape of the film industry and the impact of such decisions on filmmakers and the viewing experience. Despite his public stance against Amazon, Liman ultimately attends the screening to support his film and the hard work of his cast and crew, highlighting the passion and dedication behind creating movies meant for the big screen.

Takeaways

  • 🌧️ The frustration of not being able to ride a skateboard or bicycle in rainy New York City.
  • 🚕 An unexpected taxi ride with a driver watching inappropriate content.
  • 📺 Doug Liman's decision to boycott the South by Southwest premiere of his film 'Roadhouse'.
  • 🎬 The controversy surrounding Amazon MGM's decision to bypass theaters for a Prime streaming release.
  • 🔥 The impact of Amazon's acquisition of MGM and its implications for filmmakers and their projects.
  • 🎥 Doug Liman's passion for making theatrical motion pictures and his disappointment with the streaming model.
  • 🏇 The description of the 'Roadhouse' film as a party-like experience meant for the big screen.
  • 💪 Liman's fight against Amazon for the theatrical release of 'Roadhouse' and eventually accepting the situation.
  • 🎉 The importance of filmmakers standing up for their work and the value of cinema experience for audiences.
  • 🤔 Reflection on the changing landscape of film distribution and its potential effects on the industry.
  • 🌟 The personal journey of Doug Liman from independent films to big-budget Hollywood movies and his commitment to his artistic vision.

Q & A

  • What is the main issue the speaker faces when it rains in New York City?

    -The speaker cannot ride their skateboard or bicycle when it rains in New York City.

  • What unexpected situation did the speaker encounter with a taxi driver in the video?

    -The speaker was surprised to find a cab driver watching pictures of naked women while giving them a ride.

  • What is Doug Liman's stance on the South by Southwest premiere of his film 'Roadhouse'?

    -Doug Liman is boycotting the premiere of 'Roadhouse' to protest Amazon MGM's decision to bypass theaters for a Prime streaming release.

  • How does the speaker describe their feelings towards YouTube?

    -The speaker expresses their love for YouTube, indicating it as a platform that allows for freedom of expression and creativity.

  • What was the irony in Doug Liman's experience while making 'Identity' compared to his earlier films?

    -The irony was that while making 'Identity', a high-budget movie, Liman was told what he couldn't do due to budget constraints, despite having more resources than in his earlier low-budget films like 'Swingers'.

  • What is the purpose of the space where Doug Liman and the speaker are talking?

    -The space is a mixing studio for films, designed to replicate the acoustics of a movie theater for films destined for the big screen, and the acoustics of a living room for TV or streaming content.

  • Why does Doug Liman wear a cowboy hat?

    -Liman wears a cowboy hat as a symbolic gesture of being at war with Amazon, after an encounter with Jeff Bezos wearing a cowboy hat, and as a nod to the western theme of his film 'Roadhouse'.

  • What was Doug Liman's reaction to Amazon's decision to not release 'Roadhouse' in theaters?

    -Liman was disappointed and felt that Amazon was giving him and the public the shaft by not releasing 'Roadhouse' in theaters as promised.

  • How does the speaker describe the viewing experience of 'Roadhouse'?

    -The speaker describes 'Roadhouse' as a party-like experience with great music and bar fights, meant to be enjoyed in a theater setting with an audience.

  • What is the significance of the billboard with Doug Liman's image?

    -The billboard signifies the promotional effort for 'Roadhouse' and serves as a reminder of the film's intended theatrical release.

  • What does the speaker conclude about Doug Liman's situation with Amazon?

    -The speaker concludes that Liman was right to stand up for his film and that he appreciated Liman's sense of humor and humility in showing support for his crew and actors despite the situation.

Outlines

00:00

🌧️ Rainy NYC Taxi Ride and Hollywood Dilemma

The speaker begins by describing the inconvenience of rain in New York City, which prevents him from riding his skateboard or bicycle, leading to a taxi ride where he encounters an unusual situation of a cab driver watching inappropriate content. The conversation shifts to discuss Doug Liman's decision to boycott the South by Southwest premiere of his film 'Roadhouse' due to Amazon MGM bypassing theaters for a Prime streaming release. The speaker reflects on the implications of this move by a major Hollywood director and the broader issue of creative control versus corporate interests in the film industry.

05:02

🎬 The Battle for Theatrical Releases

The speaker continues the discussion about the film 'Roadhouse', highlighting the director's commitment to creating a movie for the big screen and the disappointment over Amazon's decision to prioritize streaming over theatrical releases. The narrative includes personal anecdotes about the challenges faced by filmmakers in securing theatrical releases and the emotional investment directors have in seeing their work on the big screen. Despite the setback, the director's decision to attend the screening to support his crew and the film underscores his dedication to the art of filmmaking.

10:04

🏆 The Triumph and Struggle of Filmmaking

In the final paragraph, the speaker reflects on the director's career, acknowledging the highs and lows of filmmaking. Despite the director's success in Hollywood, he faces the same challenges as independent filmmakers in terms of creative freedom and the influence of corporate entities. The speaker appreciates the director's stand for his film and the industry's broader issues. The summary ends with a nod to the director's personal growth and the shared passion for storytelling that unites filmmakers and audiences alike.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡New York City

New York City, often abbreviated as NYC, is the most populous city in the United States and serves as a significant hub for international diplomacy, finance, and culture. In the context of the video, it is used to set the scene and highlight the personal experiences of the speaker in a city known for its fast pace and diverse activities, including the challenges of transportation during rain.

💡South by Southwest

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place annually in mid-March in Austin, Texas. It is a significant event where creators, thinkers, and doers from a variety of industries share their insights and showcase their work. In the video, it is mentioned as the venue for the premiere of Doug Liman's film 'Roadhouse,' which he is boycotting due to its distribution strategy.

💡Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that provides members with free shipping, access to streaming of movies, television series, and music, as well as other benefits. In the video, Amazon Prime is central to the controversy as it is the platform that is set to stream the movie 'Roadhouse,' instead of a traditional theatrical release, which has led to the director's protest.

💡Theatrical Motion Picture

A theatrical motion picture refers to a film that is intended for release in movie theaters, where it is shown on a large screen for audiences to enjoy collectively. This term is significant in the video because it underscores the director's expectation and passion for his work to be experienced in the grandeur of a cinema, rather than on a streaming platform.

💡Independent Films

Independent films, or indies, are movies produced outside the major film studio system. They often focus on unique storytelling and may explore niche themes or innovative filmmaking techniques. In the video, the director reflects on his beginnings in independent filmmaking where he had more creative freedom without the constraints of answering to a higher authority.

💡Film Distribution

Film distribution refers to the process of making a movie available to the public. This can involve various methods, including theatrical releases, streaming platforms, and physical media like DVDs. The video discusses the shift in film distribution and the impact it has on filmmakers and audiences, particularly when a film intended for theaters is instead released on a streaming service.

💡Censorship

Censorship refers to the suppression or prohibition of any parts of a piece of media that are considered politically, morally, or otherwise objectionable. In the context of the video, it is implied through the director's struggle with Amazon's distribution decisions, which he feels are limiting the way his work should be seen and experienced.

💡Creative Freedom

Creative freedom refers to the autonomy an artist or creator has in developing and presenting their work without interference or restrictions from external forces. The video emphasizes the importance of this freedom for filmmakers, as the director feels that his creative freedom is being compromised by the distribution choices made by Amazon.

💡Filmmaking Challenges

Filmmaking challenges encompass the various obstacles and difficulties that filmmakers face during the production and distribution of their films. These can range from budget constraints and creative disagreements to distribution issues. In the video, the challenges are highlighted through the director's struggle with Amazon's distribution strategy for 'Roadhouse,' which he feels undermines the intended experience of the film.

💡Cinematic Experience

The cinematic experience refers to the unique atmosphere, emotions, and engagement that audiences feel when watching a film in a movie theater, which is often considered superior to watching at home due to the larger screen, better sound, and collective audience experience. The video emphasizes the importance of this experience, as the director believes that 'Roadhouse' is meant to be enjoyed in a theater setting.

💡Artistic Integrity

Artistic integrity refers to the adherence to one's artistic vision and principles, even in the face of commercial or external pressures. In the video, the director's decision to boycott the premiere of his own film is an act of standing up for his artistic integrity, despite the potential negative consequences.

Highlights

The problem with New York City when it's raining is that I can't ride my skateboard or bicycle.

The taxi ride experience with a driver watching inappropriate content.

Doug Liman's decision to boycott the South by Southwest premiere of his film 'Roadhouse' due to Amazon MGM's distribution strategy.

The impact of Amazon Prime's acquisition on traditional theatrical releases.

Doug Liman's frustration with Amazon for not honoring the theatrical release commitment.

The importance of the big screen experience for movies like 'Roadhouse'.

The irony of having more creative freedom in independent films versus big-budget movies.

The guerrilla filmmaking style used in 'Swingers' and 'Born Identity' due to budget constraints.

Doug Liman's realization of the power dynamics in the film industry and the struggle against Amazon.

The decision to attend the screening despite the boycott to support the film and the crew.

The emotional and practical challenges of making a movie and the disappointment of not having it shown in theaters.

The humorous and humble approach Doug Liman takes towards his situation with Amazon.

The support and camaraderie among filmmakers and the importance of standing up for one's work.

The unique experience of watching a movie in a theater versus on a streaming platform.

The unexpected encounter with Conor McGregor.

Transcripts

00:03

the problem with New York City when it's

00:05

raining is that I can't ride my

00:07

skateboard or a bicycle so

00:10

taxi how you doing I'm F I'm going to uh

00:15

55th between 9th and

00:17

[Music]

00:28

10th

00:34

okay thank you sir than

00:39

byebye I think in

00:41

uh 24 years 24 years of living in New

00:46

York City I've never had a cab driver

00:48

look at pictures of naked women while

00:51

giving me a ride before but that is that

00:53

is not what this video is about Doug

00:56

Lyman says he's boycotting South by

00:58

Southwest premiere of his Jake Jill Hall

01:00

film Roadhouse to protest Amazon MGM

01:04

bypassing theaters for Prime streaming

01:06

release okay so what this is about is

01:08

this big Hollywood director the guy that

01:10

directed like the born identity and Mr

01:12

and Mrs Smith and like a dozen other big

01:14

movies like Tom Cruz movies he made this

01:16

great movie called Roadhouse with Jake

01:18

Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor and

01:21

apparently like Amazon Prime that paid

01:24

for the movie is like totally scream

01:26

over because they're refusing to put the

01:28

movie into theaters or something like

01:30

that facts I signed up to make a

01:32

theatrical motion picture for MGM Amazon

01:34

bought MGM Amazon said if I make a great

01:37

film we'll see what happens I made a

01:40

great film okay when I read something

01:42

like this two things occur to me number

01:44

one this is why I love YouTube and the

01:46

second thing I always wonder about is

01:48

like what actually is going on here what

01:50

actually happened I don't

01:54

understand and I'd love some answers and

01:58

the difference here is that this big

02:01

Hollywood

02:02

director this guy I happen to know

02:06

[Music]

02:07

him

02:09

[Music]

02:11

sound what is this place Doug this is

02:15

where we mixed Roadhouse did you get my

02:18

text you were watching porn in the C no

02:20

the taxi driver was watching porn while

02:22

I was driving what happens in here walk

02:24

me through what this space is so you

02:27

know this is this is where we mix the

02:29

audio for a film that's you know

02:31

destined for the big screen as you can

02:33

see it's it's the size of a of a movie

02:35

theater because the Acoustics of a movie

02:37

theater are different than say the

02:38

Acoustics of a living room this is where

02:41

you you mix a

02:42

movie that's for TV or streaming cuz it

02:45

replicate someone's living room I see do

02:49

you always wear a cowboy hat Doug I've

02:51

never seen you in a cowboy hat in my

02:53

entire life yeah I

02:54

mean it it wasn't lost to me I was in a

02:57

uh a shop in ASP and and uh Jeff Bezos

03:01

who I don't know uh came riding in on a

03:04

horse into the store into the store with

03:07

a cowboy hat you know I'm kind of at war

03:09

with Amazon and it wasn't sort of lost

03:12

on me the the sort of scale difference

03:14

of Jeff Bezos on his huge fraking horse

03:16

in the middle of the store with his

03:17

cowboy hat

03:21

and there's always a man above you like

03:23

you know as successful as I am in the in

03:25

the film business like right right you

03:27

always have to answer to

03:28

somebody you don't have to answer to

03:31

anybody no that's why I quit but but but

03:33

uh I got my start making Independent

03:35

films where there really wasn't anybody

03:36

telling me what I couldn't do the the

03:38

irony when I started doing born identity

03:40

was that we you know which was a huge

03:42

budget movie for me compared to coming

03:44

off films like

03:45

swingers and my line producer kept

03:47

telling me all these things we couldn't

03:48

afford to do and I was like I don't

03:50

understand on Swingers we just did them

03:52

we had no money and here we have all

03:54

this money and he was like you know

03:56

swingers look like [ __ ] and we can't

03:57

afford it and I sort of laughed to

04:00

myself and I was like you know in

04:01

swingers we couldn't afford the people

04:03

that told you what you couldn't do so we

04:05

just did everything you're a bad man

04:07

you're a bad man you're a Vegas baby

04:10

Vegas what were did you have to did you

04:12

steal shots on born identity we did

04:14

steal the the the look and feel of born

04:16

identity this whole shaky camera thing

04:17

that people thought was like on purpose

04:20

was more cuz like Matt Damon and I were

04:22

like running into like Garden or and

04:24

stealing shots we didn't have

04:26

permits I need to know what went wrong I

04:29

think he snapped but he has no

04:32

memory the born

04:46

identity did you know this was up here

04:50

no you didn't know that was there I did

04:52

not know that was

04:54

there it's pretty sizable billboard Doug

04:58

it's pretty big billboard

05:01

[Music]

05:27

is this where you edit yeah do you edit

05:30

yourself or do you like are you ever

05:33

yeah like I know how

05:34

a um is this still from Roadhouse yeah

05:38

all right so what is the what is this

05:40

fight that you picked with with Amazon

05:43

okay so uh you know we made Roadhouse

05:46

for the big

05:48

screen before we start do you have

05:50

insurance what your coverage good like

05:53

you have dental oh haha is there a

05:55

hospital nearby is it like too far about

05:57

like 25 minutes I'd say ah I just

06:00

slapped you are you all right

06:08

what shot out with IMAX cameras big

06:12

stars in it like Conor

06:16

McGregor hey fellas looks like you're

06:20

having a

06:21

smacky and it's it's a party right

06:24

there's some movies that like you know

06:26

you watch alone whatever but there's

06:27

some movies that are like that are a

06:30

party like Roadhouse is a party I mean

06:31

it's like it's like great music and

06:35

great bar fights I mean there's

06:37

obviously a lot more to it but at the

06:38

heart of it it's a

06:45

party Amazon plans to invest 1 billion a

06:48

year in movies for theaters and then it

06:50

turns out Amazon never had any intention

06:52

of putting it in theaters they they want

06:54

to put it on their streaming service and

06:55

sell you know toilet paper and

06:58

toothbrushes by the way I'm not the only

07:01

filmmaker that Amazon is doing this

07:03

to there's there's a string of

07:05

filmmakers who were promised you know a

07:08

theatrical release and then their films

07:09

were dumped on on streaming important

07:11

context here is the reason why Doug and

07:13

I know each other is what 15 years ago

07:16

or something when I was making what

07:18

became my HBO series I showed it to Doug

07:21

he's one of the first people who saw it

07:22

and he was like you've got something and

07:24

it's funny cuz all these years later

07:26

after making an HBO show I was like I

07:27

don't want to be a part of this industry

07:29

at all

07:30

I just want to do YouTube or I don't

07:31

have to answer to anyone and then I read

07:34

this story about you and you have to

07:35

answer to the man and it sounds like

07:37

he's giving you the the the shaft here

07:40

they are definitely giving me the shaft

07:42

um I mean they're giving the the public

07:44

the shaft that's the

07:45

[Music]

07:50

thing Doug what why are you going to

07:53

South by South what happened to your

07:55

boycott the whole point of this video is

07:57

cuz you're boycotting your own movie why

07:58

are you going

08:01

why did you

08:03

relent you

08:05

know it's tough to do but sometimes you

08:08

just have

08:10

to acknowledge that you

08:13

lost you took on Amazon you fought for

08:17

your

08:18

movie I literally did everything in my

08:20

power to try to get this movie into

08:23

theaters and I lost so on to the next

08:27

and if this is going to be

08:29

literally the only screening where

08:32

people can buy tickets and go see the

08:35

movie I want to be there let's go to

08:40

[Music]

08:55

Texas we go I mean the reason I make

08:59

moves

09:00

movies is is to then play it in front of

09:03

an audience like it's so much freaking

09:06

work to make a movie the

09:10

payoff is when you get to show it when

09:12

it's all

09:14

done turn it up turn it what's

09:20

good I hate [ __ ]

09:22

losing I mean I really I'm not a good

09:26

loser and I have very publicly lost here

09:30

but you're excited

09:32

now look at look at that look at here

09:36

look at that bus [ __ ] Amazon Prime on

09:38

its

09:39

[Music]

09:41

way how you

09:43

[Music]

09:45

doing weird is what weird this whole

09:49

thing no cuz you know what like I love

09:52

these guys I made the movie

09:54

with no I'm trying man I'm a dad now I'm

09:56

trying to keep

09:58

up gra you

10:00

over reck me incredibly well gave me the

10:03

confidence that I that I could do

10:07

[Music]

10:12

it

10:16

yeah H welcome J

10:24

djo nicest on the market did you make it

10:27

too strong no it is a bit strong but all

10:29

good now now let's get let's hit them

10:32

now

10:32

[Applause]

10:38

yeah tonight our incredible

10:42

[Music]

10:51

director so what what's the takeaway

10:53

here I think when I first read about

10:55

this even though I know Doug when I

10:57

first read about this I was like dude

10:59

what are you complaining about you have

11:01

the greatest job in the world you get to

11:02

direct big Hollywood movies you don't

11:05

get to complain about it but then as I

11:07

talk to the guy it's

11:09

like he's right the movie belongs in

11:11

theaters I got to see in the theater

11:14

it's great in the theater he was right

11:17

and if he didn't stick up for like his

11:19

movie that him and everybody else works

11:21

so hard on nobody would have stuck up

11:23

for it and even though it probably hurt

11:25

him cuz I know Amazon was pissed they

11:28

were there they weren't happy with him

11:29

with him and all the things that he had

11:32

said I appreciated immensely that he

11:35

stuck up for his for his picture and

11:38

then I also appreciated that he had like

11:39

the sense of humor and the humility to

11:42

show up and show the support for him and

11:45

his crew and the actors and everybody

11:46

that works so hard to make that movie so

11:48

good it's a great movie I'm sorry you

11:50

have to watch it on your iPads instead

11:52

of getting to see it in a theater like I

11:54

did but it's a great movie also um I

11:57

couldn't figure out how to work this

11:58

shot into into my little video but I got

12:00

to I got to meet Conor

12:04

[Music]

12:07

McGregor