Saturday, May 19, 2012

Film Industry, Digitalization and Creative Empowerment: "Side by Side"

Executive Summary: In the context of the excellent documentary, "Side By Side", here is a quick snapshot of digitalization's impact on the film industry along the dimensions of film making process, creativity, innovation, innovation collaboration, end product quality-trade offs between digital and film, the human factor, and history and trends. Is it digital vs. film, or digital and film? Or is this debate a distraction? From the desk of No-Industry-Is-An-Island-Unto-Itself.


Digitalization has impacted our lives in many ways, specifically, how we-
- Connect with people,
- Search for, find, and utilize information and entertainment, and,
- Get things done.

Over the years, there has been quite a bit of news about digitalization's impact on the publishing industry (you could blame the NYT's media desk for a lot of it). I have talked about a "fly on the wall" documentary, "Page One: Inside The New York Times", which describes the impact, here.

On the other hand, there has been relatively less news about digitalization's impact on the film industry beyond the usual reviews about special effects laden movies.

How has the film industry been dealing with the digitalization of the world around them?

Some Initial Questions

Waiting in a standby line for the sold out film, "Side by Side", at the Tribeca Film Festival, I roped in fellow film enthusiasts, waiting in line, into an interesting discussion about digital technology's impact on the film industry. Some of the questions raised were:
- Do you lose out on quality (cinematic experience) with digital films?
- Is 3D really better?
- Would actors be replaced by machines?
- Digitalization impacts jobs and people's lives- is it really a good idea if it does that?
- Wouldn't human experience be lesser in movies driven by machines?

Thoughts Before the Screening- Baseline Ideas

My initial reaction to a lot of these challenges was:
- Human beings have been telling stories for ages- this is just another tool to help us tell stories.
- Any narration would always have to rely on creativity in the story, and on how well the story is told.
- Film was a technological advancement in telling stories. Digitalization is just another step in this story telling evolution.
- Human beings would always want "real world" contact with another person (there are anecdotes about conversational skills of teenagers that seem to prove otherwise).

I am of the view that this digital vs. film debate is a distraction. The conversation should be able the story *you* want to tell, and the story *you* want to hear.

"Side by Side"

The documentary, "Side by Side", premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, provides a bird's eye view of how digitalization has affected the film industry. It was surprisingly well equipped to handle a lot of the questions raised.

Here are a few of the areas it covered:

Film-making Process and Creative Empowerment:

An anecdote by a woman filmmaker summed up the empowering outcome of digitalization. A woman filmmaker (an actor on Girls, on HBO) admits that she would not have been able to make a movie if it were not for digital technology. She was daunted by movie making process as a complex film "undertaking".

As the documentary slices through the various facets of film making you can see this creative empowerment theme through the various film making steps below:
1. Movie development and production:
- shooting and production
- acting and actors
- film direction,
- cinematography and camerwork,
- film editing, and,
- post production
2. Film planning and budgeting decision making
3. Film distribution,
4. Film screening, and finally,
5. Film archiving.

Digitalization has forced changes in the degree of creative control and influence asserted by each step of the creative process. While independent movies had embraced digital technology early on, fully aware of the detrimental impact on cinematic quality at that time, big budget movies appear to have  begun to embrace digital technology as a tool for budget control.

Movie making creativity:

The documentary covers while getting industry greats and pioneers, from George Lucas to Scorsese, to spill their guts about the creative impact of their choice between using film and digital media for their film releases.

While some directors have relished
- the flexibility and freedom of instant feedback,
- the removal of the 10 minute shot, and,
- the cost constraints of using expensive film for footage,
some others have decried the loss of cinematic experience in moving to digital.

One filmmaker was concerned that the quality of films has dropped drastically since anyone can now make a movie thanks to digital technology. Quote: "there is no taste maker". Christopher Nolan believes (and correctly so, for now) that digital does not match film in quality.

Scorsese points out that for effective storytelling, you must return to the wells of human creativity. David Lynch summed the pro digitalization view on storytelling and cinematic experience aptly, by drawing a parallel with the publishing industry, through the analogy that "everybody and his brother has paper and a pen..."

Innovation, and  Innovation collaboration:

A striking example of innovation was the team behind RED cameras talking about how they rigged a camera mechanism overnight to enable the rowing sequence for "The Social Network" to be shot. While George Lucas had collaborated with Sony on "Star Wars: Episode 2" to move digital camera technology along, this is a different order of innovation collaboration.

As with changes in creative control and influence exerted by each step of film making, the potential for innovation is leading to a need for greater collaboration and participation across each area associated with movie making.

End Product Quality- Trade offs between digital and film:

The documentary pulls no punches on the technical details of how film captures images and how digital technology has advanced over the years. Digital technology, in many ways, is still short of the cinematic experience that film can provide.

While digital technology is catching up, it has a lead in:
1. Night sequences of the type shot in the movie "Collateral",
2. Movies of the type "Star Wars",
3. The active sequences of the type shot at the beginning of Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire", and,
4. The rowing sequences in the movie "The Social Network".

The Human Factor:

The movie making team is changing on the dimensions skills, creativity expectations, collaboration, creative control and turnaround time.

"Side by Side" clearly lays out the human impact of this massive change. George Lucas had to call a summit at his home to deal with the backlash from his decision to shoot Star Wars: Episode 2. Some members of the industry accused him of shooting on film and claiming he was shooting in digital, because "digital could never be that good".

It has been a tumultuous period for the film industry, with old skills being replaced by new, especially in functions like editing, and post production.

History and Trends:

The film covers the gamut of the movie making ecosystem, from George Lucas' and James Cameron's big budget movie technology toys to a student at NYU's film school, shooting a film on a Canon 7D. Her take was that while the Canon 7D is not a movie camera, it allows her to focus on the story and turn in her project within the time and budget constraints.


The film industry has had its fair share of upheavals, like the publishing industry.
It will continue to embrace the advantages of digital technology.
Story telling skills will always be in demand.

Finally, this all hinges on the movie goer enjoying the experience. That has been a different story altogether, as you can see in this article here:

My view? This documentary put me firmly on the side of the view that this debate is a distraction. It should be able the story you want to tell, and the the story you want to watch. Use the tools you believe will help you deliver and enjoy the experience your way.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creativity, Market Domination and Innovation

Executive Summary: Filter thoughts on creativity, competition, and market domination, through the lens of experience and business history. Play devil's advocate to the obvious- Is all creativity about finding monopolistic market positions? How about sustaining advantages through competition? From the desk of Silver-Bullets-Are-Often-Traps.

David Brooks wrote an interesting article on creativity, and the importance of creative minds seeking monopoly like market domination, for society:

The article has some great lines, like "we sometimes confuse what is hard with what is valuable." I also found this article to be a good springboard to sift through some common thoughts and touchstones about creativity, competition, monopoly, and market domination.

An example from the non profit world,, and its founder, Sara Ziff, may well be textbook cases for David Brooks' article. To get us started, let's break the article down into two contexts: Creativity in Industry and Business, and Individual Creativity.

A. Creativity in Industry and Business:
Let's pick key thoughts in the article around this context and find supporting cases for them.

Quote 1: "We often shouldn’t seek to be really good competitors. We should seek to be really good monopolists."
If you are familiar with the different flavors of innovation, David Brooks appears to be saying that breakthrough, disruptive innovation trumps incremental innovation.
Let's take Pharma industry as an example- the policy support for orphan drugs dovetails with this view.
In the technology industry, Facebook could be touted as an example of this strategy.

Quote 2: "It’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it."
Besides Facebook, Apple products like the iPod, iPhone and the iPad come to mind.

Quote 3: "The competitive spirit capitalism engenders can sometimes inhibit the creativity it requires."
Clayton Christiansen's examples from the hypercompetitive hard disk industry seem to support this. Business is littered with examples, where an organization's momentum often prevents it from acting differently, when required, to maintain leadership through market change. IBM had to face a major crisis to undergo change.

Quote 4:  "Value to society is often bigger (with dominant market positions)".
Facebook is being valued at over $100 Billion. That is a useful yardstick for impact on society.

Following this train of thought leads to these questions:
1. First Mover Advantage:

Are we only talking about the first mover advantage here?
There are very few business contexts where a first mover maintains a competition free market position indefinitely, or for a long time.

2. Sustaining the first mover advantage:
Once the market has been created, would you need skill in competition to find dominating differentiation, and to maintain profit margins?
Would you call that incremental innovation?
Or would you call that moving the market/ shifting the goal posts every time competition makes a move?
The current Apple iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 rumors, are examples of this tactic.

3. Supporting Environment:
What kind of industry, business, public policy and cultural environment would support this consistently?
Would society be able to substantially increase the number of disruptively innovative people, and also allow a significant percentage of them to demonstrate achievements at a significant scale in society (these are two separate things)?

4. Impact on Society:
Given that several world economies have lost out on manufacturing exports, where sustained, incremental innovation is important, would it be fair to call breakthrough innovation a silver bullet?
Would a "portfolio" strategy toward innovation be more effective, whether active or passive (creating the right conditions for all type of innovation to prosper)?

B. Individual Creativity:
An individual's decision paths are complex, and heavily driven by the environment he/ she operates in. However let's simplify this section with some "devil's advocate" questions:

Quote 1: "Instead of being fastest around the tracks everybody knows, creative people move adaptively through wildernesses nobody knows."
This is a great description of one type of creativity. This type of person would be in the same category as Beethoven and Picasso. If even Steve Jobs could be said to have x number of great products in him, would you say this type of creativity is common?
What social, economic and cultural context would you need to harness this creativity?

Quote 2: "Competition has trumped value-creation."
In an effort to create value, wouldn't you need skill at competing for resources to achieve your monopolistic position?

Creativity and innovation come in many flavors. Diverse social, economic, cultural, and market structures may be required to support them all. Can we tweak these structures to support one type of creativity and innovation, with the intention of benefiting society more? Would it work, i.e. would it truly benefit society?

What do you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Consumer Behavior Changes due to Technology.

Are there some "behavioral ecosystems" (driven by technology, or otherwise) and "contexts" that are simply "better" for human behavior? Are there "contexts" that "stretch" human behavior?

Executive Summary: A quick three pronged approach- a question to start us thinking about the impact technology has on the world we live in, a thought experiment to help us think through this impact, and then some quick thoughts as a check, and as an inflamatory contrast, to throw our own thinking in sharp relief. From the desk of Three-Pointers-Aren't-Just-All-Basketball.

The Question

A conversation with some bright digital media folks bubbled up this question: how has technology changed consumer behavior?

To each of us, the answer may be obvious, however, it is well worth stepping back and taking a moment to think through this as an exercise. This helps us become more aware of technology's impact on consumer behavior.

A Thought Experiment

Here is a visualization thought experiment, with apologies to the GEICO Caveman- The Neanderthal cave paintings were a "Gossip Girl" of the age.

Some Quick Answers

A wise, experienced response:
Within the framework of behavior in a country, nothing much has really changed. The context? As far back as the 80's and across the pond, folks were leveraging consumer analytics to sell financial products (Hats off, Ritesh).

Another view: Technology impact consumer behavior by 
  1. aggregating numerous individual decisions,
  2. making consumers aware of these aggregations, and,
  3. allowing game theory to have a field day via exchange of, or lack of exchange of, information.
The underlying theme across these points is the development of markets- either intra or inter country- and the development of context for human behavior.

I know, your first reaction here would be- do you really think Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon have not changed how we live? Sure, they have helped "cultures"/ "markets" evolve, by changing their context. However, have these forces of technology changed fundamental human behavior?

The Twist in The Tale

This leads a different line of thought:
  1. How is technology changing the context we live in?
  2. How does human behavior adapt to changed context?
  3. Are there really new contexts that have not existed before?
  4. Are there some contexts that are simply "better ecosystems" for human behavior than others?

What do you think?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

US Credit Rating Downgrade- The S&P AA+ Club

Executive Summary: Standard and Poor's downgrade of the US credit rating can be evaluated in terms of signaling power, economic comparisons of countries, and a review of the members of the S&P AA+ rating club. We take a brief look at two countries with sovereign debt ratings the same as that of the United States. From the Desk of If-It-Talks-Like -A-Duck-But-Does-Not-Walk-Like-A-Duck... What do you do? Worry about a double dip instead!

For a little while, folks were focused on the possibility of the US economy slipping back into a recession. Then, Standard and Poor's downgraded the US Credit Rating to AA+. There are various ways to review the implications of this move. Below are three. We take a quick look at two countries in the S&P AA+ club. This is just a quick look, since my take is that the core focus needs to be the possibility of a double dip recession.

1. Signaling Power:

Review and compare economic fundamentals across the OECD and come to your own conclusion on whether this credit rating event is a response to an economic reality that have already been factored in by the market, or this rating provides new information (broadcasts a new signal?) to the market that needs an economic reaction.

Here is a scenario analysis of the downgrade's impact on U.S. based financial institutions sectors:

Here is another view of the impact of this downgrade:

2. Relative Macroecnomic Performance:

Review relative economic fundamentals across the globe, and reevaluate if there is a relative change in the US economy vis-a-vis the rest of the global economies, and if there is an across-the-board change in a set of economies across the global.

Here is Standard and Poor's view of the European economies and that the US credit rating downgrade means for them:

At the bottom of this article below is an opinion of the coupling of the APAC region economy with the US economy:

3. Review Members of the Standard & Poor's AA+ Credit Rating Club:

To get started, here is S&P's sovereign ratings page:;jsessionid=6TZhT1HpLpw3Slb1QjJZM1NR4wLTThcH4MfNp4JHbLZcGVHG0yhL!603717864?subSectorCode=39&start=100&range=50

Let's review two members of this club:
1. Belgium:
Here are some quick statistics on Belgium:

Belgium set a record for the number of days without a government. If you think there's a message in there about fractious politics, here an extract about Belgium as a poster child from the Economist:

“Most surprising, perhaps, maddeningly ungovernable Belgium is being held up by many as a model for debt-crippled euro-zone governments.”

If you thought Texas was its own country, here are more details on the political stress and strains at work in the country:

You could also review Belgium's interest rates in the context of the European Central Bank long-term interest rate statistics for member states.

In contrast to the Economist article about Belgium a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reports growing concerns about Belgium's borrowing costs:

Les Belges thought setting a record for existing without a government was worth a party:

If you were Belgium, what would you do?

What do you think?

2. New Zealand:

Here is the NZ treasury's review of the NZ economy:

The factbook ( tells me that New Zealand has the following key industries:
Food processing,
Wood and paper products,
Transportation equipment,
Banking and insurance,

New Zealand's economy is coupled to the Australian economy, and you may review the industry sectors to understand weaknesses in the economy relative to the other members of the AA+ club. This would be my starter list:
- Banking and insurance,
- Textiles,
- Machinery.

While you are at it, here is New Zealand's reaction to the United States joining the AA+ club:

If you were New Zealand, how would you react?

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Economic Recoveries.

Executive Summary: What would explain the length of the jobless recovery phase in an economic recovery? Would we find answers by comparing trends across recessions, or by comparing trends across countries, or by both? From the desk of I-Think-Therefore-Economics-Exists.
The employment/ population ratio has hit a low point not seen in a long while:
While you can utilize publicly available statistics to make your own charts and form your own views, here is a way to structure thoughts around it:
  1. How do you compare recoveries and the nature of unemployment across recessions in the same country?
  2. How do you compare recoveries and the nature of unemployment across countries during the same recession period? 

Comparing Economic Recoveries Across Countries During the Same Recession Period.
Since there have been comparisons between the European economies and the American economy:
  1. How do the trends in the employment/ population ratio compare across countries?
  2. Are European economies more likely to have structural changes in unemployment rates than the US?

Comparing Economic Recoveries Across Recessions in the Same Country.
What does the increasing "length" of the jobless recovery phase in a recovery mean, as a trend across recessions?

Is there something in the nature of the economy, the nature of the macroeconomic entities in the economy, the depth of the recession, or the boom period prior the recession that has primacy in terms of its impact on the nature of the recovery?

Here is one pattern of Socratic thought that explores the two questions above.

Is the increasing length of jobless recovery phase in a recovery, as a trend across recessions, a function of:
  1. The increasingly service oriented nature of the economy?
  2. An increasing dependence on large monolithic corporate entities over time as drivers of economic performance, with the dependence changing from direct hiring to a greater multiplier effect across the economic ecosystem in terms of dampening hiring?
  3. The nature of work available to labor, which has changed from hyper-local activity, to increasingly being touched by global supply chains?
  4. An increasing delinking of corporate performance, financial institution performance and "real" economy performance?
  5. The degree of specialization, and education, require for work, requiring a greater time for individuals to unlearn, turn around and relearn?
  6. A greater population density in large metropolitan areas over time?
    • This may be counter intuitive, if you think in terms of supply, where people band together to create economic activity (not everybody can be an entrepreneur).
    • However, if you think in terms of depressed demand, which translates into opportunity for economic activity of a certain type, this may be a worthwhile line of inquiry.
  7. Our lifestyles, which are less community driven, and hence make turnaround during recessions more difficult?
    • E.g. This may be an effect seen in decreasing labor activism (ed- analysis to be done) with each passing recession.
  8. A psychological effect (animal spirits) of the nature of the boom period that preceded it?
    • E.g. How long did the Dutch economy take to recover from the tulip boom?
  9. Simply the depth of the recession?

What do you think?

Note: Throw someone a thought provoking point about economics, and ye shall reap many more thoughts in return. These thoughts were first published in a macroeconomics forum, in the week of July 16th, 2011. Thank you, Prof. Rosensweig.

Google Plus and Apps.

Executive summary: App downloads continue to explode across various mobile and non mobile platforms. Are apps secondary to the Google Plus strategy? No. Here is why.

The Overview
In response to my last post on Google Plus, a wise man (thank you JJ) asked me whether I think products, not apps, are core to Google Plus' success. 

App downloads across various mobile and non mobile platforms (have you downloaded Spotify yet?) are exploding, and both paid and free app download projections till 2015 indicate they will become an integral part of our lives, if they aren't already.

So, the obvious answer? No.

Google Plus' Avenues to the Apps Superhighway
How does google plus play with apps? Here are some ways:

1. Android Mobile Platform Apps:
Google already has a mobile app platform with ready apps. Make it really easy for the apps to integrate with google plus.
2. Google Products as Apps:
Google products as apps are already a reality. Plug Google Plus into them.
3. Leverage/ Create an App Partner Ecosystem:
Android already has one for mobile apps. Google plus becomes one becomes the ecosystem for social across mobile. As I mentioned previously, the google ecosystem needs to spawn a few Zyngas, a few angry birds (while watching out for privacy trade-offs).

Easier said than done, right? The really interesting question? Can Google Plus also be the social collaboration framework for folks at work, and not just for folks at play?

What do you think?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Plus, and the Facebook and Apple Context

Executive Summary: Google Plus' future is for Google to throw away. It is in the hands of the marketing team (because I think the product is on a Moore's Law-ish trajectory), and in the hands of the unknown disruptive forces hiding in dark alleys. Yes, this is an unabashed, quick and dirty speculation on Google Plus' opportunity. From The Desk of Talking-About-Google+-As-a-Social Network-Is-Like-Calling-Le-Louvre-a-Little-Hovel.

After living with google+ for a while, here are some key, qualitative thoughts.

Throw away all that propaganda about Google Plus as a social network. Calling Google Plus a social network is like trying to fit an elephant into a refrigerator. Evaluate Google Plus against Facebook and Apple on the following dimensions:

• Core Company Products
• Digital Platform Integrating Core Products as an Ecosystem
• Flexible Social Platform
• A Gateway to a Digital Life
Now that we have got the obvious Big, Hairy, Audacious Ideas out of the way, here are the qualitative teasers I was talking about:

1. For The Believers:
Are you already a googlephile who cannot live without, atleast a few, google services? Then, Google Plus is, for now, google accounts on steroids, with controls and features staked onto it.
Very nicely done, though. Thank you. Not tacky at all. Now, segway to that Journey song from Glee.
2. Indicative Product Feature- Circles:
Very nicely done. Again. Lives up to its billing as the slayer of social network privacy concerns.

The circles model of relationships reminded me of a "brain's trust" model shared by a macroeconomics professor in graduate school. The graphical privacy controls makes you want to get comfortable by tweaking privacy to your comfort level.

Note, I have not talked about features like Hangout. All of those also falls under the "Nicely done. Thank you" category. Why pick Circles? It jumps at you like no other Google Plus feature.

3. Integrated Digital Platform:
Picasa for pics. Videos.YouTube. Yeh. Google has some pretty powerful and mature products. Google Plus comes "preloaded" with some of these google products. Google Plus is a great way to sew these products together, making it a complete and a serious digital platform.
Would you say that Google Plus is like an Apple ecosystem? Can it be like an Apple ecosystem? Can it be better than an Apple and a Facebook ecosystem rolled into one?

I think it can, but that is a different story, a different blog post. All Google has to do is light a few fires. Keep doing what it is doing on products. Keep integrating them. Oh, and spawn a few Zyngas now and then.
4. A Social Platform:
Will Google Plus be a serious social platform? That would be a function of adoption (think share of social life) and switching (think identifying this as a primary social platform).

Google Plus may hit 20 million + users by July 20. However, how many users will migrate from Facebook to Google Plus? How many will live in animated suspension between the two worlds? Finally, how many will use Google Plus as a glorified GMail service?

What would be your estimate of an equilibrium/ steady state Google Plus user base? 150+ MM? 250+ MM? 400+ MM? While staying out of China (for how long?)? What is your sense of the tipping point when Facebook users start migrating from Facebook to Google Plus, network by network?
5. Privacy Controls:
Yes, finding myself in a few folks' circles, when I hopped onto the platform, freaked me out a little.

Also, Google Plus, better than google accounts, brought home the fact that I use a lot of google products and all that information is a sneeze away from being mapped into a digital life.

If you live off GMail, this should not surprise you. However, since I can claim to understand a little bit about security, privacy concerns will always pop up in my mind. Maybe it is just me.

6. A Gateway to a Digital Life:
To borrow from a wise man I know (who is also on Google Plus) - can Google be my gateway to a digital life?

The Pitch? Without much ado (to all the Google engineers, yes I am being simplistic :-)), Google can be my online identity, my Netflix, and my computing device on a cloud. Even as a glue for the google products we already (or will) use, Google Plus will be a formidable doorway.

I am inclined to draw a bubble chart mapping how the Apple, Facebook and Google future state ecosystems would look 5 years from now. For now, all I will say that in his early days, Henry Ford would have been proud to call his company Google. Think Google Products + Android + Cloud + Google Wireless (Definitely Maybe?).

That's enough crystal ball gazing for now. I have stretched my definition of "key qualitative thoughts" far enough. Moreover, I would like to sneak in the crystal ball gazing in digestible chunks.

What do you think? If you do, you know where to catch me for a lively conversation.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

News, New York Times, and a Movie about Publishing

Executive Summary: A review of "Page One: Inside the New York Times"- a documentary that provides an inside view of a market leader in publishing through some changes in the industry. From the desk of If-It-Sounds-Like-the-NYT-But-Reads-Like-Twitter, It-Really-Isn't-A-Documentary, It-Is-A-Reality-TV-Show.


The last time I posted about a movie was the opening weekend of Iron Man, over 3 years ago. This one is about "Page One: Inside the New York Times", a "fly on the wall" account of a desk at the New York Times.

The Key Theme: Challenges

The movie gets three challenges facing the New York Times right:

1. A Market Leader's Core Differentiation in a Seemingly Fragmented Ecosystem:
Where does the paper, and in comparison, the rest world, stand on news accountability, quality, objectivity, and transparency? The movie touches upon the difference between Journalism and activism, in the Wikileaks context.

2. The Survival of Publishing as a Well Oiled "Machine", and Its Metamorphosis :
The documentary covers Der Spiegel, Guardian and NYT partnering with WikiLeaks, and alludes to the shifting sands of the publishing ecosystem where a publisher could be a source.

3. Funding to Sustain a News Enterprise:
It touches upon the launch of the metered paywall at NYT (in line with the FT, and the Economist).

Finally...  The Opinion

As for the documentary experience, it stays true to the fly on the wall theme. Its like what reading Twitter is to reading the NYT. However, it does a great job of juxtaposing current changes in the industry impact the market leader, against its storied past.

If you are looking for more detail on the trends, you would be better served by visiting the Economist website (or reading this week's print edition) here: More on that to follow.

At worst, you may end up feeling like you watched some reality TV about a desk at the NYT, and even then, you will find a memorable line or two. "A textured life", for one.

What do you think? If you saw the movie, what did you think?