Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Purpose of ''THE CLIFFIES'' - an interview with Dan Bloom

QUESTION: Dan, can you explain the purpose of THE CLIFFIES? Is it to raise the profile of the cli fi genre in Hollywood and among Hollywood players? Is that why you are putting on this annual event, starting in early 2015?

DAN BLOOM: Yes, the purpose of this annual CLI FI MOVIE AWARDS event -- dubbed by one punter as ''THE CLIFFIES'', as a semi-goofy nickname, in keeping with Brian Merchant's (VICE, MOTHERBOARD) characterization as the "cli fi" as ''a semi-goofy genre term'' -- and I like the playfulness of the punter's nickname! -- yes, the purpose is to raise the profile on cli fi genre in Hollywood and among Hollywood players, from producers to directors to scriptwriters to PR units.

QUESTION: THE CLIFFIES top winners will be announced a week before the OSCARS telecast? What is the reasoning behind that? 

DAN BLOOM: To get some good PR for the CLIFFIES event and the winner's list.

QUESTION: Who is sponsoring THE CLIFFIES? [ME!] Where is the money coming from to put the show on? [ME!] Will it be telecast or live-tweeted or just announced online? [BOTH!]

QUESTION: Where are the nominations for THE CLIFFIES coming in from? [FROM FANS AND MOVIE CRITICS AND ANYONE!] And who will decide on the list of winners? [A JURY]

QUESTION: Cli fi is a new genre, so new that most people have not heard of it. Are you worried that by calling your film awards event THE CLIFFIES -- a semi-goofy nickname, to say the least! -- the official name of the CLI FI MOVIE AWARDS might get lost in the shuffle between social media and print media?

DAN BLOOM: Not worried at all. THE CLIFFIES will rise to the occasion!

QUESTION: What was the inspiration for your wanting to set up THE CLIFFIES?

DAN BLOOM: My previous PR work on boosting the media profile of the cli fi genre term in the pages of the New York Times, the Guardian and the FT, NPR and TIME magazine. First I focused on the book world for cli fi novels. The idea took off. Now I am focusing on the film world. It's an extention of the same thing: to raise public awareness of climate issues in novels and movies.

QUESTION: Are THE CLIFFIES more of an educational, awareness-raising awards event than a glitzy glamor Hollywood celebrity VIP thing? In other words, who are you trying to reach and is this more of a PR event than a real film awards event?

DAN BLOOM: THE CLIFFIES are an educational, awareness-raising awards event and not a glitzy glamor Hollywood celebrity VIP thing. You got it!  In other words, I am trying to reach the public with a wake up call on climate issues and, yes, this more of a PR event than a real film awards event.

QUESTION: As THE CLIFFIES grow year by year, do you envision a time when the awards ceremony will be hosted at a Hollywood venue, complete with professional MC and a few celebrity guests?


QUESTION: If the CLIFFIES become popular inside Hollywood and worldwide as well via social media, can you imagine the day when an OSCARS award winner acceptance speech calls his or her movie a cli fi movie and uses the word CLI FI on air for all the world to hear?


QUESTION: How long do you envision THE CLIFFIES lasting? [100 years!] Is this a one-time thing or do you see it lasting 50 years, 100 years?

QUESTION: Lois Lowry, author of THE GIVER novel in 1993 that became a movie in 2014 was recently asked by a reporter for USA TODAY why so many Hollywood futures appear to be dystopian, as in her book and movie. She replied: "That's a good question. Maybe in dramatic terms, utopia is boring." Do you agree with her?

DAN BLOOM: Yes, I like that quote.But I also like utopian movies about climate change, too. I am above all an optimist. I am not into doom or gloom, even though I am a Bloom!

QUESTION: Anything else you want to say about THE CLIFFIES and how you hope it might impact Hollywood movies in future years, given that movies often take years and year to get greenlighted and we might not see too many cli fi movies in Hollywood for another 25 years or so?

DAN BLOOM: All sytems go, full speed ahead.

QUESTION: Is the CLIFFIES a beginning? [YES!] Are you trying to sound the alarm about climate change issues in cinema?  [YES!] Are you issuing a wake up call to movie critics and PR units and marketing people inside Hollywood?  [YES!] [YES!] [YES!] [YES!] [YES!] [YES!] [YES!]

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