Goodfellas vs. The Sopranos: The Power of Film

By Jon Patricof

In a panel last week that was part of Advertising Week, filmmaker Ed Burns, Rich Lehrfeld from American Express and I sat down with Bob Safian from Fast Company to discuss the Future of Film. We covered a number of topics, but there were a few that stood out for me:

1. The reality that there are only a few passions that are as far-reaching and deep as film. People spend a lot of time watching TV, but it doesn’t even come close when you think about how resonant film is with audiences. Compare the number of lines and scenes you recall and cherish from The Sopranos — 6 seasons, 85 episodes — compared to those from the 146 minutes of Goodfellas.

2. Independent film and filmmakers can’t succumb to being pigeonholed by media or its core audience. We have to disrupt ourselves and push the envelope. Some things that critics and even our core audience might not like, whether it be serialized filmmaking, audience participation in scriptwriting or soundtrack, have to be tried.

3. Magic of film transcends the movie theater. Ed told a great story about how he discovered Woody Allen as a kid because his mom loved the films, and how he discovered them on his home television. Think of the countless films you love that you never saw in a theater.


Jon Patricof is Chief Operating Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival and related entities. You can follow Jon on twitter @jpatricof.

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