by Timothy Lee
Wed, Nov 21st 2007 12:57pm
Marc Andreessen points us to a great article by the LA Times's Patrick Goldstein exploring the rise of alternative business models in Hollywood. Rupp points out that the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood—Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, John Lasseter, George Lucas—have worked outside the traditional studio system, starting their own companies and producing great movies without constant meddling from studio bosses. He notes that venture capital has begun flooding into Hollywood, allowing more and more creative types to bypass the studios and get financing for their creative projects directly. And, of course, the Internet will soon make it radically easier to market and distribute independent films. Probably the most important point Goldstein makes is that going outside the studio system isn't just about making more money. An even more important consideration for many writers is maintaining creative control. Those big studio budgets can come with a lot of studio meddling in the finished products, and studio executives are often bad judges of what makes a good movie. Here, too, there are parallels to Silicon Valley's startup culture. Larry and Sergey famously tried to sell their search technology in the late 1990s, only to find that the incumbents thought that nobody would be interested in a better search engine. Luckily, they had no trouble raising venture capital and launching their own company. By the same token, the next time a writer gets fed up with the studios mangling his scripts, perhaps he'll have the opportunity to prove he can do it better by raising some venture capital and producing the movie himself.
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