The Proof That Movies Won't Get Made Any More Is That... More Movies Are Being Made Today

from the consistency-is-all-I-ask dept

The Hollywood Reporter recently had an article which is pretty much all doom and gloom about the movie industry, based on a conference at USC about the "Entertainment Law and Business." Seeing as it's an LA event, it's not surprising that much of the story took the typical Hollywood line about how terrible things are these days. But what's amazing is that it seems to treat the success stories as if they're failures. It quotes YouTube star Sam Tsui, who points out that "you can't become complacent as a content creator -- you need to do new, exciting stuff" and turns that into the complaint that artists have to spend all their time running "to keep in the same place." Most of us call that "a job."

But the really stunning bit is that right after three paragraphs moaning about the state of the indie film business today, there's this:
Even when the indy news is good, it isn’t: Wilson said she saw more films on offer at the Cannes Film Market in May than she’d seen in a decade. That bountiful crop translates to an oversupply of product, a point Zimmer emphasized when he noted that there are only three key buyers of arthouse product remaining, Focus, Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company.
Er. Wait. That is good news. More films at Cannes than in a decade? Seems like lots of people are still making movies, and still have tremendous incentive to create, even if some of the old guard haven't quite figured out the business model just yet. Even more hilarious is the "explanation" for this "oversupply":
Panelists spoke ominously of films getting made "that shouldn't have gotten made."
Remember, these are basically the same people who are complaining all the time that movies won't get made if they don't get extra special protections. These are the same folks who say that the film business is collapsing and it's all a disaster. And then... when the evidence to the contrary is shown -- with more movies showing up at Cannes than any year in a decade -- that too is suddenly incorporated into the "disaster narrative" even though it goes directly against their claims. So, apparently, the movie business is collapsing and movies won't get made any more, and the evidence of this is that a ton of new movies got made last year.

Filed Under: business models, good news, hollywood, movies

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The First Word

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  1. identicon
    DCX2, 1 Nov 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think some people misinterpreted my post. I'll respond to you, but my response applies pretty much to everyone else.

    Note that I said career. You have a "solid part time job" - that's not a career. And I'm not necessarily saying "online availability", although the Internet has in some ways made it even harder to stand out.

    And I myself even admit that this is changing. The Internet is simultaneously showing everyone the higher global skill ceiling *and* lowering the barriers to entry for local artists by circumventing gatekeepers who control distribution. I totally agree that there is a resurgence of "grassroots" style local artists and that people appreciate the authenticity and interaction that global artists often lack.

    This is what we're seeing now with "that movie shouldn't have been made". Sure, a big production house would have laughed the director out the door, but that's the point - for almost a century and up until this most recent decade, your chances of success depended on those global gatekeepers selecting you.

    Can you deny that on a global stage, it is more difficult to stand out than on a purely local stage? That people today will compare local artists to their global counterparts, which was just not the case a hundred years ago? In a different era and with some practice this hobby could have been a career for her, but economically (i.e. comparative advantage) it makes more sense for her to apply her skills to something else that is more productive for a global society.

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