It seems as if it will stay inviting and friendly, but you can forget the auteurs aspect of it. If Efe plans to push the site to a million+ users, you will see it become ever more mainstream, with advertising in the margins and more and more commercial links. This is about the money, baby! Efe knows a good thing when he has it.
Having been in the corporate world (IT, specifically) for a number of years I saw a lot of marketing schtick. Advertising consultants are not worth a penny to the dollar for their ludicrous campaigns and strategies. Seldom do their ideas actually work. Rarely do they not insult the collective intelligence. Hollywood can attest to this. Look how much they sink into promoting movies and look how many of those movies bomb.
The mistake here was not consulting the site’s loyal following first and foremost. In order to build a community and grow a business you need to keep your base happy and coming back for more. When you disgruntle your following you are cutting the throat of success. Not good for an established business, let alone a startup.
Too often a radical name change to a business is followed by radical changes in its product. THEAUTEURS represented something distinct and unique. What if Dom Perignon changed their brand to MUCKI? Or, say Tiffany’s re-branded as TRASHI? The name changes would indicate a radical departure from the original intent and purpose. MUBI is not distinct. It says nothing. It does not set itself apart from a half-dozen other film related startups. It is a poor business decision.
I like the suggestion made by Dzimas above. Efe is indeed a cool site name and we could call ourselves Efetes…
“Draw the attention of the public (as we say that a chimney draws).”
It’s really easier to type mubi.com ;) Guys, get used to it.
“Efe Cakarel kept realizing that many people had no idea what the word “auteur”—a French word for author that has come to mean a film director with a signature style—actually means. It was not accessible.
Cakarel wants to grow members into the millions. So he went on a quest for a new name. He called on ad agencies all over the world to find a simple, easily-typed name. “Find me my global brand, my Sony,” he told them. It took nine months, but finally an agency in Tokyo knew they had found the name. Mubi."
Well this said everything ! Great, 9 months to find “Mubi”, these advertising people are so bright, I love to see the invoice…
Maybe insted of using all this money Efe, you could have spend it on an internet campain to promote a good name like " The Auteurs" which means something to the growing 260 000 loyal users of your site, since it was yout mean concern !
Love to hear Martin Scorcese comment on that !
But in the other hand MUBI means so much to movie lovers, I can understand your move …
Not a very good sign for the future of this great site, cause when you want to make millions with thousands you have to comproprise…
Too Bad !
this is supposed to calm us down? Not funny. not funny!
and this from Efe:
“I have a confession to make: I only became a cinephile after I founded The Auteurs. Yes, I loved Chunking Express and Band of Outsiders, but I’ve never followed Cannes or Berlin, or passionately hunted down obscure films. I also knew absolutely nothing about film distribution. But I knew two things really well: 1) how to build Web applications, from concept to interface design to programming; and 2) how to do deals. "
Full article here: http://www.filmlinc.com/fcm/jf09/uncutauth.htm
if you can learn about films, so can others. After saying what you did about yourself and cinema in this interview, you should give others a chance too! Auteurs is not that out of reach…
You describe in this interview that you got Criterion to participate with you and open their doors to their collection, something no one thought you could do… you think they would have opened their doors to MUBI? The Criterion and Auteurs alliance is clear. But MUBI?
Criterion is quite elite sounding too and exclusionary in that way…. and yet cinephiles embrace this institution the world over. They try and live up to their name. Should they start calling themselves CRIKEY to get a bigger audience, Or CRITTER or CRYONet I would lose faith in their integrity.
Please hold yourself accountable to your standards. Live up to your name, go back to Auteurs, the viewers will not abandon you.
I can totally understand the need for a name change since the site features many directors who aren’t Auteurs.
And yes I can just about understand choosing a name that does not to exclude the site from different cultures.
HOWEVER to choose a name that has absolutey no origin or meaning but chosen on the basis that word ‘movie’ is pronounced ‘mubi’ in many cultures is INANE and INSULTING.
The fact that it took 9 months to come up with is laughable..
What I find amusing is that all of these users are coming out the woodwork, many of them having never commented in the forum EVER until now to complain. Where were all these concerned voices when the site WAS called The Auteurs?
I have a confession to make: I only became a cinephile after I founded The Auteurs. Yes, I loved Chunking Express and Band of Outsiders, but I’ve never followed Cannes or Berlin, or passionately hunted down obscure films. I also knew absolutely nothing about film distribution. But I knew two things really well: 1) how to build Web applications, from concept to interface design to programming; and 2) how to do deals.
That’s all you need to know right there.
Its quite sad really.
“What I find amusing is that all of these users are coming out the woodwork, many of them having never commented in the forum EVER until now to complain. Where were all these concerned voices when the site WAS called The Auteurs?”
If someone has nothing interesting to add, s/he may just want to lurk. Also, not everyone has time to constantly follow the forums, especially one which is not well designed to allow subscriptions…
Speaking as one of those users who is also upset by the name change:
I found my way to the Auteurs just as I was beginning to discover what film could do beyond the basic Hollywood picture (I also didn’t know what Auteur meant, but it sounded interesting…). I’ve spent untold hours on this forum, and although I only have two or three posts to my name I feel that this is where I really got most of my education in film. I learned an incredible amount poring over these discussions about films I knew, heard of, or was just learning about. Through this site, I found my way to Andrei Tarkovsky and bought Stalker based solely on the the massive amount of respect and recommendations I came across here. I now consider it the finest film I’ve ever seen, it completely changed the way I view not just cinema, but all art forms.
Essentially, although I rarely posted, this place became something of an internet home for me, somewhere I could come and be guaranteed to find worthwhile conversations over worthwhile films, and most probably learn something new. I’m just as afraid of losing that as anyone else.
IS THERE SOME WAY WE CAN DELEATE THE OTHER MUBI THREADS. IT LOOKS LIKE SOME HEAVY TROLLING IS GOING ON.
CAN WE AT LEAST DELETE THE ONES WHOSE OP’S HAVE GONE MISSING?
I don’t have any problem with people putting their opinion on this issue one way or another who may not be active posters to this site. I know for a fact that this site has far more readers than posters. Also, many regular posters from earlier times can absent themselves from the site for months at a time, but still appear from time to time.
People have other things going on in their lives besides this site – well, some do anyway. I often vacate it for periods at a time, but still feel the need to check the boards to see what is going on. Obviously, each voice here re this issue is just as important as another, whether they post here regularly or not.. We are all on this site together, so let’s not start bickering amongst ourselves as to who deserves to be heard. In any case, there is strength in numbers – as the accumulating vote proves. If people feel strongly enough to post on this issue for the first time or have only posted rarely before, more power to them. Shows that this issue can unite casual and active users alike, which I think is a good thing.
Welcome to all whether you be auteurs, Mubis, or newbies!
Re the new MUBI threads – please post to an existing one. There are plenty to choose from LOL!
Anyone else starting to feel like backlashing against the backlash?
Everyone who hates the new name because they thing it’s going to change their beloved site, go to the Director’s Cup thread and start watching some great movies. Or head over to Garage and do the same.
The site you love is running at full steam in these two places, untouched by re-branding. Enjoy.
Just want to add before more acrimony spills over on this issue, let’s wait and see what the response will be from Efe and staff. My dealings with the auteurs – now MUBI – staff have always been amicable. When I was having an issue several months back with persistent troll activity on my profile, they were very supportive and prompt to respond to my concerns. Until we hear more of the background to this decision and hear about the reasoning – beyond what is already out there – let’s just chill if we have already stated our piece.
In any case, I am done venting and am prepared to step back and take a deep breath. Not saying others can’t continue to let us know their viewpoints, but I believe there is currently enough info out there for us to now see what the response will be from the site itself. This issue is not going away or resolve itself over-night, but I for one am willing to now wait and see where this goes when we hear more details from the source.
I have already decided, in any case, that I will remain an auteur instead of a Mubi no matter what the site calls itself. I’ve got my self-respect to maintain, you know.
Edit: ^^As Josh says. Good stuff is still going down, let’s not forget that.
I do a lot of reading on this site, I don’t post all the time, but I don’t think what I am saying is different from what all of us are feeling here. Most of the time, I try and not repeat what has been said already so I don’t feel compelled to write but in this instance repetition might have some weight.
Hopefully my comments only add to the dialog and don’t take away from it.
I think we all benefit from it in different ways. And that’s OK.
I did not mean to post this twice!! this is some kind of jinx!
I still think ..“one wonders if Persona would the same acclaim if it was called The Fuzzy Bear”
Most likely the best comparison so far.
It was a great name please Change it Back Already !
There are an awful lot of assumptions being made about the new site name that I don’t think can be supported at this time by any evidence so I don’t know if there is much value to many of them. As to the site becoming dumbed down due to the new name, perhaps more users who aren’t “cinephiles” will visit to see what the site is about and maybe some of those users will want to post threads about the new Sex in the City movie or something, but since the decision to adopt the new name was announced simultaneously with a deal to bring 40 of Agnes Varda’s films to the site, I don’t think one could claim there is any evidence that Efe is moving the content of the site in a more mainstream direction. He also hinted at more announcements to come, now I don’t know what those are any more than anyone else here, but combined with his statement that the site isn’t changing its mission makes me very interested and excited to hear what those announcements may be. New users who come to this site looking for mainstream fare aren’t going to be able to find it, at least for the immediate future, so they either aren’t going to stay, or they’ll take a look at what is here and respond accordingly. Some will hate it, but some might like it and want to become more involved with what the site has to offer.
It feels a little bit like people want to keep the site, or in particular the forum of the site, small, comfy, and exclusive, I can understand where there would be pleasure in that, it’s nice to have a community where you know most of the people who contribute, but I can’t see why more people would be necessarily a bad thing. If the site’s mission doesn’t change as I assume for the time being at least it won’t, having more discussions, more points of view and more threads about interesting films or questions would be a good thing. Until it’s proven otherwise, I’m going to assume that the site’s content will have a bigger effect than the site’s name as to who will be posting on the forum. That being the case, and assuming there is an increase in visitors I imagine the types of posts we have on the forum now will increase proportionately along the lines we have now. That is to say there will be many more sophomoric posts about Tarantino and Bay and whoever else, but there will also be more people interested in films from Greece, Senegal, Taiwan or what have you. In effect the board will roughly same more or less the same in the types of comments left there, but with more of each kind and more voices in the mix. I may be wrong about this and it may be that the name Mubi attracts more trolls than film buffs, but until that is proven more than assumed, I don’t know what the fuss is about.
There is a sort of undercurrent about the marketing and deal making side that I also have to take some issue with. It’s easy to be a film fan, I can do that from my couch, it isn’t easy to put together deals to bring hard to see films to a site where everyone can see them. Now I know a lot of people here don’t really care about this aspect of the site very much, and that is a significant problem for me since the attitude from some people seems to be they want someone to pay for their playground but they won’t support it themselves, which is more or less fine since it doesn’t hurt anyone for more people to be on the site as long as some people are supporting it, but to actively oppose things that may bring more financial support to the site is just plain wrong. Now we can debate whether this name change will or won’t do that, personally, all I can say is I don’t know what the change will bring, but then again no one else here knows either. We can only wait and see what happens. I just get the feeling that some people here are hoping it doesn’t work and the site doesn’t make more money which to me would be asinine and selfish. The site costs money to make and maintain and to bring new films to it so it needs to make money to stay afloat rooting against changes that may help it do so is to root for it to fail in which case there won’t be any forum for anyone to bitch about the name and selling out. In an ideal world perhaps making money wouldn’t be necessary for a site like this to exist, but that isn’t the world we live in.
I’m afraid much of this goes hand in hand with the culture of downloading that we have, not paying for anything seems to be considered an internet right for too many people. I’m personally not opposed to downloading in certain circumstances and I don’t want to open that debate here, what I’m suggesting is that the notion of everything for free is skewing some of the thinking about this site, what it’s attempting to do, and what our place is within it. Efe’s primary mission seems to be seeking to bring the work of quality filmmakers to an audience that can appreciate these works. My assumption is that each of these films may not have enough of an audience in any one place to be profitable, but if they can be made available everyplace at once we may be able to support a community of artists in a way that hasn’t been possible before. This requires people to actually put forward some cash though and the culture of free seems to be against that notion. I grant that not everyone has a lot of money or are in circumstances where supporting this venture financially is possible which is why I view people contributing to the garage or the forum as a way to help nurture the vision of an artistic film community by talking about the films that excite and move them or by making films themselves, but to do this without recognizing or by attacking the need for filmmakers and places that support them to make money is actively undermining the site and the goal that this site seems to have.
The real question is what does this all have to do with the name MUBI. I know many of the users here who have complained about the name feel as strongly about some of the ideas I mentioned above as I do and their concerns are that the name itself will lessen the chance for a community of people who care about film to succeed. The name is felt to be juvenile, a move away from a concept that had some signal of “seriousness” about film as art. I had some of those same feelings, but I also had contradictory ones that made the name change less problematic for me than for many others.
Personally, I wasn’t thrilled with the name The Auteurs in that it called to mind a particular way or theory about viewing films that has been so debased that it is both almost meaningless in a strict sense and is severely limited in even a more generous view. I also have never really taken to the term movie itself for many of the same reasons people here seem to dislike the new name. It’s a somewhat childish and ridiculous term that has gained acceptance due to the passage of time more than the strength of the word itself. Early on in cinema history the term movie was used as a sort of slur against the new artform suggesting it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Movies outgrew that type of thinking and the slur caught on as the accepted term so I live with it even if I don’t like it. MUBI may seem childish to many now, but if the core values of the site are kept intact as has been promised we may outgrow our initial resistance to this term as well.
There is a reason Efe chose a name that isn’t a word in any language, and a reason why other companies around the world that seek to have a global presence often choose names that don’t have a meaning other than itself. They do it to appeal to as broad a range of people as possible from as many places and in as many languages as they can without favoritism. We are addressing this question in a forum in English, and the name MUBI strikes our ears in particular ways based off our knowledge of the English language and whatever other languages we speak, but what about non-English speakers? I mean those who aren’t familiar with English at all, not simply English as a second language folks. A generic term can appeal to people from everywhere because it isn’t from anywhere and that, I think, is what Efe is aiming at. I’m guessing he wants to build a platform that works in many languages not just for primarily English speakers. I will guess that his vision is to eventually have forums in other languages and films with subtitles in as many languages as possible. I don’t have any proof of this other than some guesswork based off the name change, the mission statement and the push for more and better information in more languages for the films on the site, but my guess is at least as good as the others being pushed about the site becoming more commercial or becoming dumbed down so I hope people will try to think about it from this perspective as well. I’m not yet attached to the name MUBI as I wasn’t entirely with the name The Auteurs, I stay on the site for the site and the people here not for the name and I hope everyone I know here will do the same. It’s a good community, not without issues of course, but the best I’ve found so far for talking about movies, and I will do what I can to keep it that way, and by what I can I guess I mean continuing to make crazylong posts about things that could be said more concisely by others.
I should also make clear that although I volunteer on the site to help keep up the film database, I don’t have any more information about the change or what it means for the future of the site than anyone else, and I also am not speaking on behalf of the site or anyone other than myself. I don’t know what the future will bring to the site and I particularly don’t know how the name MUBI will effect the site, but for the time being I’m going to presume the best and see what happens.
Well-said. This site has given me way too much in the last year (my 1 yr Auteurs b-day was Wednesday) for me to knee-jerk myself into gloom and doom. If I’m proven wrong then I’ll eat my hat, but until then I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to those who brought this puppy into existence.
Thanks Josh, and, yeah, that’s the short version, if the doomsayers are right we’ll know sooner or later and can respond accordingly, if Efe is right this site could be a lot more exciting than it was before, if both sides are wrong things could stay more or less as they have been, and both of those last two options are okay with me.
The two things that pushed me over into venting about this in the forum are Garage and the Director’s World Cup. Here are two Good Things, two of the best things about this site that speak more to its spirit and possibility and intentions than anything else, and they’re completely unaffected by the name change.
Moreover, I can’t see them being affected by even a distillation of the forum, which seems to be the supposed worst case scenario.
Anyway, I’m trudging on. Mubi, Shmubi. I’m going to go watch Ten Skies.
JR/Greg X: No level headed thinking or optimism allowed!
Well, nevermind then.
Reasoned discourse. Don’t ya miss I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! of just 1 or 2 days ago? My, how time flies… It’s like the teachers are back in the room and the class must now start to behave – except for a couple of cheeky brats in the back. Settle down now!
Seriously – good points, Greg, but we’ll see if optimism is still the ticket in all this as the future unfolds.
The soap opera As the Auteurs World Turns continues…Sorry – I felt the need of a pic.
Similar situation to Sci-Fi Channel’s change to SyFy which people thought was the most ridiculous move by the cable network to change its name that they have branded for so many years. But the simplification of the name shortened to several letters did make things easier and for the most part, as people were angered in the beginning, people got over it.
I can understand the change from theauteurs.com to mubi.com. It’s not the most attracted name and if anything, the name I know that is how my family pronounces “movie” and I’m sure people from other countries when saying “movie” probably pronounce it as “mubi”.
But I can understand as others pointed out about the addition of directors who were not auteurs. I also can see business-wise by changing the name, it gives the creators more freedom to become a online streaming destination for movies.
The thing is that what mubi.com is doing is probably very smart. There was rumors for another streaming site (crunchyroll.com) during its infancy years that the technology was being considered by Viacom for purchase. My belief is that a) the guys of mubi.com are movie fans but at the same time, the technology implemented is quite significant. Hulu.com has been making a tremendous amount of money through their online platform but with comcast now in control of NBC Universal, I’m sure the folks at mubi.com have their reasoning.
They have the technology and perhaps they are enticing other companies who want to add their catalog to the site. I know that there are people who may get upset by this but I’ve worked and known many entertainment/technology online content creators to know that if they can create a website where people are purchasing to watch streaming films, let alone increasing page views, there is no doubt that a major company is going to have interest in purchasing the site.
There is no doubt that TheAuteurs.com was such a wonderful name for those of us who are cineaste but like any site in which there is a good deal of money going into maintenance, storage of the video and streaming, I’m sure it’s not cheap. But if the motivation is for the future to grow the site, to be the de facto cinema streaming site or the goal is to attract angel funding or VC money in order for a big payoff in the end, so be it.
As long as we don’t have to pay to use TheAuteurs Mubi, it’s alright. Eventhough I think The Auteurs is a wonderful name.
My brain still has trouble allowing my eyes to focus on the top left of the page when signing in. I work with a group who translates local dialect to a form of English opposing sides can (hopefully) accept and thus continue the task of communicating needs. Letters like u i b m that combine to form nonsense words add confusion and is a time waster. Unless of course, in reality, those letters combine in such a way as to identify the town in Nigeria, the language in Chad or the Japanese action figure. There have been dozens of acronyms suggested that would uniquely and universally identify a website dedicated to the love of cinematic arts that would enhance the “grower” goal and not dumb down in the process. Too bad management chose to ignore its most valuable commodity. For some perspective, I’m going to go watch Robin Hood Daffy, and then some Wyler from the DC and The Best Years of Our Lives.