Hollywood Still Resisting The Idea That Cheaper, Better Films Is The Way To Beat TV
from the horror-of-horrors dept
Over the weekend, the NY Times had an article about how the movie industry is struggling to remain relevant as a bunch of “culturally relevant” content seems to be moving to TV, where some of the top hit series have taken their place in the cultural landscape the way movies used to. Apparently “film people” are particularly ticked off that Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscars this year since his biggest claim to fame is from TV, rather than movies (even though his movie Ted recently became the highest grossing R-rated comedy ever). Of course, what’s ignored in the article is that the movie industry isn’t really suffering that much economically.
What did strike me as interesting, however, is that the article highlights a key point that many of us have been making. The industry really only has itself to blame for continuing to churn out expensive remakes and sequels, rather than investing in quality — the continued quest for “$100 million films” rather than figuring out how to make good movies for less money. The article makes that point, referring to critic David Denby:
“They feel puzzled,” said the critic David Denby. “They’re a little baffled.” He was referring to those who have applauded his argument — made both in a New Republic essay “Has Hollywood Murdered the Movies?” and in a new book, “Do the Movies Have a Future?” — that the enduring strength of film will depend on whether studios return to modestly budgeted but culturally powerful movies.
“If they don’t build their own future, they’re digging their own graves,” Mr. Denby said.
This seems like such common sense advice… and yet, it’s not what we see. We see Hollywood being more timid, but rarely actually translating that timidity into focusing on more products with lower budgets and compelling storytelling. It’s all just about rebooting old stories with bigger special effects.