Hollywood Up And Comers Recognizing That The Big Gatekeepers May Be More Of A Threat Than Silicon Valley

from the fighting-the-status-quo dept

Despite the MPAA's insistence that it wants to "talk" to Silicon Valley, it still seems to think that just means getting together with Google's lobbyists in Washington DC. Thankfully, the MPAA doesn't really represent the full movie industry, and plenty of young filmmakers realize that the tech industry isn't the enemy and has been providing tons of great tools and services that up-coming filmmakers rely on every day. Some of them are realizing that perhaps the real fight is between the legacy gatekeepers and the up-and-comers... and as such, the up-and-comers should have a much closer relationship with the tech industry.

Gina Hall is a young Hollywood filmmaker who reached out to me and some others in Silicon Valley to begin this discussion, recognizing that perhaps the MPAA's claims don't match up with her best interests:
I feel like the solutions proposed from Hollywood establishment just might be in favor of the status quo rather than helping up-and-comers. Call it a hunch. So while industry bosses are distracted with their fight to sustain the old business model, I figured it might be a good time to start a series of conversations between the tech sector and young Hollywood to make some sense of the seismic shift happening in the industry.
There are a few quotes from me in that article, in which she notes that it really does seem like the tech industry is coming up with all the cool stuff that actually helps young filmmakers today -- from tools (like cheaper cameras) to services (like YouTube) to ways to monetize (like Kickstarter). Old Hollywood? Not so much:
Masnick's M.O. is disruptive innovation -- or as he describes it "how we get cool stuff." Creating cool stuff -- honestly, isn't that what most of us get in the business to do? The problem is, Hollywood isn't responsible for creating enough cool stuff these days (especially locally) to keep us all employed. A lot of the cool stuff is now coming from the tech sector with Hollywood standing idly by. In conversations with those employed with the studios, production companies and agencies around town, I've heard projects worked on self-described as "lame," "derivative," or the backhanded compliment: "Meh, at least it'll make money."
I'm looking forward to her continuing series, showing that the tech industry and young Hollywood are very much in alignment. The only real problem is with the legacy players in the business who are just looking to keep making money the way they used to, without actually changing with the market.

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 27 Mar 2012 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Id like to keep my job

    350,000 has been given as the number of people employed by the U.S. film industry. You could think of this as the number of workers who receive most or all of their year's income from their work in the industry.

    That number comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number includes all of the janitors, security guards, receptionists, waiters and waitresses, cashiers, riggers, ushers, couriers, etc. that earn their income from the motion picture industries, within the entire nation.

    You'll be interested to know that you're one of the higher-paid workers in that industry. 50% of motion picture industry employees (176,170 people) earn less than $18.81 per hour.

    I'm not entirely sure which occupational category your job falls into. But, "riggers" are in the category of "Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations," so I'm guessing it's lumped in with that one. The industry employs only 1,460 people in that entire job category, nationwide.

    Now, it's true, "a $30,000 straight to Internet project" is probably not going to hire as many people as a $30 million blockbuster. On the other hand, there are going to be a thousand times as many of those "straight to Internet projects" as there will be $30 million blockbusters.

    You said that blockbuster hires "hundreds of people" to do jobs like yours. If each of those thousand "straight to Internet" projects hires even one worker, that's already a net gain of hundreds of jobs. I'm pretty sure they can at least hire 1500 people nationwide.

    Besides, when Mike talks about "replacing" Hollywood, I don't think he's not talking about forcing Hollywood out of business. He's talking about the younger filmmakers eventually taking over Hollywood, and adapting it to their way of thinking.

    In any case, I'm pretty sure your job is as safe as ever. The yardstick of a film's success (especially those $30 mil films) has always been ticket sales, and box office revenues have done nothing but increase in the past ten years.

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