Kevin Goetz, author and movie researcher for over thirty years, has recently been interviewed by Manny The Movie Guy (Manny de la Rosa). In this interview, Kevin and Manny discuss Goetz’s book Audience-ology, films of the past that were heavily influenced by audience testing, how COVID-19 has impacted the movie industry, and finally, their favorite movie experiences of 2021. Watch the full interview now on YouTube, or keep reading below for a summary of the discussion.
Audience-ology — A Memoir About Hollywood and Its Audience
Author Kevin Goetz’s book, Audience-ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love, discusses how final cuts of films are heavily influenced by audience research and testing. Goetz is the CEO and founder of Screen Engine/ASI, a market research company specializing in entertainment media. Among their full range of research services, the company conducts audience test movie screenings daily in California, New York, and across the country where audiences provide their feedback about movies while they are still in the editing stage. Audiences have a big impact on movie making! Read more about the concept of Audience-ology by purchasing your copy of Goetz’s book today.
How Movies Are Impacted By Audience Testing
Diving into Audience-ology as a concept, Kevin Goetz explains how films are heavily influenced by audience research and testing. He states that without this process, some of his favorite films would not have been the same! Kevin and Manny discuss movies, such as Hope Floats and La La Land, that were altered in significant ways due to adverse audience reactions during testing phases. Goetz goes on to say that this testing process is important in order to make sure that the film will be ultimately successful.
The Impact of Covid on the Movie Industry
Manny and Kevin move on to discuss how large of an impact COVID-19 has had on the movie industry. Kevin shares that COVID-19, “has accelerated the inevitable,” that audience testing was altered significantly due to the pandemic, and that this has had a ripple effect throughout the industry. Notably, movie theater attendance declined as well as the number of live audience members during the testing phases.
Favorite Movie Experiences of 2021
While Kevin and Manny discuss many of their favorite movies of 2021, in the end, it wasn’t about which movie was their number-one favorite, but rather the experience they had while watching them. Kevin mentions that while he loved watching CODA at home (as it aired solely on Apple TV+), he reflected on the fact that watching a movie on the “big screen” for the first time can really be an unforgettable experience. This, in turn, circles back to the concept of Audience-ology — Hollywood studios, through testing, will generally know which movies should have big theater releases and which may be just as impactful from one’s living room.
Watch the full Manny The Movie Guy interview with Kevin Goetz on YouTube now for more insights on the film industry, how movies are created with the help of audience members like you, and the future of cinema. Purchase your copy of Kevin Goetz’s book Audience-ology today.