How to make a film like Theo Angelopoulos


1. A CD with music by Eleni Karaindrou.

2. A photo album, the kind you find in the lounge usually with scenery or black and white pictures.



1. Play the music.

2. Flick through the photos.   Really slowly.  1-5 minutes on each usually is OK.

3. You can (slowly!) move your gaze across the page occasionally.

4. Think or don’t think of anything you like.


The overall effect is remarkably similar to a Theodoros Angelopoulos film in my opinion.

In a country stuggling to get a film industry working, Angelopoulos was a symbol of success though he didn’t actually much help improve anything.    Some loved him, other considered him Rotten Tomato material.

In a country battling with anarchy the question why an old man (albeit a famous old man) was allowed to walk across a busy street and what sort of safety protocol his production company was following begs an answer.

Personaly I won’t miss him at all.   Other than a striking resemblance to my dear uncle who shares his first name I found little of interest in his film and much to critique in his actions.   Greece has bigger problems than whether or not his films were boring.   If there is a budding new Theo Angelopoulos in the wings let’s hope he has a better idea how best to help his country abroad than the one that just passed.



Marketing myths: Beta vs VHS and the demise of Kodak

Before the web there were just plain marketing gurus.  They were the closest we had to the to soundbite Twitter sized slogan makers we are used to today.   Before Google searches, they were the ones discovering interesting stories about products, companies and brands.   And they packaged them neatly for us with branded big fonts and style.

A well known and well circulated in Marketing classes myth concerns Sony’s “failure” to promote Beta against VHS as a video format.   They usually forget to mention the main reason (Sony not wanting to go to bed with the porn industry) but – most importantly – they don’t even get their numbers right.   Did anybody bother to quantify the profits made from VHS versus what Sony made from Beta in the longterm?   Because as a broadcast standard for many many years I have seen that equipment being sold and rented for pretty big sums of money for more than two decades!   Even now there are TV stations ticking along with a dozen betaMax decks for A/B editing or even playout.

If Sony lost the battle against VHS as a format for every living room, they did pretty well getting it in every TV station and post production facility and even better as a base for launching a huge business around media production.   Doesn’t look like a failure to me.

Kodak going down has a similar smell already.   It is as if scores of writers had the obituary ready.   That little colored box in the marketing manual as a case study.   A perfect illustration of a big company getting arrogant and getting it wrong.   How new technologies overtake even the strongest firms.   How bad management is blind to change.   A company with more of a century of global domination seems an easy target.


Maybe they should wait a bit before writing that chapter.