Hollywood and the movie industry is a bubble unto itself. There has been more ink and blood spilt on the subject than I or anyone should ever care to consider. It’s a bubble that, were it any other industry, would have already popped by now if not for the oligarchs (the Big Eight) that control the studios. They’re the trend setters because they control enough of the media to tell us what the trends are.
The link to the article by Variety is a collection of interviews with industry insiders who admit that the industry is broken, but the bubble hasn’t popped. The fact is that the show business industry is all about the show…and the business, but for some reason, neither shall the two meet.
It doesn’t take an extremely perceptive person to notice that the current model of chasing success (e.g. how many CSI’s are there on television? how many comic book adaptations, book adaptations, toy line adaptations, remakes are there in the theatre?) has killed the box office and broadcast television. The thought process is: “Why risk hundreds of millions of dollars marketing a film premise no one is familiar with when we can just make a movie about Transformers, Smurfs, Iron Man, or the latest Stephen King post-it note (I love Stephen King).” Or television shows based on movies. Or movies based on television shows. Everyone knows the problem, but as the Variety article points out, not everyone agrees on the solution.
Then there’s Netflix and Amazon.
Both of these online entertainment providers seem to be doing fine generating revenue. They’re both moving beyond mere distribution and into production. Both did well this past award season. It’s obvious that the one thing they have in common that sets them apart from the Big Eight is that they were born online. They’re with it. They’re hip. And any YouTuber worth their subscribers knows that means you have to take risks.
Both companies started out distributing what others manufactured. The only thing that they provided was access. Robert L. Johnson credits the technology (internet, streaming) with providing the end-around to the industry gatekeepers. “Camcorder Coppolas” existed prior to broadband, but broadband gave us more access to them. Sure, you have to shuffle through a few hundred titles to find the motion picture you want, but anyone who appreciates any form of art knows that you have to dig through the back section to find that rare creation worth your time and money. In order to inflate their bubble, the Hollywood industry must break up into smaller bubbles and let the audience choose how they approach them.
Once again, please, leave a comment. You can tell me how I don’t now crap about the industry, share your thoughts on how to fix the industry, or talk about your favorite show. If you write it, I will reply.