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Publisher's Summary

The stunning metamorphosis of twenty-first-century Hollywood and what lies ahead for the art and commerce of film

In the past decade, Hollywood has endured a cataclysm on a par with the end of silent film and the demise of the studio system. Stars and directors have seen their power dwindle, while writers and producers lift their best techniques from TV, comic books, and the toy biz. The future of Hollywood is being written by powerful corporate brands like Marvel, Amazon, Netflix, and Lego, as well as censors in China.

Ben Fritz chronicles this dramatic shakeup with unmatched skill, bringing equal fluency to both the financial and entertainment aspects of Hollywood. He dives deeply into the fruits of the Sony hack to show how the previous model, long a creative and commercial success, lost its way. And he looks ahead through interviews with dozens of key players at Disney, Marvel, Netflix, Amazon, Imax, and others to discover how they have reinvented the business. He shows us, for instance, how Marvel replaced stars with “universes”, and how Disney remade itself in Apple’s image and reaped enormous profits.

But despite the destruction of the studios’ traditional playbook, Fritz argues that these seismic shifts signal the dawn of a new heyday for film. The Big Picture shows the first glimmers of this new golden age through the eyes of the creative mavericks who are defining what our movies will look like in the new era.

©2018 Ben Fritz (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Big Picture

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Who is overseeing the audio part of this project?

Are you kidding me? How is it possible that a wonderfully-written book, read with an interesting voice, is so poorly produced? How is it possible that NO ONE has corrected the MULTIPLE mispronunciations of characters names, titles, locations, etc. It's incomprehensible. I had to LOOK UP Arad because I didn't know that the VO actor was referring to Avi Arad. It's not AIR-EDD; it's AH-RAHD. What about Menahem Golan? He pronounces his first name "MEN-AY-HEMM". OMG. These are just two of the examples.

Every heard of due diligence?

Cringe-worthy.

8 people found this helpful

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And now you know!

Loved the insight, and the perspective on modern Hollywood. Also enjoyed the author's choice of material from the Sony hack.

4 people found this helpful

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Seems like the audiobook was rushed

Content of the book is very good and informative. I will say that Ben Fritz can be overly dismissive of things he doesnt like (Adam Sandler films did well on dvd because of fraternity brothers and stoners, a pretty dismissive view of the Chinese, and constantly reminding us that one of the big Netflix guys started as a college dropout managing a video store).
Tim Pabon is only ok. I have no problem with him referring to Warner Brothers as Warner Brothers, Warners, and Warner Bros. Which are used interchangeably. Dont know why people have jumped on that. It does seem like they should have used some more takes (a pause before the reading of a difficult last name like its the first time hes reading it, last names changing [Pascall becomes Pascull a couple times], words mispronounced, and a couple chuckles while reading that dont fit what he is saying. It comes off at times as a first read through instead of a polished piece.
Great book, ok audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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Could have been great

This review is largely about the production of the audiobook. The content of the book is fascinating, with an incisive, thoughtful look at the motion picture industry in the 2010s. The impact of streaming and franchises are examined in depth and provide a listener with information that clearly informs the challenge of transition that the film biz has been going through for the past several years.

However, if the reader is someone with little or no knowledge of the film industry, it would behoove Audible to hire a a 'prooflistener', similar to a proofreader. It was frustrating hearing the reader mangle the pronunciation of names, whether it was calling Idris Elba 'Eye-dris' or Yair Landau 'Yeir' instead of Yah-ear' or the Cannes Festival 'Cans' instead of 'Kon'. But the most annoying error was the constant naming of Warner Bros. 'Warner Bros.' instead of 'Warner Brothers'. These errors continually took me out of the book and compromised my ability to fully enjoy a well written report.

1 person found this helpful

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A modern history book of movies

Amazing book.
Very well researched and written
Unique perspective of modern day TV and movies
Highly recommend to anyone with an interest in the movie business

1 person found this helpful

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Best book I have heard in a while.

I loved it. The only issue I had was that every mention of "Warner Bros" was pronounced just like that... Warner Bros rather than Warner Brothers. Made it sound like hipsters rather than a legendary movie studio. Otherwise a stellar book and an amazing performance.

3 people found this helpful

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Better Oversight Needed

You know that thing where you’ve only seen a word written, but you’ve never heard it said out loud before? And then you take a blind stab at it, almost certainly mangling it? That’s every minute of this audiobook. It’s almost funny how many things Tim Andrés Pabon manages to mispronounce.

From Jake Gill-en-haal and Eye-dris Elba to pronouncing Cannes like it has soup inside. It’s not just industry stuff either. Saint Tropez and raison d’être both get their time in Pabon’s roulette wheel of pronunciation.

It’s a little shocking how poorly produced this thing is. Did the author or anyone from Fritz’s team even bother to listen to this? Surely one listen through by someone familiar with the subject matter could have caught this.

The book itself is fine. Fritz’s style leaves a lot to be desired. Some good tidbits.

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A Bit of a Misnomer


The Big Picture is a good book. However, it isn’t so much about the fight for the future of movies as the subtitle suggests. Instead, it’s more about the history of Sony Pictures. In addition, it includes asides from Warner Brothers and a bit of Disney.

When it got down to it, the book came to the obvious conclusion that every accountant comes to: You need to go where the money is. Right now, the dollars in movies come from franchises already established (whether sequels, spin-offs, reboots) and foreign markets.

If you want a typical coming-of-age drama, or slapstick comedy, or a edge of your seat thriller that is bound to be a one-off film; then streaming is where you need to go.

If it’s original stories you desire with new, dynamic characters that grow and change with each new entry of the story, then it’s a television series you’re seeking.

We are in the age where big studios can’t, or won’t, take on any risks. If the property doesn’t have a built-in audience, chances are the movie won’t be playing in any major movie theater.

To top it off, this will probably become even more apparent after the whole Covid stuff dies down.

The narrator was good, but certainly far from great. One mispronunciation I heard was his use of ‘Cannes’. It is not and has never been pronounced ‘Cans’. It’s a short A sound, like James Caan’s last name. Also, just because the text says ‘Warner Bros.’ does not mean to say ‘bros’. The word is ‘brothers’. Finally, he tended to add in a little chuckle or lilt to his voice when reading certain passages. It wasn’t a quote or dialogue, just something he added.

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One of the best industry books, poor reader

It really shouldn’t be this hard to find a narrator who can properly pronounce names.

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Pretty interesting about business side of movies

It was good and I'm glad I listened. Made some valid points about franchises dominating and Disney taking such control of the industry. It was clearly published before Han Solo and Dumbo crashed, as the writer spoke of Disney's approach being almost infallible. Not necessarily. I also appreciated learning more about Sandler, Smith, and Sony. Great tidbits here and there. Definitely a must listen for movie buffs. But I have to say, I did find the narrators saying "Warner Bros" instead of "Warner Brothers" annoying. Nor sure why, but it was irksome.

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  • Ms. Kyan S. Lindo
  • 08-13-20

A valuable perspective on modern Hollywood

A very good and informative look at modern Hollywood and the change technology has forced upon an antiquated industry.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-23-19

The best summary of the modern state of Hollywood

A really interesting and comprehensive look at the state of modern Hollywood - if you have any interest in how and why the movies we see are made, this is for you

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-19

Amy pascal biography

This is seriously just a biography of Amy pascal and Sony pictures. Misleading title. Very narrow approach, not a big picture at all.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-19

Interesting topic marred by annoying narration

The narrator has seemingly never had to read words in a foreign language or heard anyone pronounce Warner Brothers. The mispronunciation of Warner Brothers really started to gate the further I got into the book

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  • S Marshall
  • 11-29-18

I Don’t Like Change

Nutshell: Ben Fritz has a very specific notion of what Films are and now that reality is drifting away from that, he is scared.

It is clear Fritz has been seduced by the Hollywood Producers he studied for writing this book (Amy Pascal in particular). He conveys most things Hollywood from their point of view, which is as interesting as it is irritating.

It is clear Fritz has very little respect for Writers, TV, Comic Book Movies, and a variety of other popular genres and feels like there is a massive crisis because things he doesn’t like are popular.

He talks at length in the final summation of the great power of Cinematic visuals in a conventional Cinema, but is blissfully unaware most Cinemas no longer have a projectionist and the only fundamental difference between watching a movie at home or in a Cinema is the Price and the size of the screen. He thinks it’s important to sit a room full of people you don’t talk to and will never talk to, because of Cinema’s conventions. He ignores the fact that social watching occurs on Social Media, but then he doesn’t like social media very much either.

In short, there are some very interesting ideas here, but it’s also drowned out by the Writer’s constant fear of change.

The reader reads the entire Novel like it’s a children’s book. So if you enjoy being patronised for hours on end, this will be right up your street.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-20

Great book

Entertaining and interesting to hear how the movie business works and about movies that failed

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  • sean
  • 03-29-20

Good Motion Picture Insights.

Look I really enjoyed the majority of this book, but it did get bogged down on a few topics that didn't really fit in. It does, however, give you a lot of good insights into how the movie & TV industry have changed, which was great.
The narrator, whilst he is very easy to listen to I couldn't believe when I continued to hear 'Warner Bros." pronounced Warner Brose time and time again, surely a book narrator would know that bros is short for brothers and doesn't everyone alive know it's Warner Brothers...yes a small point but a bloody annoying one.
Aside this, I would recommend this book for anyone who has any interest in the movie business, overall it's a good read.

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  • Anthony Eales
  • 07-10-18

The Best Book on Film I've Ever Read

Simply loved this book. The future of film as laid out by Ben Fritz was a page turner from start to finish. Using the Sony emails as a basis for a book on the film industry was a brilliant idea. Many insights because of this. In a very entertaining book. Would recommend to any film fan.