Europe Gets the Hang of Reshoot Contingency

 | Jan 04, 2012 | 9:12 AM EST  | Comments
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While the U.S. markets were enjoying an extended New Year's party on Tuesday, Europe was apparently brooding and watching 80s movie marathons.

In particular, Greece must have caught "Fatal Attraction" and been inspired to use the most famous line: "I'm not going to be ignored ..."

As a reminder to the global markets that it's still in trouble, Greece said the troika better figure out the details of its most-recently-promised bailout or Greece could be out of the euro by March.

And what's important to remember about "Fatal Attraction" is that it is probably the most famous example of audience-driven modification. The original ending fell flat in screenings, so instead Glenn Close's character was shot.

That's a very good way of looking at Europe's attempts to deal with its debt crisis. Consider every bond auction an audience screening where the investing community fills out comment cards. If there are a lot of "dislikes" then it's back to the writers and the editors.

And today we have the first indication that the European studio heads are already tweaking the Greece script. Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the euro-zone finance ministers, said "returning to the drachma is not an option for Greece."

Look closely and this isn't a wholesale change. There's nothing to say Greece has to return to the drachma if it leaves the euro. It could invent another currency. So it's factually accurate with the appearance of a rebuff of previous comments without actually denying anything.

That was ably described in Robert Altman's "The Player."

"What about the way the old ending tested in Canoga Park? Everybody hated it. We reshot it, now everybody loves it. That's reality."

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