#BookReview: Audience-ology by Kevin Goetz

Intriguing Look At A Facet Of Hollywood Most Are Unaware Of. This is a memoir from someone committed to client confidentiality but who happens to be one of Hollywood’s foremost experts in gauging how audiences will react to a given film – and someone who manages to find a creative solution to be able to tell his story without violating his principles. It *also* has wide ranging applications, applications that don’t seem to be obvious to Mr. Goetz. Specifically, in describing how movie executives see anything less than “very good” (on what is essentially a 5 * rating system where “very good” is equivalent to 4*, with “excellent” being 5*) as “mediocre at best”, Goetz may as well be talking to so many people reviewing books, no matter the platform. This is because book executives (and algorithms) tend to have the same general opinion on the matter, as do many fellow consumers of the medium. But even beyond the rather obvious applications to book reception, Goetz’s explanations, pontifications, and examples show how utterly critical end-user/ consumer feedback is to making *any* product as strong as it can be. And yes, there are all kinds of Hollywood case stories sprinkled throughout, from the very beginnings of Hollywood through at least 2018, and yes, several of the bigger names throughout that period pop up. Including little films no one has ever heard of like Jaws, Star Wars, Forrest Gump, Titanic, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Charlie’s Angels – among many, many others. Truly an outstanding book that project leaders of all stripes would do well to read professionally, and most everyone else would do well to read both for personal growth and entertainment. Very much recommended.

This review of Audience-ology by Kevin Goetz was originally written on October 7, 2021.

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