Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Marketability of western genre films

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Marketability of western genre films

    Curious about your opinions on this genre when it comes to return on investment. I have looked at many films since the late 70's that have netted 20 million. Even in the last few years they have been very successful. I know they are not golden like horror but with the right script, talent and production value I think they are viable. What do you think?

  • #2
    Yes they are, depends on the quality and other variables, I have a meeting at 11am and I will add more to this post when I get back

    **EDIT**

    So the marketability of Westerns!

    Are they marketable? Yes

    Are they marketable like they used to be?
    No

    Why? - The generation of western lovers is dieing off, THERE WILL ALWAYS be western fans always. But back in the day that is how everyone lived, there were no big cities and sky scrapers. The genre will live on forever, but the big spenders (buyers) are not what they used to be. The baby boomers are loving the new age related films and look at westerns as the old way. We have seen a new breed with the release of Cowboys and Aliens that bring the new and old genres together, it really just depends on the story and if you can grab someones attention (see the factor) -I am talking about the mass market here by the way so people please don't flame me, these are just my opinions.

    The factor:

    The main factor in this is the storyline and the quality. It will be really difficult to market a low-budget looking western because westerns are tipically done with a high budget and so the audience is trained to only consider a high quality western film, this is not true with horror and many people can expect some decent horror films to be low budget. I know there was some low-budget westerns made over the last decade but I assure you that if you don't have at least half a million to produce the film then I really think the film will suffer. Of course this can be possible if you have few locations, and few actors and a great story, maybe even shot on the new RED ONE can make this possible. So to recap, if you can produce a high quality, story driven, attention grabbing western then yes it is very marketable.

    The main factor of course will be
    Last edited by Nick Soares; 02-20-2013, 01:16 PM. Reason: updated the information
    Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

    Comment


    • #3
      In the case of westerns, I think the key is in the script and the story. Back in the Spaghetti Western days, it really did seem like Horror now. If it had a horse and a manly cowboy type, it'd open. Now, it needs to be well written, or have an interesting twist to it.

      That being said, I know Western works in other story telling formats. Books, obviously, but also less mainstream settings like Role Playing Games. Deadlands is a good example, though it's something of a Western/Steampunk/horror mashup. And to be fair, that might be the secret. Westerns are kind of shorthand, in my oppinion, for "Gritty Adventure", and can blend surprisingly well with other things, if your careful.

      That being said, the modern movie goer also accepts even more grit from it's adventure, and modern westerns seem to have developed less of the "Superheroic" aspect of the heroes in some of those old western movies and shows, for a more flawed hero. A bit of Noir with the Adventure.

      Thinking about it, I'd say a western could do quite well in todays market. Not the old school stories, perhaps, but newer stories based on realistic and flawed protaginists, instead of Action Hero Supermen like it used to be.

      But that's just my opinion, and I'm really new at all this, so I could be completely wrong.
      Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

      Comment


      • #4
        Updated my reply
        Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

        Comment


        • #5
          I think, too, the answer depends somewhat on whether you are inquiring from the perspective of a producer or a screenwriter.

          If the latter, and you aren't already an established writer, you'd probably be wise to focus on another genre, at least to begin with. The majority of recent westerns have been adapted from novels (True Grit, Appaloosa, Open Range) and had big names driving them (The Coen Brothers, Ed Harris, Kevin Costner). Westerns are pretty expensive and don't have the same appeal they once did, so producers are unlikely to gamble on an unknown property without a major name attached.
          2001 Productions Web Site

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 2001 Productions View Post
            I think, too, the answer depends somewhat on whether you are inquiring from the perspective of a producer or a screenwriter.

            If the latter, and you aren't already an established writer, you'd probably be wise to focus on another genre, at least to begin with. The majority of recent westerns have been adapted from novels (True Grit, Appaloosa, Open Range) and had big names driving them (The Coen Brothers, Ed Harris, Kevin Costner). Westerns are pretty expensive and don't have the same appeal they once did, so producers are unlikely to gamble on an unknown property without a major name attached.
            Very true, thumbs up!
            Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

            Comment


            • #7
              I personally think it truly depends on who you are trying to sell to. I personally know a few indie producers who wouldn't touch a western if it was the greatest piece ever written. I also know a few that love the genre, and might make one. They are not cheap to make, and they aren't as popular as they once were. That being said, I would not write one to attempt to sell/make on my own, but if I was hired to write one I wouldn't say no.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies folks. I agree on key points. Well written script, nice budget and A attachment. If you look at the recent made for TV series, The Hatfield's and McCoy's" and who was attached, it all makes sense...hence the success. Of course there was a VERY nice budget. I saw the series and thought it to be very well done in all aspects. The Story was good. Production value high and the acting was excellent. All the way down to the wardrobe...it was spot on for the period. Could I make something like that for 500? I think so but hard to do and include A list talent...at least it would for the film production duration. Only a few days with A list can be done for that price but if your lead has 75% of the scenes then it will be tough.

                I am writing a western based on a true story. I should say "Eastern" because it happened in Northern Louisiana. But I have a couple good things going for me. Access to 150 acres and a period town constructed on the property at a LOW rate...all within 10 minutes from the actual events of that time. Also wranglers, horses, period correct wardrobe and crew with western film making experience. So in short, 500,000 is possible from my perspective.

                Another caveat is the story itself. Although it is a period western/eastern, it is "horrific" in nature. Because of what happened and the events that occurred. The film will not be "boo" scary but "bloody" scary. Anyway, I am trying to convince myself to go with it but I do recognize the risks as you have all mentioned. I can honestly say though that I have never met a man that didn't like a western but they are my age...a different time. :)

                Any more thoughts?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bloody scary western, Go for it! Only you truly know your own script, so if deep down inside you are picturing this a create film, then by golly go for it!
                  Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hear ya Nick! It will be many re-writes before I am satisfied or make a decision. I also use a script consultant when I think it is close. The feedback is priceless and you get what you pay for. So if I can get a good script...I'm only part way there. :) The challenge is part of the thrill!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One thing I'd like to talk about, and some of you already mentioned it, are genres.

                      One thing that might make a western movie more marketable is to mix it with another highly marketable genre, like action or horror.

                      A couple of examples:

                      Gallowwalkers: Wesley Snipes' latest movie, shot years ago, is only now getting released. It's marketed as an action/horror movie, with Snipes playing a cowboy against zombies. I hear it sold very well at the European Film Market.

                      Dead in Tombstone: A western that is more or less being marketed as an action movie, starring Anthony Michael Hall, Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke. I don't know how that is selling, but it looks very promising.

                      And of course, there is Cowboys and Aliens, but that is a major studio production.

                      These are good examples of movies that have a western setting, but are more or less being marketed as genre movies.

                      I think this might be one way to go, if you want to make a highly marketable and sellable film.

                      If you have the resources and a $500,000 budget, you are in good shape, now the key thing is to package it with strong names.

                      For that budget level chances are you are not going to be able to get any A-listers, unless they feel VERY strongly about the project or are doing you or someone else involved a huge favor.
                      B-listers, sure.

                      Your best bet is to hire someone for the lead who is a sellable name, but still has a reasonable rate, so that you can afford to hire him for the majority of the shoot.
                      Besides him you should hire someone bigger/more expensive name for a smaller role that you can shoot in a week or so.

                      At this budget level you can't afford one single name that would carry the movie, you need multiple names, it's all about ensemble casts now.

                      I would suggest that you look up all of the western movies that have been produced in your budget level in the last few years and contact the sales agents and distributors who sold them, they might give you some invaluable information.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X