Big Trouble in Little Hollywood.
The China virus has forced the shutdown of movie and TV productions around the world at the same time as the closure of movie theater chains in every market. Movie theaters, for those who don’t know, mainly serve as 3D interactive billboards to remind you that Hollywood exists. The real money is made in ancillary distribution channels and now more than ever, streaming is where the golden egg is hatched.
The irony is that the global pandemic called the industry’s self-righteous hand and revealed its only holding a pair of cross-dressing jokers. Legacy entertainment companies and their goofy celebrity spokespersons have all been silenced and nobody is missing them.
This historic moment will end up being more than a temporary pause to prevent a disease from overwhelming our medical systems — it could be a death-nudge into the deep end for more than one of the “too big to fail” entertainment companies that make up a deceiving landscape of studios appearing to be in competition with one another, but are really not.
If you knock one studio down, others will certainly follow because they are dominos arranged on shaky ground to begin with.
Here’s the good news — the Great Pause presents a once in a generation opening for indie creators of all sorts to be discovered by an American audience in search of something new, yet familiar.
New brands, new streaming companies, and new celebrities will be born during this revolution and they will not be cultivated, packaged and controlled by a Washington and Wilshire nexus of hobnobbing wine sippers using marketing data to feed your desires while lining their pockets.
The beloved stories, stars and personalities of the future will come from Americans who make their art right where they live. The Wayne and Garthing of the media is here to stay and “All the world’s a stage” has never been more true.
How did Hollywood become a brand synonymous with all that is wrong in society? The blame lays right on Hollywood itself. As a people, we’ve been cultivated to have poor taste and become lifelong customers of the cinema/TV in the same way we see our children cajoled into being lifelong Disney customers, step by step, innocence and truth replaced by greed, sex and lies over time.
Entertainment companies and their mascots have been our personal guides and gurus down the road to cultural entropy over and over again and they profit from it.
The effort to unleash more creativity by dulling self-control in American minds had just begun steamrolling through psychotherapy circles in the late 1950’s. At the same time Hollywood was putting to use similar methods that destroyed a mindset able to think beyond cinema as a source of truth about life.
Read this little nugget from Budd Schulberg’s The Disenchanted, which is rumored to tell the sad story of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s downfall once he became a screenwriter and moved to California.
What a cheap and boring way to cultivate the next great American writers. And what lies at the end of this perverted rainbow? What is all the crazed effort to keep Hollywood as the entertainment capitol of the word really about for most folks? Gift bags. It’s always about the gift bags.
And what exactly is the dividend of generations of young folks rushing to watch pictures, write pictures and make pictures instead of books all these years? It’s that less people read and acquire knowledge in the true programming language of the human mind (words) while more seats were needed in movie theaters to pacify the consumers mind.
Things change, but real systemic change only happens when the audience looks elsewhere. Consumers know it’s easy to find more interesting and relevant material on-line, on-the-go and by indie creators. The difference between contrived and fresh has never been clearer to folks on the receiving end of filmed entertainment. The jig is really up this time.
Because the current generation of leaders in Hollywood have wasted all of their energy on cultivating qualities in the audience that are good for their bottom line, the studios and talent agencies are entering a confusing era of “watered down” celebrities and no new intellectual property that resonates with this unique moment in history — that’s why remakes and reinventions rule the day and why you must do your part and stop feeding the corporate showbiz animal with your hard earned dollars. Audiences should never forget that Hollywood power players have used the world’s greatest storytelling factory to satisfy their own insatiable appetite for money, pleasure and cultural dominance over the nation while acquiescing to the whims of communist regimes in faraway lands.
If you’re an indie creator of any kind you need to know that the most effective line of attack right now is to resist handing over your intellectual property in the first place. Without new ideas and stories to gobble up…there can be no centralized entertainment industry.
Filmed entertainment can be food for the soul. That’s why it’s critical that we begin to grow our own, produce our own and distribute it to help maintain a healthy diet of different opinions. The need for an independent entertainment business to rival Hollywood is no longer a good idea – it’s a national necessity and will do more for the country than another lousy remake sponsored by Pepsi.
Farm to table – meet Film set to tablet.
Indie creators – truly indie (not fake insurgent Quibi) are the drink of water that audiences want and we must all get familiar with our internal divining rod in order to locate the wells of truth about what makes America the greatest nation on the planet.
We as a free people have to end this tyranny by storytelling division. Most folks are familiar with the legend of Hollywood’s founders who built it from the ground up – well now is the right time in history for new men and women to turn around, drive the camera to the heartland and set up a studio.
It’s only going to work if the audience plays along so please spread the word.
Lights, camera, game changer.