The Rise Of The Writer-Entrepreneur

from the ch-ch-ch-changes dept

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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Filed Under: entrepreneur, hollywood, writer, writers' strike

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  1. identicon
    Netguy10, 21 Nov 2007 @ 1:27pm

    Keeping up with the changes

    The phrase that comes to mind is 'The world is full of people doing the impossible'.

    I work in the tech industry and that makes me quite aware of how change affects your business model. Those that can't adapt won't compete and they go away. Give kudos to the new wave of entrepreneurs challenging the old way of thinking. It's long overdue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Lid Davis, 21 Nov 2007 @ 1:33pm


    The Internet has already made it easier - to market and distribute films, songs, books, businesses; the difference is in the passion - regardless of whether it is online or off.

    If you look at the successful businesses on the Net, you'll see that their goal is to share information, to make information - and people - more accessible to everyone; the philosophy behind the Cluetrain Manifesto (which, more people should read BTW) - a passion to make the Web a better place.

    The key ingredient to success (online) is to ensure everything you do is first done for the user/visitor/reader and all of that other stuff that people spend money on; SEO, SEM, Web Design for ROI, fall into place as a natural consequence; incidentally, it helps make the Web a nicer, kinder, gentler, more sharing place. :)

    And that is why the Sergey's, Larry's, Marc's and Steven's of the world win: They want to make things better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Max Powers, 21 Nov 2007 @ 2:30pm

    Unlimited Possibilities

    There is no limit to how the Web can be utilized. Even raising investor money for film makers will become easier, bypassing the old ways of getting your film from idea to the screen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jason, 8 Sep 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Entrepreneurial Writing

    By odd coincidence, that's the subject of several posts on my blog for writers.They apply entrepreneurial theory, small business tools, and similar to being a writer.

    Although your post is primarily about writers who then became entrepreneurs, the opposite path is just as valid -- and far more likely.

    Anybody interested can check out my blog:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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