hollywod strike

Really interesting article. A must read for all those that are looking to be film makers. It’s what I have been saying about the coming democracy of the new media, where large corporations will no longer be the gatekeepers between the film makers and the viewers.

5 thoughts on “hollywod strike

  1. Shekhar sahib,
    Very interesting read, Yea we discussed already about this future media on this blog too. My idea is that it shouldn’t take more than 5 years from now, because things on the technology end are moving really really very fast. Democracy of the new media will certainly not end the entire struggle but definitely bring up more competition and great talent and ultimately better projects.
    Hope you are having great time at Vegas.

  2. Dear Shekhar,
    It is a valuable article and I like some of the points made by him yet there are some major challenges in the democratization of film content. The first challenge is that if talent goes on their own, how will they compete with the big (i.e. studio) movies that take up almost all the screens in the US. Even the big independent film houses/directors like Weinstein’s, Ang Lee and Scorsese use the studio specialty arms for their distribution. The article talks about films made on HDTV, on the cheap and marketed through viral videos and distributed digitally, and there is no way in the world that these films can compete with even the low end films coming out of the studios. Why would any exhibitor like to take a risk with a cheap HDTV film instead of a studio film, even if they got a higher share of the ‘rentals’? One out of 50 such films gets picked up for distribution at Sundance each year, and even those films only get to play at Angelica or Film Forum in NY for a few weeks. The only way it can be done is if talent comes out of the studio setup and works independently and creates a product that is better, but how is that possible with limited funds for production and distribution.
    If you ask me, majority of the talent would prefer a higher paycheck to higher creative independence or ownership of the product – they would much rather want gross points and a big home in Beverly Hills.
    A perfect example is your friends Tim and Eric at Working Title. They struck gold in the 90s with one hit romantic comedy after another (although they do owe some of their laurels to Richard Curtis) and became masters of distributing and exploiting film revenues in the overseas market but they couldn’t really crack up the US market by themselves. They initially said that they were quite wary of the Studios but realized over time that one can’t become very big without their help, and eventually sold to U. They have a great legacy and according to some of the contract details made public by Variety they still keep the right to greenlight any project under $35m without asking any top boss at U, so that’s great independence within the studio system. Do you think they would like to be independent again and worry about financing their films and fly from Cannes to AFM to MIFED to Berlin to sell territories of their films, I don’t think so.
    Woody Allen is another example and he also used DreamWorks to sell ‘Match Point’ after no other distributor would give the $7m advance he wanted.
    Infact Variety published an article recently that the top directors are increasingly getting a free hand to do anything in Hollywood these days, so why would they go independent.
    This is the Article:
    Are directors given too much rope?
    Filmmakers with final cut were plentiful this year
    By ANTHONY KAUFMAN, Dec 4, 2007
    I would be the happiest person if the distribution/marketing costs reduce so drastically that everyone can get their product out, but if no exhibitor takes your film you’ll only be selling your film on the Internet or direct to DVD and that won’t get much revenues in.
    I think digital production and distribution will create great opportunities and many great media companies, but we can’t undermine that studios can’t do the same. These are times of great opportunity, but they are for everyone, including the cash rich studios.
    Best Regards,

  3. Agree 100%!!
    Technology to the recue of the artists!
    These are exciting times for people with great content and artistic ideas!!
    The Blueskies are coming!

  4. Just heard about Heath and it just seems so wierd, and thought about you rightaway, as you had directed him in Four Feathers. Then, a role of a lifetime in Brokeback Mountain, and now, just 28. Is fame so difficult to handle in your twenties? May he rest in peace.

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