The Ulmer Scale's flagship publication, The Hot List, features bankability
rankings for an unprecedented number of actors -- more
than 1,400 worldwide. Using a numerical, standardized survey and rating
system derived from polling dozens of behind-the-scenes international
power brokers, The Ulmer Scale scores each actor's bankability
by three different budget levels. The first is for "art house"
movies costing up to $10 million; the second is for mid-range films in
the $10 million-$50 million range; and the third level is for studio
movies made for more than $50 million.
The results of these surveys are then compiled and
ranked by a 100-point index. Each actor is assigned four scores next
to his or her name. There is one for each of the three different budget
levels of a film (up to 100 points per budget level), as well as a total score
adding up the previous three (the highest possible being 300 points). These
scores are then assembled into The Ulmer Scale's proprietary A+, A, B+, B, C and
D lists -- and the closely-watched "Uppers" and "Downers" lists of the biggest
gainers and losers in star power.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE HOT LIST
James Ulmer originally developed methodologies for measuring star power, or
bankability, back in the late 1980's as a respected entertainment and film
business journalist. While reporting globally on film, he realized that
many movie deals were being made in both the independent world and the
international sales market that seemed to run counter to the conventional
wisdom. Actors who were known for their high salaries had projects that
weren't selling or performing in those markets, and others who seemed
to pass under the Hollywood salary radar screen could have projects
greenlit without a hitch.
The dichotomy between published salaries and true value gave Ulmer the impetus to
gather research that would quantify what a star or director is worth
in an ever-changing marketplace. Using sources ranging from producers
and studio executives to international distributors, foreign sales agents
and bankers, Ulmer has been able to quantify the worth of an actor in
real terms. These findings are compiled into his comprehensive industry
guidebook, The Hot List which contains rankings and scores for
more than 1,600 actors worldwide.
As part of the Ulmer Scale Risk Consultancy, a Los Angeles-based analysis
and database venture for private clients,
Ulmer has also measured the bankability of the world's leading directors.
He has helped numerous producers match directors with the most advantageous
group of talent, both behind and in front of the cameras, to secure the backing
of banks and international distributors.