economics of movies

Why The Blockbuster Movie Bubble Will Burst In 2018

In 2013, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicted the film industry as we know it would “implode” if/when, in the near future, too many wildly expensive blockbuster movies flopped. And if ever there were a year for an implosion on that scale to occur it would be 2018, the year when there are nearly as many major studio tentpole releases as there are weeks in the year. Well, here’s the thing …

Do you like big blockbuster movies? The kind that will make a billion dollars but will never be financially profitable, thanks to Hollywood’s shady accounting practices? If so, here’s the insane slate of blockbusters 2018 has to offer:

Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Pacific Rim 2, Aquaman, Toy Story 4, Deadpool 2, Black Panther, The Flash, How To Train Your Dragon 3, Ant-Man And The Wasp, Jurassic World 2, The Predator, Fifty Shades Freed, Jungle Book: Origins, Marry Poppins Returns, Tomb Raider, Alita: Battle Angel, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2, The Secret Life Of Pets 2, an animated Spider-Man movie, Hotel Transylvania 3, The Wolf Man, Wreck-It Ralph 2, the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff, the Transformers Bumblebee spinoff, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Gigantic (Disney’s next hand-drawn animated musical).

Here’s another seven movies that, at the time of publishing, don’t have solid release dates but are scheduled for 2018:

Madagascar 4, Independence Day 3, Gambit (an X-Men spinoff), The Invisible Man, Venom (a Spider-Man spinoff), Uprising (Bryan Singer’s big-budget movie about a war on the goddamn moon), Mission: Impossible 6.

And then there are the spots in the schedule studios have claimed but haven’t specified what movies are going to be released. Like Nov. 2, 2018, the date Disney plans to release another live-action adaptation of an animated movie they made 50 years ago. Or March 2, the day Marvel and Fox will, presumably, release whatever scraps of the X-Men franchise they can cobble together into a movie with a tube of Elmer’s glue.

And all of it would have been even crazier if Warner Bros. hadn’t decided to haul The Lego Movie 2 out of its original July 2018 release date and into the safe confines of February 2019, where it will likely destroy box office records instead of getting lost in the shuffle of an unreasonably packed 2018 release schedule.

So 2018 will see the release over 40 massive, tentpole movies. There are nearly 20 releases that happen exactly a week apart. This means that Marvel’s Black Panther will have only a week to make most of its money before Pacific Rim 2 steals its audience, which will give the unnamed Marvel/Fox movie a week to make its money before Wreck-It Ralph 2 comes out, which will only have a week before The Flash and/or Tomb Raider comes out, because Warner Bros. is dumb and scheduled two of their own tentpole movies for the same day. And all of those movies will be released in February and March, the two months studios usually use as a landfill to dump the movies they think suck.

The year isn’t just crowded; it’s a clusterfuck, and there are going to be big casualties. There are too many massive movies and not enough people to watch them.

Less and less people are watching movies in theaters, but studios are making more than ever on theatrical releases. Why? The average price of a ticket has nearly doubled, from $4.35 in 1995 to $8.43 in 2015. Right now, in 2016, the average ticket price is the highest it’s ever been: $8.66. For that uptick you can thank 3D movies and premium-seating theaters with dining and alcoholic-beverage options that make falling asleep during a movie more luxurious than ever. As studios spend more per ticket on big movies that result in less-than-impressive returns, they’re making fewer mid-range films. While we’re all being dazzled by comic book adaptations, cinematic universes, and sequels to movies released 20 years ago, the middle-class of the film industry is dying. Those less expensive comedies, thrillers, and dramas aren’t being made anymore (at least for theater distribution), even though their smaller budgets make it easier for them to turn a profit.

What does all of that mean? Spielberg and Lucas will tell you.

Without much breathing room, all of these movies are going to start cannibalizing each other’s revenues. And that’s why 2018 has the potential to be a year of reckoning for Hollywood’s blockbuster industrial complex.

Or 2018 will end up being the year when two of the film industry’s back-up plans for financial success will succeed beyond everyone’s wildest expectations and we’ll get an unstoppable train of blockbusters every month of every year until we all die after Michael Bay blows a moon-sized hole in the Earth while filming Transformers 15.

Hollywood is making these gigantic movies not just for American audiences but for the rest of the world, too. Mostly China. Pacific Rim is getting a sequel in 2018, even though it only recouped $101 million domestically of its $191 million budget. But then it made $114 million in China, with a grand total of $411 million worldwide. Warcraft was a colossal failure by American standards, making only a pathetic $46 million domestically on a budget of $160 million … and it’s more than likely getting a sequel after it reeled in $376 million worldwide, with $156 million of that coming from China alone. It beat out the box office totals of The Force Awakens and every Marvel movie. The American film industry is going to keep pumping out gigantic movies, even if they suck terribly and their predecessors bombed here, because nothing gets lost in translation when the movie you’re trying to sell overseas is about robots punching monsters.

The lesson here is that studios are learning to not give a shit if a hugely expensive movie sucks. The reason for that goes deeper than just overseas box office returns. Summer blockbusters are spreading out into every other month on the calendar, partly because every studio either has or desperately wants their own mega-franchise that can launch 1,000 smaller franchises that will generate ancillary revenues from now until the end of the (cinematic) universe. The idea isn’t new, but it’s recently been taken to its logical extreme.

According to shady Hollywood accounting, every movie by Marvel Studios up to the first Avengers movie actually lost money. About $50 million each. That’s considered a failure if you only think of them as individual movies and not as a small piece of a sprawling multimedia empire of geeky shit with dozens of parts that prop each other up. People aren’t buying tickets to a single comic book movie. They’re watching a dozen movies, a handful of TV shows, and buying the DVD and Blu-ray box sets. Toys and action figures and apps and theme park tickets and Iron Man-shaped dildos and life-sized Hulk fist butt plugs all play a big part of that too, but they aren’t nearly as important as the development of a franchise. The same could be said for pretty much everything under the Disney banner, from Star Wars to Frozen to anything made by Pixar. One new movie in a theater is an excuse for a studio to make a fortune on ancillary revenues that flip a failure into a success because the meta-franchise is doing OK. And it’s not just Disney. It’s Paramount with Transformers. It’s Warner Bros. with the DC cinematic universe and Harry Potter. It’s Universal with Fast And The Furious. And Universal with their weird monster movie shared universe. And Universal with Jurassic Park. Universal needs an intervention. They’re out of their goddamn minds.

According to corporate strategy consultant Matthew Ball (whose three-part investigation into the failures that result in spectacular successes of this mega-franchise trend is a must-read), all of these movies with hyper-inflated budgets that are a part of Hollywood’s obsession with blockbusters have been eating into each other’s box office revenues for some time, often resulting in huge movies that never turn a profit but get a sequel/spinoff anyway. He predicts blockbusters will soon start eating into each other’s ancillary revenues as well, negating each other’s safety nets. So, what happens when studios, who are heavily relying on ancillary revenues to spin their losses into profits, have chewed away each other’s back-up plans? I don’t know. But we’ll find out in 2018.

By: Luis Prada

anonymous asked:

Imma give you a fuck ;)

thanks [takes the fuck and puts it on the bedside table next to my VHS is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes. Developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the early 1970s, it was released in Japan in late 1976 and in the USA in early 1977.From the 1950s, magnetic tape video recording became a major contributor to the television industry, via the first commercialized video tape recorders (VTRs). At that time, the devices were used only in expensive professional environments such as television studios and medical imaging (fluoroscopy). In the 1970s, videotape entered home use, creating the home video industry and changing the economics of the television and movie businesses. The television industry viewed videocassette recorders (VCRs) as having the power to disrupt their business, while television users viewed the VCR as the means to take control of their hobby. In the 1980s and 1990s, at the peak of VHS’s popularity, there were videotape format wars in the home video industry. Two of the formats, VHS and Betamax, received the most media exposure. VHS eventually won the war, dominating 60 percent of the North American market by 1980 and emerging as the dominant home video format throughout the tape media period.Optical disc formats later began to offer better quality than analog consumer video tape such as standard and super-VHS. The earliest of these formats, LaserDisc, was not widely adopted. However, after the introduction of the DVD format in 1997, VHS’s market share began to decline.By 2008, DVD had replaced VHS as the preferred low-end method of distribution.]

stupidshamanism  asked:

I've been learning German for almost a year now but have yet to consistently immerse myself in it (via tv shows movies books etc) but I do listen to some music. Do you have any pop culture or intermediate level of classical lit works to recommend?

Omggg when did you send thisss, it didn’t give me a notification for it sorry.

Umm if you’re after some good lit then Franz Kafka is pretty… upper-intermediate level at least. I’m not so good with books, sorry.

As for TV shows, I really only tend to watch “wer weiß den sowas” and “Meister des Alltags” (quiz shows).

But what I do enjoy and think you could try is looking for German YouTube videos with topics you’re interested in. Like for example I just started watching a series on political philosophy, conducted in German, and now-and-then look at some short videos about economics in German.

As for movies, I’ve seen all of these:

Lola Rennt
Goodbye Lenin!
Das Leben der Anderen
Die Welle
Some turkish one I always forget but I didn’t like it anyway
Wilkommen bei den Hartmanns - this is really quite good and recent :D

German Wikipedia might help you out with TV shows if you’re looking for a specific genre - e.g. I just looked at a page on Quizshows and found those two.

Also YouTube has lots of German documentaries (Dokumentarfilme).

Sorry i hope this helps.

youtube

In which John stuns the world by answering real questions from real nerdfighters in an airport on his way to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Issues discusses include John’s anxiety around the WEF, his excitement about visiting the setting of Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain, how dogs should wear pants, the Looking for Alaska movie, his new story, the still not technically real U.S. Presidential election, and more.

Price Discrimination

AKA why gendered products exist, etc. 

OK so imagine you own a store that sells one product- some gaudy wizard statue that’s all the rage rn. You see some kid walk in, wearing a college t-shirt that he got for free from his university, in an attempt to distract him from the fact that he is paying criminally high tuition. He doesn’t have a lot of money, because his teacher wrote the fucking mandatory textbook and charges $200 for it instead doing their goddamn job and teaching from some slides for the cost of tuition.

This kid cannot afford to pay that much, clearly. The statue cost you $5 to make, so you sell it to him for $8 and make a profit. Fantastic.

The kid leaves, and some fancy-ass man with slick hair and a sharp suit walks in. He owns the college, which charges criminally high tuition, and he can afford to pay way more for a wizard statue, so you tell him that your product costs $20. That seems like a reasonable amount, so he gives you $20 and leaves the store with his purchase. Fucking Fantastic. You maximized profit by selling to two people for the near highest price each of them would pay.

You may be thinking, Gee, Stores Don’t Work Like That, which is only half true. If you’ve ever been to the movies, you probably have seen that students pay less than regular adults. This is because movie theaters know that students are poor as hell and will torrent any movie that makes them pay what the adults are paying.There’s not really a way around paying more, if you don’t have a student ID, since the theater operates under RULES.

However, other examples of price discrimination take advantage of your behavior, which is easy to change.

Under the cut are three examples of Price Discrimination to watch out for:

  • Name Branding
  • Gender
  • E-Shopping

Keep reading

Hank Paulson Mastered Wall Street and Washington, and Now He Trusts Neither

Hank Paulson might be the closest thing America has to an economics movie star. The former Treasury secretary has been portrayed by prominentactors in two dramatizations of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, and last year, he starred in a documentary about his own life. As the man who presided over the biggest market meltdown in recent U.S. history, he has become a symbol of two worlds colliding—he’s the Goldman Sachs CEO who came to Washington and then had to bail out his old friends on Wall Street.

Here’s what I learned during a recent Atlantic screening of Hank: Five Years From the Brink and interview with Paulson. He loves his wife, Wendy, who keeps it real: She once made her husband return a new winter coat from Bergdorf Goodman because she thought it would be too ostentatious for him to own two coats. He used to ride a private jet, but now he flies commercial like everybody else (thanks again, Wendy). And after six years in government and 32 years in banking, he has learned to be cautious about both the public and private sectors.

Read more.[Image: Reuters]

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EconPop - The Economics of The LEGO Movie

In this episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the animated hit comedy The LEGO Movie. Subjects include emergent order, creative destruction, and central planning.

time:

TIME: It’s so rare that a big blockbuster film takes on these themes, let alone brings someone with your background on the set to consult. How did that come to be?

Eve Ensler: It was as surprising to me as it is to you, which is why I decided to do it. I think [director] George Miller heard me give a talk on human rights in Sydney. He asked me if I would be willing to come to Namibia for a week where they were shooting and work with the cast members—particularly the wives. He wanted me to give them a perspective on violence against women around the world, particularly in war zones.

I read the script and was blown away. One out of three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime—it’s a central issue of our time, and that violence against women relates to racial and economic injustice. This movie takes those issues head-on. I think George Miller is a feminist, and he made a feminist action film. It was really amazing of him to know that he needed a woman to come in who had experience with this.

TIME: Part of the reason we see so few women’s stories on film is that there are very few female directors given the reins to big franchises like Mad Max. Obviously, this film was directed by a man and is still very feminist. Do you think feminists will respond by saying, “Great. That’s a step forward. But it would have been better if it was directed by a woman”?

Ensler: I welcome men who are feminists. I don’t live in a world of either/or. I live in a world of this and more. Obviously, we need many more women and many more women of color and many more women who are experiencing realities that haven’t been given platforms. But I think this will encourage that when people see how exciting and compelling it is.

Alexander Hamilton introduced the idea of federal taxes. Broadway producers enjoying a record season buoyed by his namesake musical are lobbying Congress to limit what they owe.


The industry, which will celebrate its success this weekend at the Tony Awards, is fighting to keep a provision that allows live-theater backers deductions in a show’s first year. That means they’d pay tax on income only after turning a profit. The provision passed in 2015, yet needs to be extended by Congress this year to survive.


In an industry where four of five performances close without recouping startup costs, producers say such a sweetener will keep the hits coming. While the provision was tacked onto a list of tax breaks last year at the behest of New York Senator Charles Schumer, there’s no guarantee it will be continued, producers and their lobbyists say. Some lawmakers don’t like the idea. Nor do advocates of tax cuts, who say such breaks make it more difficult to reduce the burden on everyone else.


“It’s crazy,” said Representative Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican who says he opposes an extension. “With that kind of thinking, no matter what the circumstances, if you lose money, you can write that off. And who pays for it? Middle-class taxpayers.”
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based group that opposes government waste, says Broadway shouldn’t get special treatment.


“Everyone has a pet provision that they try to load into the tax law,” said Steven Ellis, spokesman for the group. “Why should a Broadway show, or television or movies, be considered different from any other business?”


At stake, according to Broadway producers, is the continued health of an industry that contributed more than $12 billion to New York City’s economy last year, bolstered by sold-out hip-hop musical “Hamilton” and other hits like “The Lion King” and “Wicked.” Producers say the industry’s high-risk nature precludes them from financing shows with money from banks or venture capitalists.


Aside from the daunting odds of scoring a hit, it’s struggling with increased costs, said producer Tom Viertel, whose credits include “Penn & Teller on Broadway,” “The Producers” and “Angels in America.” In the 2014-2015 season, Broadway investors lost more than $200 million on shows that didn’t make it, he said.


The IRS code made raising money even more difficult by requiring producers to estimate how long it would take for a show to recoup its initial capitalization, and based on that, investors would have to pay taxes on the show’s anticipated first-year profit, which producers called “phantom income.” If the show didn’t make money, investors could apply for refunds on their tax payments years later.


“Our investors would get irritated when they found themselves paying taxes before they got money back,” Viertel said. “The notion of paying a tax on a profit you haven’t received is obnoxious, and it took six years of hard lobbying to solve the problem.”


The Broadway League, an association of theater owners and producers that spearheaded the campaign, hired Washington lobbyist, QGA Public Affairs, founded by Jack Quinn, who was counsel to former President Bill Clinton, and Ed Gillespie, a past chairman of the Republican National Committee and counselor to former President George W. Bush.


Congress voted in December to give live-theater investors for one year the same deduction that motion picture and TV investors get. Now it’s up for renewal, with a vote expected after the November elections.


Schumer, who led the effort last year, enlisted support from Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, where country-music shows attract buses filled with tourists. Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, also helped in the House. The non-New Yorkers signed on at the urging of performing-arts centers and theaters in their states who said they rely on touring Broadway shows to stay in business.


“There is a thriving live-theater culture in Missouri, not only in Branson, but in Kansas City, St. Louis and across the state,” Blunt said in an e-mail. “Live theater should be encouraged and often employs more local people and can have a bigger economic impact than TV and movie productions.”


[…]


Marino, of Pennsylvania, says he’s already made up his mind.
“If these guys aren’t bright enough to put anything together that makes money, tell them to get out of the business,” he said.

Ryan Murphy Talks Autobiographical Elements in Projects, How 'The Normal Heart' Ended Up on HBO, Emmy Nominations (Q&A)

Being a gay man, have you felt a sense of responsibility to tell stories about gay people because you can? It does seem to be an element of virtually all of your projects…

I do. I do. I do feel like the more that you know of people, the more accepting of them you will be. I think that is true about life. And in my career, consciously, I have made an attempt to present characters and situations that can hopefully enlighten people a little bit or push the envelope a little bit. In the case of The Normal Heart, that really was the thrust of it. I had had some success and I thought, “Why has this story not been made? Why?” And it’s such an important story, what Larry Kramer wrote, and it was something that I put my life, for many years, into making that come to the screen, because it was important to me as a young kid. It really meant a lot to me when I was 18 and I read that play. The themes of it — I related to the themes of acceptance, the themes of tolerance, to pain and discrimination, all of which I had felt. So I thought that if I could have any of my clout pushing something like that forward into the world, that’s what I wanted to do. And I feel that way now more than ever; I really try to do that. And I feel that way only because of the response that I get, which is so overwhelming and so incredible and very moving — it moves me to tears sometimes. I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world to get to do what I do. If you can ever make even one person in the world stop and feel like, “Okay, maybe I’m not so alone,” that’s a good thing and that’s an amazing thing. And that’s one thing that Larry Kramer and I had in common. When I was a little boy and when he was in college, we felt like we were the only people like us in the whole world, and we really felt invisible and there was such a pain to that. So I think things are easier now, in many ways, and I just have a real hunger to keep doing those sort of stories. I don’t want everything I do to be that, but I certainly feel like it’s a part of my DNA. That is the truth.

I know that people have been talking about adapting The Normal Heart into a film for years, but I understand that it’s not been easy. So, logistically, how did you end up making it happen? My sense, from reading other things that you’ve said, is that it was the most emotionally demanding thing that you’ve taken on…

Yeah, that is really true. I don’t know why it took so long. I think the world is a different place than when they started off, in 1987, trying to make that movie. I think that if you look at big studio movies from ‘87 to today, I can name very, very few that had one gay protagonist, let alone seven or eight. And I think that a lot of it is just about economics. Those sorts of movies have not historically made a lot of money, and that’s, of course, the main consideration for most studios, not all. But, for me, it was just something that I wanted to see; and it’s something that I wanted to put out into the world; and it had moved me so much as a kid; and I felt that the message, more than ever, was relevant; and I didn’t think that I would have the life that I have — the ability to be married and have the civil rights I have now — without people like Larry Kramer, and specifically Larry Kramer, 'cause I do feel he’s a civil rights leader. So that was all in the water. So what I ended up doing was I bought it myself — I dipped into my IRA account and I bought that play — and I spent three years with him working on the script until he felt it was ready. And then I was lucky enough to get Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts pretty quickly attached to it — it’s something I’ve been talking to Julia about for years and years and years, so finally when she got to read the draft that we shot she was like, “Okay, I get it. I want to do it.” She also thought it was a great thing to put out into the world. And, to be honest, it was, historically, a really difficult thing to get made, but it wasn’t that in my life. As soon as I finished the script I was ready to go out on the town with it. And I was, by chance or by luck, having a meeting with HBO about something else, and at the end of the meeting, as often occurs, they said, “Well, what else are you doing? What else do you have coming up?” And I said, “Well, I think I’m gonna go out with this script in two weeks.” And Michael Lombardo [HBO’s president of programming] said, without even reading it, “I want it. I want it here. I know the play. Richard Plepler [HBO’s chairman and CEO] and I loved the play, we saw the play and we want to do it.” So things happen for a reason. Things take their own time, you know? And I think that now is the perfect time for The Normal Heart, I do, because I feel like we’re living in an era where the message of The Normal Heart can be a metaphor for many different fights that are going on in our world currently. So it all worked out great. And, more than anything, I’m just so thrilled that Larry Kramer go to see, that he lived to see his masterwork be made, because that was important to me, too, and it was moving for him. And it’s also just so great to see somebody who got to see the world change and shift in so many ways in his lifetime, arguably because of the work that he had done, that one play. So it was also sort of magical. And, for me, you know, I’ve said it before but it’s true: I really cried every day; I was really emotional; I got an ulcer; I was sort of consumed with it, because I felt that it’s one of those things that is a sacred text, and there’s not many of them. I felt — and the actors felt the same way — an obligation to do it right. And I don’t think that I had done anything like it before — you know, the scenes were brutal, there were many death scenes, there were many really horrific scenes of discrimination and horror. And it wasn’t just me; it was very hard on the other actors, and it was very hard even on the crew, and it became a real catharsis for, I think, many people who worked on it — and, in hindsight, I think that’s why so many people wanted to work on it. Every day of that movie, different crew members would quietly come up to me and say, “I just wanted you to know that I lost my brother and I’m doing this piece in honor of him” or “I lost my dad, who was gay” or — It went on and on and on. I heard it over and over and over. And it was a wonderful, really healing, ultimately, thing to be a part of. It was certainly was for me.

Can you discuss the considerations — pros and cons — that a director might have about getting a film like The Normal Heart out to the world via small screen versus via the big screen?

I think it’s really, really about the filmmaker, and I really feel it’s about where you heart and passion lies. I think my interest in HBO was that it made a lot of sense to me because I’m a television guy; that’s where my passion and interest lie, and it’s the medium that I love. I also wanted to make something that had a higher budget than I think I would have gotten if I had taken it around. In fact, I know that to be true. And then the audience, for me, was important, too; I think close to seven-and-a-half households have now seen The Normal Heart, I don’t know how many millions of people. But then there are people who do it brilliantly, you know? Dallas Buyers Club was an example of something [a film released via the big screen] that was amazing. It’s just luck, you know? I’m working on another story, another project that has a gay protagonist, and I really do want it to be a [theatrically-released] movie just because I want to try that. It just depends. I don’t think there’s any tried and true formula. I do think that the industry has changed from when I started. I think that a lot more quote-unquote “film people” are interested in working in television now, and I think that’s really cool and interesting. And this isn’t a decision I made by myself, either. Like, when HBO made the offer, I talked to Larry, I talked to Mark Ruffalo and I talked to Julia Roberts, and the first thing that they all said was, “Yes! Let’s do it!” I also spoke to Mike Nichols, through Julia, who had had a great experience at HBO and had such a wide audience for the two things that he had done with them, Wit and Angels in America. So it was also that — it was just like, “Okay, what’s gonna be the best experience?” It was sort of complicated, our project, too, because the budget was larger than you would think because we had a four-month shutdown so Matt Bomer could lose all of the weight. That cost millions of dollars, and HBO didn’t blink about that. Just every step of the way it was, “Yes, yes, yes,” and I just made a decision to take the yeses, and I’m glad I did, and I think it was the right call.

It seems to me that there has been a tremendous amount of progress towards gay rights since the period that’s chronicled in The Normal Heart, and particularly in the time since Glee went on the air. A lot of people don’t think that’s coincidental and feel that Glee really helped to change people’s attitudes by humanizing gay people for others who maybe hadn’t had much exposure to them previously. How does that make you feel?

Well, first of all, I always feel tremendously full of gratitude when I hear that, but my first response is, “That’s great, but it wasn’t just me. It was a bunch of people, I think, at the same time.” I really think that. You can’t really talk about Glee without talking about Modern Family. I don’t think that it’s just me, though I do think that my work did it regularly. It was never risky for me to do because that’s just who I am: I’m gay, I write about gay people. The people I always have tremendous pride and respect for are the TV executives — that’s the great shift — because when I first started out in 1998, '99, it was incredibly hard getting through that process; nobody could do it. It was a much more advertiser-controlled situation then. You would scream, and beg and plead, and they would still say, “No.” Either “no” to the gay character specifically or “no” to the dialogue or “no” to the situation. But there’s a whole group of people, I feel like, in my generation, who just sort of got fed up with the double-standard and the intolerance and decided, “Okay, we’re going to allow this,” and then it went on the air and, lo and behold, the world didn’t stop turning, you know? You can keep doing it and keep doing it. And that’s been an amazing shift. I feel like those are the people who really should be commended because those are the people who could have lost their jobs directly if it didn’t work. And that’s a tremendous thing to see, to have, you know, executives not only say, “Can you have gay characters?” but to say, “Can this gay character be a little bit more daring in his choices?” I never thought I’d see that in my lifetime, let alone in the ten to twelve years since I started writing this stuff, so that’s been great. The person in the industry that I really look up to the most, who I’ve spoken to and call and ask questions to, is Norman Lear. I aspire to that. I look at the blueprint of what Norman did with his work, and in no way do I feel that I’ve done as much, but I feel like he was a person of his time and he wrote about the shift of his time very successfully, and he fought to get that shift portrayed somewhat realistically, and that’s all I’ve ever tried to do. And I will keep doing that because that, to me, is important.

Logistically, how do you manage to juggle so many different big projects at any given time? And, because of the amount of work that that must involve, it must have felt pretty gratifying to wake up on Emmy nominations morning a few weeks ago and see — beyond the four nominations that you personally received — the sheer number of other people who are being celebrated for the work that they did on your various projects…

Well, it really was amazing. It was astounding. And the thing that I was most proud of — I was so excited — was just to see all of my friends, who are my collaborators, get recognized by their peers for their work, because I literally saw how much all of them die for those projects and work so hard, and most of them — I would say 80 percent of them — I’ve worked with before. Again, we go back to how you and I first started talking about that family collective. So that was amazing, and that is always the most exciting thing for me — I just remember how all of those relationships started over a germ of an idea and then it grew into a project, so that was thrilling. And I think, for me, I sort of feel like everything in my life exploded in one period of time: I had two TV shows on the air, I was doing a movie for HBO, I had a baby — I sort of felt like everything happened at once! [Laughs.] I felt very overwhelmed in that year — I don’t think I would ever do that much work again because it was hard — but I think it only happened because, you know In the case of The Normal Heart, I was working on that script for three years, three-and-a-half-years before it even reached the pre-production period, so I was then able to say, “Okay, well, how do I make this?” And everybody on all of my projects sat together in a room and figured out a schedule. And, more than that, I just had great collaborators, with [writers/executive producers] Tim Minear and Brad Falchuk on Horror Story and Brad on Glee, and a really super-supportive boss in Dana Walden [who served as co-CEO, with Gary Newman, of 20th Century Fox TV for the past 15 years, until being promoted in July 2014 to serve as co-chairmen and CEOs of the new Fox Television Group], who was really cool about letting me move forward with The Normal Heart and knew how important it was to me. In many ways, I guess, everything I had been working towards and for, for so long in my career, just sort of all happened at once. So it was interesting, it was really cool and hard, but I did love it. [Hollywoodreporter]