Discover the fascinating and secretive process of audience testing of Hollywood movies through these firsthand stories from famous filmmakers, studio heads, and stars.
Audience-ology takes you to one of the most unknown places in Hollywood—a place where famous directors are reduced to tears and multi-millionaire actors to fits of rage. A place where dreams are made and fortunes are lost. From “the best in the business” (Sacha Baron Cohen), this book is the chronicle of how real people have written and rewritten America’s cinematic masterpieces by showing up, watching a rough cut of a new film, and giving their unfettered opinions so that directors and studios can salvage their blunders, or better yet, turn their movies into all-time classics.
Each chapter informs an aspect or two of the test-screening process and then, through behind-the-scenes stories, illustrates how that particular aspect was carried out. Nicknamed “the doctor of audience-ology,” Kevin Goetz shares how he helped filmmakers and movie execs confront the misses and how he recommended ways to fix the blockbusters, as well as first-hand accounts from Ron Howard, Cameron Crowe, Ed Zwick, Renny Harlin, Jason Blum, and other Hollywood luminaries who brought you such films as La La Land, Chicago, Titanic, Wedding Crashers, Jaws, and Forrest Gump.
Audience-ology explores one of the most important (and most underrated) steps in the filmmaking process with enough humor, drama, and surprise to entertain those with only a spectator’s interest in film, offering us a new look at movie history.
Kevin Goetz has been at the center of what Hollywood calls the movie research industry for more than thirty years. His firm, Screen Engine/ASI, conducts research for a majority of all movies that are widely released in America and around the world. With decades of experience, Goetz has worked alongside all of the major film studio chiefs, network and streaming platform executives, and production company decision-makers. Los Angeles Times Magazine counted him as one of the 100 most powerful and influential people in Southern California. He has also produced twelve movies and brings both a marketing and filmmaking perspective to the interpretation of his research findings. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and several other distinguished organizations: Producers Guild of America, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, SAG/AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, and the American Marketing Association. He currently sits on the boards of five charitable organizations as part of his philanthropic endeavors. Goetz resides in Beverly Hills with his husband, Neil, and their labradoodle, Kasha.