Kevin Goetz is joined by the incredibly talented screenwriter, film producer, television producer, television director, film director, and former actor Dean Devlin to discuss filmmaking and his experiences with audience test screenings.

Dean Devlin has produced and co-written some of the most successful feature films of all time — Independence Day, Stargate, and Godzilla — which collectively grossed more than 1.4 billion dollars worldwide. In May of 2001, he founded Electric Entertainment, where he serves as chairman and CEO.

How audience test screening changed the movie Stargate

To open the podcast, Kevin and Dean jump right into the test screening for Stargate, and how they decided on a DNA change with that movie based on audience feedback that raised the testing numbers dramatically. They discuss the major changes to the film, which Kevin calls DNA changes, including film length, dialogue changes, pacing, and a pivotal change to the movie’s villain. They also discuss behind-the-scenes negotiations, and the push and pull with the studio to successfully make the changes they wanted.

The partnership of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich leads to a string of hit movies

Dean talks about his partnership with Roland Emmerich and the way they started their working relationship, a relationship that would lead to some of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

Dean was acting in Roland’s first American film when Dean asked to re-write some of his lines. Learn how this encounter led to their 12-year partnership.

What can go wrong and what can go right in testing with examples from Independence Day, Godzilla, and Geostorm

Dean was not able to test screen Godzilla, and he talks about what it was like watching that first screening at the back of the theater. Dean could see exactly what was wrong with the movie and talks about his frustration with knowing what was wrong, and how to fix it, but not being able to do it. This was the last time Dean ever released something without testing it first.

Dean and Kevin discuss how everything just fell into place with the movie Independence Day. From the audience cheers at the initial screen tests, to how the film changed Dean, to how a small change to a pivotal final scene brought the test score from a 92 to a 98.

There are unique challenges that come from directing a film, and Dean goes into how the testing process differs from the perspective of a director versus that of a producer. Kevin and Dean discuss the heartache of knowing what needs to be changed in a movie based on the audience tests, but not being able to make those changes.

My best experiences in testing have been with filmmakers and mainly directors who are very open to the process because at the end of the day, what are you doing except getting information? Whether you choose to act on the information is another story.

– Kevin Goetz

Join Kevin and his guest, producer and director, Dean Devlin, and learn how they successfully used audience screen testing to craft some of the highest-grossing movies of all time, and enjoy some insider stories on Kevin’s podcast, Don’t Kill the Messenger!

Don’t Kill the Messenger, hosted by movie and entertainment research expert Kevin Goetz, brings his book Audienceology to life. This bi-monthly podcast takes a peek behind the filmmaking curtain as Kevin talks with famous filmmakers, studio executives, stars, and other creatives about movies, filmmaking, audience test screenings, and much more.

For more information about Dean’s upcoming projects:

For more information about Dean’s upcoming projects:

Audienceology Book:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @KevinGoetz360
Linked In @Kevin Goetz
Screen Engine/ASI Website: