Kevin Goetz has been at the center of what Hollywood calls the ‘movie research’ industry for more than thirty years and his position in the entertainment world is quite unique.
Named one of the most powerful and influential people in Southern California by The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Goetz became one of the leading advisors, researchers, and focus group moderators over two decades before starting his own firm, Screen Engine/ASI out of his living room.
Today, his research firm is a multi-million-dollar company that employs over 300 people worldwide where he works alongside the major film studio chiefs, decision-makers, network and streaming platform executives.
The insights produced by his firm touch every aspect of entertainment and television content creation from selection, acquisition, casting, and production, to post-production, marketing, and distribution. Goetz recently wrote the book, Audience•ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love about an important aspect of his business—audience test screenings.
His podcast, Don’t Kill the Messenger, brings this book to life with filmmaker interviews discussing filmmaking, their films, and how audiences have impacted their final cuts. Goetz has also produced twelve movies and brings both a marketing and filmmaking perspective to the interpretation of his research analysis.
Kevin Goetz is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and several other distinguished organizations including the Television Academy and the Producers Guild of America.
He is a board member of five charitable organizations as part of his philanthropic endeavors and resides in Beverly Hills with his husband, Neil, and their labradoodle, Kasha.
Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin Goetz.
Kevin Goetz 0:00
When I was producing, I would hold the auditions, obviously, as the artistic director and the producer of the theater. And my advice to every actor who's trying really hard to get the job is to sit in casting sessions, a casting session, and you will come to realize very quickly why some people get the job. But mostly why you don't get the job.
Alex Ferrari 0:27
This episode is brought to you by the best selling book, Rise of the Filmtrepreneur how to turn your independent film into a money making business. Learn more at filmbizbook.com. I'd like to welcome to the show, Kevin Goetz. How you doing Kevin?
Kevin Goetz 0:42
Hey! I'm well Alex thanks for having me.
Alex Ferrari 0:44
Thank you so much for coming on the show. You are, as they say, an OG in the test screening space of figuring out what the audience loves and wants and, and more importantly, what they're willing to pay money for. Yeah. You've been doing this for doing it for a couple years now.
Kevin Goetz 1:02
I've been doing it for quite a long time 35 years?
Alex Ferrari 1:07
That's yeah. Wow. So you've seen a few things along the way, I'm sure.
Kevin Goetz 1:11
Oh, boy! Yeah. If these walls could talk, as they say,
Alex Ferrari 1:16
Well, I'll ask questions. And you could tell stories that you could say on air. And then after we stopped recording, you could tell me all the stories you can't say on air.
Kevin Goetz 1:22
On your private line. And I'll give you the real the real stories.
Alex Ferrari 1:28
So first and foremost, how did you get into this line of work? How did you get interested in the film industry in general?
Kevin Goetz 1:33
You know, I've always been interested in, in film, but I was always, I always like to say sort of my DNA was a being in show business. I was a child actor. It was in my blood, I always knew that this was what I was supposed to do. I was a dancer, I was a singer, I was a what we call a triple threat if you're from the Broadway scene, and I made my living doing a lot of commercials, TV commercials and theater around the New York area. So that's that's what I did until I went to Mason gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, which is one of the best acting conservatories in the country, and I studied with Bill Esper, the Meisner technique. And that was a four year conservatory, Graduated, went to New York, and started working up pretty regularly, sort of begin to get began to get like burnt out at my in my early 20s. And I'm like, this is not going to be a good thing, if I, you know, unless I really, unless I really commit to giving up control, if you will, and allowing others to decide my fate. I love and still love, the art of acting and the craft of it, and the under uncovering a character and all that. But what I found was I had a business sense on the other side of my brain that needed to be nurtured. So when I was 17, I started my first business. So I had an entrepreneurial business sensibility, and combined with the creative and the artistic sensibility, so it kind of was the way for me to, I had to listen to both voices. And it was kind of a way for me to find the right path. And it turned out that I got a survival job when I came to California to work as an actor. Because my residuals were drying up, I had done a play for four and five months. So you know, you don't get paid that much in theater. And so I needed to do some odd jobs. And one of them was working at a place called NRG National Research Group, and it was doing these test screenings, I had no idea what that meant. And that was about 3536 years ago. And I was sort of sort of plucked out of the chorus, if you will, by the principles of the company, because they saw a potential in me, I suppose. And, and I began to pull or coordinate focus groups, like pick the people to be in the focus groups after the screening. And then within two years, I was trained to be a moderator. And I he didn't really know what that was the art of it didn't really know much about marketing at the time. And it was all sort of learned in the field, you know, out there. And what was really interesting, Alex, is that, when I would moderate in the beginning, I would actually play the role of a moderator like I would, I would, I would give myself an objective, you know, you need to get as much information as you possibly can. That's your objective and you're seeing that you're about to do and you're a great listener, you've got to you know, my actions if you're an actor, you know what that means your app, my actions were, you know, really to, to gain as much information as I can to probe to you know, real real active active a Have verbs, which are the act the way the actor sort of creates behavior. And that's how I got through them. And I was successful at it. And suddenly, well, I wouldn't say suddenly, I would say, slowly, actually, I began to realize that, you know, I was, there was an art to this, you know, there was, there was a way of probing, there was a way of leading the witness, I had to sort of learn those things. And I took all sorts of sorts of courses in terms of other moderators, and I joined the qualitative research consultants Association, which is sort of a leading moderators, and I would take workshops and things. And I learned pejorative projects or projective techniques and different kinds of ways to, to, to engage with people behind two way mirror, you know, the two, so forth. And, and then I became, I guess, one of the most requested moderators, talking 30 years ago, 25 years ago. And then I was also a high finit. You know, I also still had my hand in acting, and then I moved into producing, and I began to produce at my own theater, in 1990. And then I, I, which I ran for five years as the artistic director and producer up in San Luis Obispo as the professional theatre called Central Coast Repertory Theater. And then I started doing movies, and television movies in particular, and then I made one and got a lot of acclaim. And we won an Emmy Award for it, called Wild Iris. And I really began to speak the film language in a different way. So now I had my moderating on the one side, and knew how to get into and talk to directors and producers about their movie. But you know, what was interesting, and I think this was my, my competitive edge was that I am an artist, and I understand the, and have a tremendous respect for filmmakers, I have a tremendous respect for the artists and people in our field, who have to sort of put their babies you know, and give birth to these children that are, are their creative beings. And they really take on a life of their own, and they're so invested filmmakers are so invested in so when I have an I call it the privilege to work on a movie, I really feel there's a responsibility, I have to represent the audience in the best way possible to give filmmakers the best information they can possibly get. This is a long way of saying that my journey was all meant to be, it's all the perfect path, if you will. So I talked about in my book audience ology, which I know that you, you've read, and we're trying to say nice things about, I think that's what you said. I talked about finding your end end. So you could start in one thing in life and think it's the absolute thing that you're supposed to be doing. And then you have a skill set, that also is really pretty strong. And you get to a point. And if you're lucky enough as I was to find great mentors and marry those two passions, and find your end, you will actually flourish in a more complete way.
Alex Ferrari 8:35
That's a that's profound, because so many of us as filmmakers, start off like I need to be Steven Spielberg, how many people said I, I'm the next, Steven Spielberg?
Kevin Goetz 8:44
I teach at film schools, several several times a year in all the major film schools around the country, and I have to say many.
Alex Ferrari 8:52
Right, exactly. But then as you start going through the path, and this is only from someone like myself, who's been doing this for close to 30 years as well, you get to that place where you're like, Well, I'm not going to be Steven, because there's only one Steven. So then we're like, well as I could do oh,
Kevin Goetz 9:09
By the way, and there's only one Alex. Correct. And when you can realize, right, that you there's only one Alex and Alex is extraordinary in his own way. Steven can't be Alex. Correct. Then you and that takes a lot of courage and confidence to live in your own skin comfortably and it took me years to get there. It does'nt happened overnight. Right. And you can relate to that right Alex?
Alex Ferrari 9:37
Absolutely! 110% took me forever to finally understand who I was feel comfortable in my skin. And that and that you're talking about is so important because it's just like, well, I could be a director and I could also maybe own a post production company and then exactly and then I could also write and so
Kevin Goetz 9:55
And write and have a podcast at but but but all of these things things bring you to the perfect place where you're supposed to be in life, if you lean into your gifts, not sit on them and wait in a room for someone to call, that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about putting yourself out there. But recognizing all these wonderful things that you have, finding those end or ends, and realizing them, you know, and that takes a certain degree of courage, I think, and self assurance,
Alex Ferrari 10:27
Right, and just like yourself, that you started off as an actor, but you your skill set, as an actor lends itself so beautifully into your, to your other career, the end of test screenings and understanding the audience and so on. It was kind of like with me, I was like I was I wanted to be a director. But I also had a skill set in post production. So I opened up a post production company, I became an editor and became a colorist, and I, post supervisor, and all of that while I was directing. So then, together, it became much more powerful, because it's a director on jobs that could package all of it together, like yeah, I'll tell you, I'll add it for free.
Kevin Goetz 11:00
That's on the practical side. But think about what you knew as a director that many directors don't know how to say, Oh, if I do this, oh, my gosh, that is going to cost me a ton in post, because I'm going to have the time this, where other people say fix it in post, alright, famous expression that we hear from many, many indie filmmakers is, they do it in post, we'll fix it in post. But you know, and you probably saved yourself countless hours. And by having the skill set of post production,
Alex Ferrari 11:31
Exactly and even when I'm doing this as a podcaster. Understanding how to talk, my skill sets, as a director has helped me to talk and have engaging conversations, raw conversations with my guests. And then all the technical stuff of the behind the scenes stuff, I was able to launch like this because I had 20 years of post production experience. And I'm like a podcast, I could do a podcast in my sleep, you know, comparatively to finishing 50 movies in my in my day, and so on, so forth. So it was just a really it. But I love that concept of the and I've never heard it put that way before. It's and I hope people listening don't get caught because they get so caught up in like, if you would have just said, I'm only going to be an actor, I'm gonna hold on tight to just that I'm not going to shift, I'm not going to pivot, I'm not going to move, and not allow it to unfold in the way it's had to unfold for best,the best.
Kevin Goetz 12:20
Another other example, excuse me, another example that I have is, when I was an actor, you know, there was so much personal investment that you would put out every time you went into an audition. When I was producing, I would hold the auditions, obviously, as the artistic director and the producer of the theater. And my advice to every actor who's trying really hard to get the job is to sit in casting sessions, a casting session, and you will come to realize very quickly why some people get the job. But mostly why you don't get the job. And so much of it is not something that you're doing, you may get the best reading but somebody is already cast is a redhead and the kid is a really dark haired child. And so you realize that that doesn't go with the redhead and you're already committed to the redhead. So you know, you got to then just so all of those things, that if you actually understood the process would make you more effective. And that goes for anything, as you were saying, in your case, it was post production in my case, you know, it was it was entrepreneurialship like really leaning into that and saying, Hey, you're, you're good at this, you're good at business. You know, I, I run a research company. And one of my probably, least strong skills is statistics. I've learned how to get by how to speak about means and mediums, all that stuff, but I have great statisticians that I hire that make me look really good. I know my deficits and that's another superpower is to know what you're not good at. And not be it's not modesty or in modesty. It's it's just like, know what you're not good at. And then kind of acknowledge it and try to fix it with some buddy else or some others person's gift or superpower. It's not going to be yours. There's so many things I recognize that I do well, and there's so many other things I realized that I'm subpar. I just am and I don't pathologize it I simply recognize it and say I'm gonna fill those those holes,
Alex Ferrari 14:46
But you are so comfortable in your own skin and that's when you're comfortable in your own skin. The ego is a little bit more tamed and when it comes to hopefully where you can identify those things and go like I can't stand audio. Still, to this day. I still can't deal with audio. I'm a visual guy. And in post production, I always just sent it off to the audio guy. I'm like, here, here are the stems. Mix it for me send me a stereo track back or send me the the stems back and I'll put it in and I'll deliver it but I, you know, sometimes I would send something up and said something like, You sent me a mono track. I'm like, I don't I can't tell I can't hear mono from stereo. I don't want to talk. Like it's just completely my kryptonite. It always has been from everything I've ever done. But I understood that and I, you know, didn't try to do it myself. I outsourced it. I understood that that's definitely not what
Kevin Goetz 15:32
I always loved. When I made movies, I always loved the mixes.
Alex Ferrari 15:36
Oh, yeah, I love being in the mix. I just don't like doing it.
Kevin Goetz 15:39
Gotcha, gotcha. But I always love the mixes because I, I always loved sort of understanding how much you can really, in that post production process. And in fact, screenings are really a part of the post production process, particularly with the studios, but we work on more independent movies and probably studio movies, in our total Arsenal every year. Just there's so many more movies that are people don't even know about there's three movies opening this weekend. And, you know, I'd like to know how many of your listeners even you know, know what they are. They probably don't know, any movie coming out on their radar except Ant Man, which is in like, you know, 3 3 4 weeks there's a there's a reason that you know, that the screenings have become so important in that post production process. Because they do inform often, you know, the the word of mouth of, of how your movie is going to really perform in the marketplace. So it's, it's a very important measure to understand before you embark on you know, the release.
Alex Ferrari 16:55
So let me ask you, because I'm gonna play devil's advocate here, because I'm assuming there's some filmmakers out there going, Well, why do we care about the audience? This is art. I am an artist, an artist, you know, you don't paint lilies. Van Gogh didn't paint lilies for an artist for for the audience. He built a painted it for himself. So to be the devil's advocate, why should filmmakers care about what the audience thinks in today's world understanding that if it's an independent film, versus a studio studio, $200 million dollars under million dollars, big things at stake, get that but as far as the indie world is concerned, why should they care?
Kevin Goetz 17:30
Well, that's saying that Steven Spielberg or whatever studio is not an artist. Exactly. Number one, right? Well tested movies, all the greats, test their movies, and have throughout movie done. In other words, since the beginning of movies, Charlie Chaplin, Buster, Keaton, Harold Lloyd all took their sequences up to Hollywood Boulevard and tested them, great filmmakers throughout history, great moguls, et cetera, tested their movies. And that has not changed, I find a person that doesn't do that is doesn't have a respect for the art form. The art form is not a painting, it's not a novel. It is not a singular vision, it is takes many craftspeople and artists to, to, to put to make a movie and and I told that Angley and I had a bit of a an exchange. It's in the book of my book, where, you know, he said, you know, Picasso never tested his paintings. And I said, because those supplies cost about five cents. And if he didn't like what he did, he could put it in the back of his closet. But you've just been handed $100 million to make your movie by people who absolutely have a stake in this financial stake and creative steak. I mean, the, you know, a studio studio executives are not some empty suits. They're awfully talented people, many of whom were filmmakers, many of whom come from a very serious development background, and they have lived and experienced, you know, how to structure a movie and the successes, the failures, etc. All throughout their lives, and to not include them. As part of the process is is disrespectful, I believe, not to mention, the fact that there are great, you know, cinematographers that have really been the star of many movies that I've worked on and have saved many movies, or the editors as you well know. An editor can be so impactful, and can help or hurt a movie, you know, tremendously uh, you know, I have a podcast it's called don't kill the messenger and and I just interviewed two editors and I want wanted the editors on there. One was Billy Goldenberg, who won the Oscar for Argo. And the other is David Rosenbloom, who was nominated for Oscar for Insider. And there's me great. These are two really, really terrific, terrific editors. And and we talked very much about the alchemy of what makes the movie successful. So if, and I want to qualify this, if a director has raised their own money, is wrote the movie is producing it and directing it and is what we used to call the O'Toole true Oh, tour. Yeah, you want to make it and you don't care about the financial repercussions, or how to leverage your art your asset, if you will. Go with God. But that's not 99.9% of how any movie is done or constructed. I still think if you are no tour, you should include the audience in the discussion because Who are you making this for? Any purist filmmaker, it says they're making a movie for the big screen. Okay. But if you're making it for the big screen, that implies that you want an audience to see it. And if you are going in that direction, getting feedback, getting how things land, at the very least, is at least giving you an indication of what to expect. And I like to say and I've said it a bunch of times if somebody honks at you on a freeway, you know, you know, you're an asshole. I'm sorry, they're an asshole. If somebody honks at you on the freeway, single person, they're an asshole. But if five people are honking at you on the freeway, you're the asshole. Right? And so you can choose if everybody is saying your ending is, is bumming me out in a way that is betraying what came before it. You can have sat endings, that's not the issue. But it's just not working. It's just not satisfying, emotionally or intellectually, or your movie is like so long in the middle, it goes on forever, and I disengage that is just not a good thing. And if everyone's telling you that, you can choose not to listen, if you paid for yourself at all. But if you haven't, then you want to hear them and say, Okay, what can I do? You know, Ron Howard says it best Alex, he really does. He says, Look, I get to, I get to find my script, okay, I get to cast it the way I want to, I develop it the way I want to first then I cast it, then I shoot it my way, then I edit it with my editor. And then I show it to an audience. And at that point, I have to give my child sort of send them to nursery school, if you will, or two, you know, and that's really painful. Hard to do, right? You know, oh my gosh, they're really becoming a person. And it's when the rubber hits the road. And you have to choose at that point, whether to turn off or listen. And in my experience in 35 years, the great filmmakers, and the most successful ones, listen, they listen to the audience. They don't necessarily make all the changes an audience says to make, but they listen and try to address why they're saying what they're saying exists because someone says that scene doesn't belong may not be the answer to the fix. By removing that scene, it may be something leading up to it, I often say and filmmakers on your podcast are going to agree with this completely. When there's ending problems and they're often are in many movies, as we know, it's the most important thing that a movie goers is left or a movie viewer we're saying that because some of you are on streaming are left with therefore you want your ending to land in a certain way. And if you if you can, you know sort of get that right, then you can change potentially the DNA and the trajectory of your of your, of your picture.
Alex Ferrari 24:29
Now, there was a very famous example that I it was so famous that it reached the public knowledge which was fatal attraction, how that movie was completely changed by the screening. And I saw the original ending and it was a bummer and it did not. It didn't it completely failed the point that we saw
Kevin Goetz 24:50
So what I was gonna say about before we get into fatal attraction to to finish the point I was just making is that often the ending is not the issue. It's Act One, that's the issue. And because act one was not set up correctly, this is a very common problem. They can't just fix an ending. Often sometimes you can sometimes in a comedy particularly there's a
Alex Ferrari 25:16
Fatal attraction and fatal attraction they reshot,
Kevin Goetz 25:18
In Fatal Attraction have to look at and fatal attraction is, how did it become so successful in the new ending, because what they set up was this guy, Michael Douglas, who was essentially a good guy who screwed up and had an affair with another woman, but it was a one night thing. And she didn't think so Glenn Close, obviously. And Archer, the wife was ready at by the end of the movie to forgive him. So in other words, he was on a path that clearly was felt like he was wanting to redeem himself and do the right thing. But she wouldn't let it go. So you know, but what happened was because they set that up, I think the audience was really bummed out that it became about Alex sorry, the character. And the character sort of took her own life at the end of the movie, which was kind of in many people's view, from a satisfaction standpoint, a cop out for right, and not having emotionally feeling like he that he leads the lead, Michael Douglas would get his proper come up and, and the wife, of course, didn't get any comeuppance. And so the audience spoke in loudly, and very much so in their scores and their ratings, that the ending was not working. So what they did is they went back and realized, the setup that they had done needed to pay off.
Alex Ferrari 27:01
Right, they were they were ramping it up, they were ramping it up, ramping it up, and they just dropped the ball at the edge or like
Kevin Goetz 27:07
Exactly and you can feel by the way, in the room, when you're in the room to that movie, you could feel the air being sucked out of the room. It was amazing. The focus groups afterwards, I would say. So how many of you liked the movie, every hand goes up? What were their ratings, the ratings were like, six, excellent. 10. Very good. For good, no FERS reports. But because of that, muted, excellent. People were not definitely recommending it, they were only probably recommending it. So there's a correlation between the definite recommend and how well your movies multiple is going to opening weekend multiple is going to be right. So in other words, if your movie opens to 10 million, and you do a three times multiple, that means you've done 30 million, or we'll do 30 million at the box office. So there's a correlation between that word of mouth and the bucks off. It's multiple. And so we don't want to torture filmmakers. What we want to do is say there are real financial implications that can be garnered, you know, gleaned from this so in the case of that it was a muted definite recommend response and the movie would have probably if not for this new ending. Done I don't know
Alex Ferrari 28:22
Decent boxer is a box office. Yeah, cuz it was a it was a very fine movie, and good stars and all that stuff. Yeah.
Kevin Goetz 28:29
They made the decision reluctantly, excuse me, reluctantly, by many to shoot me now. When I say many Glenn and Adrian line, were against it. Michael Douglas was for it. Different people have told me this. So I'm speaking from other people's recounting of this and so they they all acquiesced and they shot this amazing suspenseful Oh, it's not yet it was beautiful bathroom. And then some because it was like a twist on a twist. And now people talk about it as the Fatal Attraction ending. And for any filmmaker, watch them on the bus see the movie if you haven't seen it, because now several years have gone by so many younger people maybe haven't seen it, you must see it. And in so this thing, we're you know, I don't want I don't want to ruin it. But I will tell you that it's Michael Douglas gets redemption. Glenn Close gifts which he deserves. The wife gets redemption, or you know, no. Retribution. I didn't mean redemption. Michael just does get redemption sort of.
Alex Ferrari 29:41
But there's and he gets some come up and he does get some come up and says Well, hey, what's that?
Kevin Goetz 29:47
Yeah. 100% the audience cheers. Okay. The scores come up. I don't know. 2030 points. And the movie does. Awesome. Huge, huge. You know, she's on the cover of Time magazine.
Alex Ferrari 30:03
It was a cultural it was it was in the zeitgeist. Yeah, there's no question.
Kevin Goetz 30:07
That's right. And that was absolutely because audiences spoke. And it's why it's such a great and known example. But there's so many. I mean, I work on, I think I've done over five or 6000 movies in my, in my career titles, and most of them have some kind of change.
Alex Ferrari 30:26
Well, let me ask you, because this is another legendary one airplane, which is I think, before your time,
Kevin Goetz 30:30
It was before my time but aiming at I came in the late 80s.
Alex Ferrari 30:35
Right. So from what I heard that airplane had the worst, or the worst possible scores in the history of the studio at the time, and they're like, Oh, my God, this is gonna bomb. We can't fix this. Because there's no fixing airplane, you can't change a scene and change airplane. It's all a giant, you know, airplane movie, you can't change it. And then it comes out, and it's a monster hit. And from what I heard was that people at that time were embarrassed to say that they liked it. Because it was so silly. And that hadn't been something that's silly up to that point in that way before. Because if you watch our plane today, you're just like, This is amazing.
Kevin Goetz 31:16
Are you talking about the real the one with Karen Black? Where? The comedy,
Alex Ferrari 31:23
The comedy, The comedy, comedy.
Kevin Goetz 31:25
Well, there was an airport. I
Alex Ferrari 31:27
know there was airport and I'm talking about airplane.
Kevin Goetz 31:31
People know. Yeah, that introduced an entire genre that had never the spoof that had never really existed. And so there was no precedent for it. Right. So that's another reason why probably it didn't score well is that people didn't know where to put it. Had a classify it? Right. Goofy. I remember working on the naked guns. Oh, god. Yeah. I did every one of them. And I mean, from nothing's falling down the staircase.
Alex Ferrari 31:59
Oh, no. Yeah. Nice. Beaver. Yeah. Great.
Kevin Goetz 32:06
Oh, funny. And, and people just lost it. And but they were they were coming in with an expectation, and so on. Yeah, exactly. So you needed to deliver on that claim. So each one had to, like surpass the one before it, which sometimes it's successful is, you know, and sometimes not when you get to sequels, but that's only increased, that, that when I as IP has taken more of a front seat, and sort of the notion of the big idea, at became like the central focus of what drove people to theaters. You know, the, you had to satisfy you had more of a, if you're a studio, if you're a filmmaker, more of a responsibility to give the audience what they wanted.
Alex Ferrari 32:57
Right! without, without question,
Kevin Goetz 33:00
how enough tests that how could you? I mean, how could you not? Exactly, I have kind of have a reverence for the audience. When I call the audience can be 10 people, or it could be a million people. Just the word audience. And that's why the book is called Audience ology, because I kind of have become an advocate for the people, and the people, one person doesn't necessarily change the world, but the, you know, Wisdom of Crowds, as they say, It's a phrase and books that are out on that. There's validity to that. And it's that whole thing about the hunting on the freeway, it's like you want to, you want to listen to what the general consensus is, it doesn't mean you dumb it down. It means that you say, Okay, if all of these people are saying that, how can I figure out, so a lot of my time is spent helping the filmmakers figure out what is going on beneath the surface, you know, and that is also part of the art, I guess, of what I do, which is going back to my acting roots of understanding a character and peeling back the onion, to get to those layers underneath the character to be able to bring that that asset to filmmakers and say, well, here's what I think they're really saying, this is the subtext here, as opposed to, you know, change your ending. It's a comic needs more comedy, you know, like those things are unhelpful majority of the time.
Alex Ferrari 34:34
What was in all your 5000 Plus screenings that you've done over the course you know,
Kevin Goetz 34:40
20,000 plus 20 titles? No, I mean that because just to you, I mean, I'm literally out almost every night. Not anymore. I mean, I have a battery of folks that that that
Alex Ferrari 34:54
Do this for you now. Yeah. But with all the experience. Yes. What's the worst What's the worst screening experience you've ever went through that you can say publicly? Like the Movies screened poorly. The filmmaker didn't accept it.
Kevin Goetz 35:09
My worst experiences were on the with the audience didn't see which they were. They were logistical nightmares. Were an entire audience was cancelled by my people by accident, because we were over, confirmed. And everyone flew in from London and from it was in New York and from LA, the expense that went into just showing up. And a major, major big movie, a huge blockbuster. And there was like, there were like, 40 people, the only 40 people who didn't get the message that it was canceled. And the reason that they canceled is because we were so over confirmed that the we went back to cancel certain folks so that we wouldn't have a mad scene. You know, like a mob scene, the mad mad dash.
Alex Ferrari 36:03
So for them, one of the biggest blockbusters of its day or four people show up 40 people show up,
Kevin Goetz 36:07
40 people show up, and within 40 minutes, we got about 280 people from the mall to come. By I said, No matter any means. And this thing scored so well, on it was no science to it, though. But it was one of the worst nights of my career. And I recently had one where, you know, we have digital devices and the digital devices that we use to collect the data, we had a connectivity issue, and it was a nightmare. And fair enough, you know, so but we are now already we have ways to you know, we have paper and pencil standing by in case there's that issue. So we're able to get the data, but it is so unnerving. So those are the things that I really remember, as far as a movie is concerned, there are some that are just misses, they're just that you test it and there's complete and utter rejection doesn't happen often. It never happens with a studio. It just wouldn't happen anymore with the studio because the stakes are so high and so many people have touched it. It's never a unmitigated disaster. These are usually independent movies that just for whatever reason, were not executed well, and, and had marketing assets that just were like, non existent. You know, because there was nothing to hang your hat on. So you had not no marketability, and you had no playability. And so what do you say, you come out and you just say, you know, you and you know, they spent way too much on movie, you're like, sorry, those are those are really tough, because you feel for these people. And sure somebody is going to be losing a lot of money. And the director, if they didn't invest their own money will have reputational damage. And it's it's just a
Alex Ferrari 38:10
What was it was kind of like that movie back girl that Warner Brothers shelved recently. Like, I've never heard of that before. Yeah, I know. How odd is that movie that they can't just dump it on HBO backs? Like, I don't get that.
Kevin Goetz 38:24
We, you know? Well, I don't know the particulars of that. But if I were a guessing man, I didn't work on that particular movie, another company did. But my guess is, first of all, I heard that it wasn't that bad. Number one, go back and be like, your what?
Alex Ferrari 38:43
How bad they released show girls they've released.
Kevin Goetz 38:47
But you have to also what I would be asking myself is is it political brand? Their most important asset one of their five most important assets in the arsenal, the Batman. Does it hurt the brand? Does it hurt DC? That's an issue that I can't really speak about.
Alex Ferrari 39:07
But they released cat but they released Catwoman for God's sakes.
Kevin Goetz 39:10
I remember how many years ago was that? That was a while ago. Yeah, the Batman wasn't as good see, wasn't DC then. So now now you can compare the two. Look, I'm about fixing things. I would take a different approach. Misters Azov is has his own financial sort of agenda, which is I respect i How could you not I mean, it's really difficult decisions that he has to has to has to undertake, but the fact is, is is, that was part of the that was part of the cash. It was a casualty of that. Makes sense? So you know, as a researcher, I've fixed through audience reaction. So many movies And I would love to have taken a stab at it. My guess is my heard that they probably needed to reshoot a bunch. So are you going to spend exactly are you going to spend more money? I mean, like World War Z. I mean, they reshot, oh, ton, maybe a quarter of the movie. And it was a big hit. Huge. I do think that it's a it's a tough thing to look at. And until we are in the we are in the shoes of David Zaslav or of the executives at Warner's who made that decision, it's really hard to just say, why would why did they do it? I'm sure there was a compelling reason to do it, if not more than a compelling reason.
Alex Ferrari 40:43
And because it's unheard of, really it's the first film of that.
Kevin Goetz 40:47
It's kind of unheard of. It's kind of unheard of a shell of a was $100 million, at least some like that. I don't know. I don't know what it was. But yeah, something big. And you also don't want the reputational damage, which it did. They get a lot of flack for it. And I'm sure that was weighed in the equation. And it's just it's a lousy decision, no matter how it how it comes about.
Alex Ferrari 41:11
It's a lose lose.
Kevin Goetz 41:12
It's a loose, loose. It's kind of it kind of is there's kind of is, and yet it was done, you know.
Alex Ferrari 41:19
Now, this is a question I'm really wanting to hear your opinion on, because you've been working in the business for so long. And obviously, in the 30 plus years, you've been working in this, you've seen the business change. You know, you went through the VHS days, the DVD days. And now the streamer days Home Box Office days, you know, the mail days? Yeah, all those Yeah. You know, when you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger just shows up reading a telephone book and hits a $20 million opening I remember these days. But the theater experience seems to be not only taking a hit. But is it going the way of Blockbuster Video, like in the next 1015 years? Or they're just going to be less screens? Because the theatrical experience, you know, and don't get me wrong when a movie shows up, like Topcon or avatar. But those are the only two experiences that are the only two movies I can think of right away that everybody went out to go see. What do you believe is going to happen? And where do you think this is all going in the theatrical experience? Because I grew up in the theatrical experience. I love movies. You obviously grew up in that time period. It there's nothing like being obviously obvious. You just said 30 years, sir, you like 25? You just said 30 odd years.
Kevin Goetz 42:38
I set myself right up to that we
Alex Ferrari 42:39
We look fantastic, sir. No, but But seriously, like we both kind of grew up in that field. So there's nothing like the theatrical experience. But this new generation didn't grow up with it. So right. What do you think?
Kevin Goetz 42:52
Yeah, well, I think that it's, it's never coming back to the way it was. And I just think it's not an indictment on movies. It's not an indictment on the particular movie, necessarily. I'll explain that in a minute. It's more of an indictment, if you will, on consumer behavior and new generations. With the replacement of, of movies as a prime source of entertainment with television and gaming. With social media and short form, entertainment. Gen Z's are really, and half of millennials are really, I wouldn't say rejecting the theatrical experience. They just don't care about it in the same way that you and I did, because we had, there was a nostalgic quality to it, there was a romanticism, there's something about being in a theater that excites us, because we grew up with it. So we have different memories, and so forth. The younger generation just doesn't feel that. So as people age out and age up, there's going to be less attendance. In terms of a wide variety of movies in a theater, three things happened that have never occurred at the same time, right, which is this notion of choice, so much choice, the notion of price. The price is just too damn expensive, to not be selective about what you're going to see. And convenience. You know, it takes what, about 40 minutes? On average? I think it's 3840 minutes to decide what movie and get in a car to go to like that's the average as opposed to like 16 or 17 minutes to choose a movie through streaming and, and be at home. You can buy five or six streaming so Ever since for the cost of a family for going to one movie, with concessions in parking cetera, you can't compare the the value proposition. However people still like going to the movies, they also like going out of the house, occasionally, occasionally, movies will become more of a product of like a show or a concert. And what that means is an experience. So if you don't have a movie that has some kind of experiential component to it. Elevated, fun, elevated, fun, elevated, that means a horror movie that is, oh, it's just a really kick ass comedy that still comedies not really come back. No. And I'm not sure they, they, they will there will be a comedy that just does so well. You know, like There's Something About Mary Crazy Rich Asians remember how that's not?
Alex Ferrari 46:06
That's not good. But that was pre pandemic too. So that's the other thing
Kevin Goetz 46:10
I understand that but no one expected it to do the blockbuster business, there will be one because there's always one. There's one like, like, just when everyone's had romantic comedies are dead, you know, ticket to paradise comes in sort of works. And then just when they said dramas are dead, you know, man called Auto comes in and works. But it doesn't work that they were shot. They're not I mean, it does make a point, or can prove a point that there is an audience that will still go, but it's far less. So really the this as the population grows, actually, more people will go to movies, but we'll see such such you were you were movies, fewer titles. So what you just said is 100% Right now I have a theater and then a screening in my house. So I watch everything on a big screen. And it's with Dolby and the whole thing and I'm very blessed to have that. So I never need to go to a theater and I spent my life working on movies in theaters. But I left my house to see Avatar, you know, because, of course, of course. My house to see Top Gun. Yes, I did to leave you chose. I did not leave my house for anything else.
Alex Ferrari 47:30
You and me are the exact same. The only two movies I've seen in a theater other than maybe press screenings or something like that. No, I'm not talking about work. No, that's different. Because I just saw a man from auto and things like that but theatrically but for me to get out. Go pay tickets. It was top gun because that's like I have to go see top gun because it's an experience. And I go it's avatar because it's avatar and it's James Cameron possible in a theater. I will probably see Mission Impossible to Oppenheimer in a theater. You know, you're absolutely right. That's a prime another but again, these are
Kevin Goetz 48:03
Even though it's a drama, quote on but it's but a Nolan trailer and I was Nolan. It's Nolan it's Christopher Nolan. It's not viatical it's going to be an expirience
Alex Ferrari 48:13
But the fable ones. I'm not gonna go see them the theaters. I want to see it and it's I'm looking forward to wonderful. I'm looking forward to it.
Kevin Goetz 48:22
You know, it's so interesting. There's a great filmmaker. And I'm not being cheeky, I really don't remember when I say great filmmaker, a very popular filmmaker, a very well, a well known filmmaker and but I forget which one it is, but said this quote, which is my favorite movie of all time is jaws. And I have never seen it in a movie theater. Isn't that interesting?
Alex Ferrari 48:50
I've never seen jaws and
Kevin Goetz 48:53
This notion of you have to see things in a movie theater is just not the case. And and if it were the case, the Academy of which I'm a member would you know make it mandatory that people have to see movies in a theater, it's just unrealistic. And it's just not true. I don't get any less enjoyment from 90% of most movies, because I've seen them on a big screen. Forget my screening room but I'm talking about like a big screen of any of us have with flat screen. Well, just having a 72 wins. It's an again, you have a lot of people a lot of my friends have these sound packages that are really cool in their rooms that are surround sound, etc. And they really emulate the experience and many theaters have gone the wrong direction in a way and have tried to emulate the living room as a way to ingratiate the consumer and bring them in. So they have these great reclining seats and the screens have gotten smaller and Right. It's like, as the theaters have condensed their the experience to make it more elite or, you know, like food service. And homes have gotten bigger and will get bigger. You know, the Consumer Electronics Show shows walls of screen like walls of screen in your home, it will end up being a feature like marble floors and granite counters.
Alex Ferrari 50:24
So it's Total Recall, like Total Recall had that like they just turned up.
Kevin Goetz 50:27
But I'm saying I would say exactly. But I would say you'll, you'll say I like I'd like the full screen in the game rec room or the den and the sound package as well also in the master. So you're going to have like a wall screen and it'll be part of the feature of the buildings built ins. You know what I mean? So this is going to happen. So everything points to there's going to be a there has to be condensing reduction of screens. I mean, Regal just filed for bankruptcy. As you know. They're closing one of my favorite theaters in Los Angeles, which is Sherman Oaks
Alex Ferrari 51:07
They're closing Sherman. Yeah. Wow.
Kevin Goetz 51:11
Were you in LA?
Alex Ferrari 51:12
Yeah. But I wasn't really for 13 years.
Kevin Goetz 51:15
Yes. So this is that's my theater that I go to. Or Burbank. That's the Burbank
Alex Ferrari 51:21
I lived in Burbank. So that was my AMC was. And they always had the test screening guys out front always
Kevin Goetz 51:27
Oh, well, we do. Um, they're probably once a week, I think
Alex Ferrari 51:30
Every day but always, Oh, is there
Kevin Goetz 51:33
A second home. I like I like I own a second home in Burbank and the theater. There a lot. And it's just, it's a lot of people like it. It's it's a very good testing location, because it is ethnically racially diverse. It has a level of sophistication, but also sort of working class folks, you know, does that regular regular people regular back did that does that. And there's a there's also you get a mixture of you know, education, which is really nice. So as far as testing, it emulates a lot of pockets in the United States. So it's a good, it's a good testing ground. So it's like the block in Orange County or Long Beach. Those are really important in the LA area.
Alex Ferrari 52:20
Well, let me ask you, then, with all this conversation of theatrical, where does that leave you in the work that you do? Do you still do test screenings for things that are going to streaming? And how is that how does that work?
Kevin Goetz 52:33
Well, it speaks to our conversation that we had at the beginning of the podcast, which is people are going to it's important to get your the the opinions of folks, whether it is what the platform agnostic in other words, it's whether it is on a streamer debuting on stream or debuting in a theater, that word of mouth is going to dictate how, how strongly the movie will perform. And streamers want and report now on drops, as well, they want to make the best version of itself they possibly can. And when I say the best version, I mean, the one that appeals to the widest, widest number of folks. And that is a very important determination. So all of the streamers are my clients. And even even though may I say now my biggest clients and I will say this I also during the pandemic, we went into triage mode at screen engine ASI, which is my company, we went into triage mode. And we we came up with we invented a synchronous, that means in real time screening platform for two to 300 people, that you as a filmmaker can stay in your home and watch people watching your movie at once. So that's where it's gone. And well, a lot of it did go there. But many people still are holding on to this notion of looking at a movie in a theater. So half our business is on the small screen and half our business is still on the big screen. And we've only increased exponentially because as content increases, so does our business. Because as you're saying, and it's a really good point just because something is not theatrical is not an indictment on your movie. Yet you need the same results you need strong word of mouth. You want to have good critics ratings, you want to have scoring and scores so that your subscribers if it's a streamer, are satisfied like these are important things to know and understand. And unless you engage with the audience, how the hell are you going to know that?
Alex Ferrari 54:56
Well doesn't doesn't the streamers have an immense amount? have data that the studio's just do not have in the sense of the algorithm and what people are watching and when they're coming off. I mean, they know so many data points on a movie. That's one of the reasons why from what I understand Adam Sandler keeps getting those 100 million dollar deals at Netflix because their data states, people watch it people, you know, click on it, people continue to enjoy his kind of humorous kind of films, where most of us are like, but how is Adam keep getting all these get that he's a silly film. A lot of his movies are silly and comical when he's not doing his dramatic stuff. But you're like, wow, he's still going Why is Netflix doing
Kevin Goetz 55:35
You have a clearly they have more many more data points and metrics, then the studios are able to but you know, like, we have a product called Host track. So every week, screen engineer size in partnership with comScore. And it's the exit poll currency, everyone subscribes to the product. And we gauge reaction to studio movies and who actually showed up. So we can tell you, the actual audience demography, and how they rated it in those individual groups. So they're not without data should definitely less sophisticated, of course, then the streamers are able to, to to have, but you know, theatrical is a big bet business, right? You're spending big dollars. But there's no question that those marketing dollars at create a movie getting into the zeitgeist that a streaming movie simply doesn't do, and I believe increases the value of the IP. Even if it's not as successful in its theatrical run, the sort of the goodwill, if you will, or the nature of the of the of the asset takes on a more important, you know, life than if it doesn't have a campaign behind it. It feels has more gravitas, it feels like it's a bigger thing. So with that comes the positive of what I just said, but also comes with tremendous risk, because you have to make that much more money to make back the P PNa. And that the PNA is could be significant, you know, on on movies, and, you know, you have to sort of double down it's kind of like you're, you're talking about that girl. So if you know fat girl was something that was gonna go theatrical. They'd have to spend how much to get people 100 150 Yeah, something like that. It'd be insanely probably somewhere between my guess is somewhere between 75 and 100 worldwide to get that movie, you know, properly plays, etc. So you have to then say where does one cut their losses. And that is what more and more people will probably be doing. But cutting your losses usually means then taking a loss but going on a stream or not investing in the PNA. But if streamers don't want the movie, or if you think you might do damage to your overall brand, there may be compelling business reason to do it. And so
Alex Ferrari 58:22
It's it's fairly interesting. Now, can you talk about your new film audience.ology in a film book. Audience.ology?
Kevin Goetz 58:30
Well, it's made me made into a film
Alex Ferrari 58:32
Starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It's amazing.
Kevin Goetz 58:35
First of all, it's a year old already. But it's, it's been a best seller, Simon and Schuster. pretty thrilled about it in its category, man. It's not like New York Times, you know, we've sold 2 million copies. But it is gotten really great feedback and press and critical response. And I couldn't be more proud of it. I worked on it with my, with my co author, Darlene Heyman, for like 12 years. So it was interviews, interviews, interviews, and then finding the right voice and structure. And, and because it was as successful as it has been, and it's now in paperback. Simon and Schuster gave me a second book, which I'm writing right now with my co author, Bob Levin, and that is called how to score in Hollywood. And that book,
Alex Ferrari 59:26
Kevin Goetz 59:28
Why don't come up with a good title, you know, you know, that's, that's not good. That's not good. Consider it heading, having been tested, et cetera, et cetera, up but what I was gonna say was that book is about getting to the green light. And what does it take to get to the green light? What's the alchemy? And what goes through people who are in that position to give it the Yes. What do they go through? What are they feeling? How much audience response to they use? How much should they use it? And so we take on that debate a little bit as well. So I think it's going to be a fun fun read. But I have no idea when I'm going to finish it because we're about halfway through, we love where it's going. So does so does the publisher, but I'm running a business, I am doing my podcast. And I think, by the way, I think a lot of people who do actually listen to yours would like my podcast, if I can do a shameless plug, sure, of course, don't kill the messenger, it's called, which don't kill the messenger came about because that was originally gonna be the title of audience ology. And it's interesting, that was my title for a long time. So it's kind of married to it. And it basically the publisher at Simon Schuster thought it was maybe a little too self serving and, and let's put it on the audience, which is what it's all about. And in, I don't know, maybe 15 years ago, Patrick Goldstein did a feature on the calendar cover the calendar section of the LA Times. And he he dubbed me the Doctor of audience ology. And when I brought that up in the book, they said, you know, we love this idea. And that's how audience ology came to be. And it really is kind of taken on a life of its own in terms of the possibilities and, and so forth, maybe doing a TV show and around it and all that, in any event, don't kill the messenger is what it means it's I'm coming in to deliver the news of the audience. You know, don't beat me up. It's the easiest thing to do is to is to is to pick on the guy who's who's has to give you the truth and or tell you the truth. And so it's been a sticky title up I kind of base the podcast on the notion of people have an interest in like yours, your podcast, people have an interest in movies. There some war stories of screening experiences, but getting into individuals who have made an impact continue to make an impact, and how that affects kind of, as you said, the post production and, and in particular, the screening process.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:13
Now, my last question to you is, what is the craziest, most entertaining, insane screening event that you can talk about publicly?
Kevin Goetz 1:02:22
I think the one that pops in my head, well, two of us, two of them pop into my head Borat
Alex Ferrari 1:02:27
Oh my god, what was the Borat like?
Kevin Goetz 1:02:30
For at the original Borat screening, which was in Marina Del Rey. Remember, no one really. Some people knew the algae character. Yeah. But they didn't know Sacha Baron Cohen. Really? He? He did this movie. It was never saw anything like it. And people were pissing in their pants. I don't know how else to say it. I mean, I got, you know, the wave, like the wave. They do it ballgames they were doing that one guy got up from he was sitting like in the fifth wrote to the screen, he got up and ran up and down the aisle with his arms. And people were just laughing at that, because he couldn't contain himself. When the teabagging scene happened. Oh, no, no, that's just it was it was it people were just out of their minds. And so it scored hugely. And it was a great, it was one of those magic moments of your experience something in a culture, you know what I mean? And the other thing another one was like, was something about Mary? Oh, yeah. Another one like that. Yeah. When Ben when Ben Stiller comes out with the, with the hair gel. Oh.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:39
Cameron Diaz. Cameron Diaz has,
Kevin Goetz 1:03:42
Because of his sorry,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:43
No, she she comes out with this thing. His his manhood.
Kevin Goetz 1:03:50
I was gonna say, but and with the zipper. Oh, there's when the dog flies out the window. Lin che and see your eye? Alex laughing Yeah. Because imagine being in that first screening and not knowing that that was oh, what it was it was just crazy and peep. It was one of those and I I've had many of those. The first screening of Forrest Gump the first screening of Titanic.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:21
Oh my god, what was the Titanic screening?
Kevin Goetz 1:04:23
It was people went nuts because it was one of those it was I compare it in the book to the gauntlet that when screening that is alleged to have happened, it did happen. I spoke to Samuel Goldman before he passed away about it because he had talked directly to Darryl Darryl and not their authentic David O. Selznick. And essentially, it was we got the executives to Minneapolis. No one knew what we were going to see Fox. Tom sherek arranged it so people just showed up at the airport for the private jet and we were flown to to Minneapolis and Jim Cameron, was there already trying to set up lights and for the question, you know, and arranging things and and I said, this is not great expectations, which is what we were told we were going to see. That was a fake title. So people thought they were going to secret expectations. And when I, when I mentioned that, actually, I don't think I mentioned the title. What happened was, I said, I'm so glad to hear and they're like, what is it? What is it and then all of a sudden, the water thing comes up. And that water image, and people thought it was a trailer at first. And then it said Titanic and people were like, oh, and because
Alex Ferrari 1:05:42
Because because at the time for everyone listening, everyone was bashing Titanic because it's never going to work the world's biggest flop. It's how are you going to even how can you make a movie about Titanic? We all know the ending and all of this stuff. Oh, I remember all of that, because they were just killing Jim over the most expensive movie ever made. And all those years.
Kevin Goetz 1:06:03
So that was that? Watch. I was crazy. That was crazy. And I also remember, oh, there was a great story of us recruiting. I remember it was I think it was the first Toy Story. And but we recruited it under something. It wasn't Benji, but it was something like last week, something like last year, and we recruited the movie with this. And then we get up to announce the name. It wasn't me. But another colleague got up to announce the name of the movie. And people were like, boo, because they never heard a Toy Story. And by the end of it, a new franchise was born. And people were like Benji, who lastly, what?
Alex Ferrari 1:06:50
Because imagine, imagine seeing Toy Story for the first time when nothing had ever been released like that before. I can't even imagine.
Kevin Goetz 1:07:00
And so you've got all these great, great stores, people audiences, discovering these great movies,magic.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:09
And I think you were saying that there's going to be a comedy that's going to break through again, something like bore at if anyone has the balls to make a film, because I remember watching Blazing Saddles. It when I when I was working at the video store when I was a young man,
Kevin Goetz 1:07:23
I worked at video store. That's that's where I
Alex Ferrari 1:07:28
Five years, five years, my mom and pop in Florida.
Kevin Goetz 1:07:31
I was in New York City and I was the weekend manager.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:37
I wasn't I was I was a manager I was a manager.
Kevin Goetz 1:07:40
So talk about finding your end, I realized the owner was just blockbuster was soon to open a year later. But it was before Blockbuster and I put a business plan together and I said I want to buy your business and guess what? He fired me. What felt threatened I was 21 years old. He felt threatened and and I was dumbfounded it was the greatest thing ever. And then a year later he was out of business because blockbuster went on 79th Street and it was like done dude all those mom and pops as you know went out of business
Alex Ferrari 1:08:11
Done they were done but I was I remember watching Blazing Saddles because I was those times I was watched so
Kevin Goetz 1:08:17
We would walk put movies on while we were we had a real shrink wrap our movies and
Alex Ferrari 1:08:22
Obviously obviously I did the same thing you knew right? Yeah, when you're gonna resell the used ones you'd be shrink wrap them and put them out of course of course. Yeah, I used to play Nintendo in the back and watch movies up front. So I'm watching Blazing Saddles
Kevin Goetz 1:08:35
I went into the X rated section here in there
Alex Ferrari 1:08:37
I didn't our city did not allow pornography of Florida so it was that area of there was like a couple couple of areas over wide area or large l Fort Lauderdale for whatever reason
Kevin Goetz 1:08:50
That's more aggressive than a lot of
Alex Ferrari 1:08:52
It did not allow it but like, if you went to another city you couldn't but for whatever so I never had that joy. But I'm watching Blazing Saddles.
Kevin Goetz 1:09:02
We're seeing Debbie does Dallas. I'm just going to tell you Well, I mean, you don't know what you miss.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:06
Listen, people find a way but
Kevin Goetz 1:09:11
Before there was the internet doing which we tested, No, I'm joking.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:14
No, we tested and but watching Blazing Saddles I said, this movie will never be there's nothing that will ever come out. As like ballsy as this film, like it was just a couple of first of all that movie can never come out today. Like as as it just in the culture and the climate that we have today would never be able to come out today. But when Borat showed up, I was just like, how did this sneak through the guard gate? Like how in God's green earth? Did they do it? And then when they released it during I think it was pandemic 2021 He reads a sequel I'm like, or 2020 Whenever he released that
Kevin Goetz 1:09:51
We worked on that really. Like thanks. Sasha wrote a really, really nice quote for the back of my book. And we worked. I did all the Borah, second one, two and beyond so much fun. And I just interviewed on my podcast, Monica Levinson, who produced it. And she talks about, if you want to hear it that should have been her being arrested, and how that all worked and how they get releases and stuff. That was pretty cool.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:19
How they were able to do stuff like but you know, and not to go off too far off the train here for a second. But what Sasha does he his life is threatened. Like the stuff that he would do. It was like life threatening situations. He put himself in for our comedy like Jerry's.
Kevin Goetz 1:10:36
No, that that concert we talked about the concert, you know, that concert? Yeah, in the second in the second one. And you saw that they were trying to tip over the ambulance that he was being taken. He was genuinely fear fearful. I mean, you could see it,
Alex Ferrari 1:10:50
Because he just, he might have jumped he just might have gone too far. Like siblings just might have just just a little bit might have gone too far. Because that's not for me, either. But, but for his safety. He might have gone well, yeah, yeah, that's what I mean.
Kevin Goetz 1:11:06
But the whole thing is based on this authenticity, and so it's just amazing to me, also what people will do, and sign away.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:16
I know Oh, yeah. After after bar, I came out there was like lawsuits trying to like I did well, like why we because they signed the release. And because they didn't know, you know, like, some of the stores he went into and some of the things he did. And people sign the releases. And they're like, no, no, it's like that whole dinner, that whole dinner scene where he comes back with a sack
Kevin Goetz 1:11:33
Don't get me don't get i i literally I when I watched the second one, I fell off my chair during the movie. Oh, God, if you get what scene it was, I literally fell off my chair. I was in the desert in Palm Springs. Doing it remotely on this platform, the virtual works platform. Yeah. And suddenly, I'm like, laughing so hard. And I was on a small chair and I I pulled myself back fell off. And they're like, where do you go? He's that Yeah. Oh my god.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:11
Yeah, but where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing, sir?
Kevin Goetz 1:12:15
Well, my social media is Kevingoetz that's goetz. Yeah, Kevingoetz360 and I'm on all the social media platforms. And the book is called Audience.ology. It's on Amazon. It's there's a, you can get it the the I read it as well. And then also, the podcast is called don't kill the messenger. And that's also just Google that it's on all the different platforms.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:41
Kevin, I appreciate your contribution to film history. Over the last 30 years. My friend seriously!
Kevin Goetz 1:12:47
Your such a pleasure and you're such a wealth of knowledge and to talk to someone who is in the know and really gets it. You have great enthusiasm, great enthusiasm.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:57
I appreciate you very much my friend. Thank you again.
Kevin Goetz 1:12:59
Thank you so much!
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- Kevin Goetz – Official Site
- Book: Audience•ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love
- Podcast: Don’t Kill The Messenger