Tell it Like it Is

As I’ve mentioned time and time again, our business (entertainment) is in a rocky period of creative destruction. I believe this is good for culture and society, and probably less good for loads upon loads of highly paid execs – but oh well.

The best quote I’ve seen in a long time was a comment on this Digg submission today:
(emphasis mine)

Dear Hollywood,

We aren’t making money from downloading, we are sharing copies of stuff we have gotten through renting or borrowing from friends.
You wont make any more money by shutting down the Internet.
The only reason you don’t make as much as you would like is due to the quality of most of your product. The Dark Knight made money, it was good. The Love Guru didn’t as it sucked big time.

Start believing in vision and stop believing in focus groups.
Take a risk, make entertaining art or get the hell out.

Or just keep trying to remake the world the way you think it should be, ie the 1980’s.

Welcome to the 21st Century, torrents will never die, and you cant put the genie back in the bottle.

Get over it, shut up and hang on, its gonna be a bumpy ride.

This is spot-on. We’ve had a media culture for a very, very long time where the hits (Dark Knight) subsidize the losses (The Love Guru). As the safety net disintegrates for the losers (and there’s a LOT of bad, awful, terrible movies); of course there’s going to be a lot of rancor and squealing.

In the old media model (still very much in existence, but fighting for its existence); A studio producer can easily collect a 6-7 figure producing fee for a film. You get paid most of this upfront. And there’s too many variables to “know” if a film is going to be good or bad at the end. Directing, casting, writing, exec notes, cutting, scoring, acting – all things that can go badly after a film has been greenlit. It’s not easy.

At the same time, we’re quickly moving into an age where if your media sucks, the only $$ you will have made are the crazy upfront costs we all acknowledge hurt profitability – but lots of producers can’t (or won’t) work on a film for years (often the case) without being able to pay their bills at the very least.

Interesting times we live in – but the commenter above is generally right. The large studios will become more and more risk averse – leaving independent producers trying to figure out new business models (which they are not largely very good at…)