So i came across this article about “The Waning Originality of Hollywood” yesterday and while I had always contemplated why it was so hard to find a great film (especially an original Sci-Fi movie) it wasn’t until I got a glimpse of the above info-graph, that it all started to make sense – so yes, info-graphs work. Simply put, Hollywood has been making sequels for the last 20 years because they are too chicken-shit to take risks on new ideas – they have always been “big-business” orientated but the present state of Hollywood studios is “bank-esque”.
So why is this happening? It’s really very simple: Greed. Hollywood studios essentially bankroll (invest) in movie projects, with the hope that their bankrolled movie will hit it big, which means the studios get their original investment + some in return. They are a media bank. As with any investment, there is some risk and as with any smart business, you want to minimize that risk. Yet, the modern movie studios don’t minimize the overall investment risk by hiring Smart/Artistic/Original corporate leaders – they’d simply prefer to make sequels to already successful franchises. We have gone from a nation of innovators, to an country of sackless cons.
And if that isn’t frightening enough, the success of The Lion King 3D is already kicking off what may become a new creative low—re-releases. The Lion King 3D, at a cost to Disney of less than $10M, took in nearly $100M—not a bad ROI for a struggling industry. Titanic, Beauty and the Beast, and Star Wars, all planned for 2012 releases, may mark the dawn of an era of blockbuster re-releases as Hollywood longs for its glory days…
Is there hope? I believe hope exists in “New Media” – I know, I know but it’s the buzzword that explains audio/video on the web. The future is not just video on demand, the web is also for content creators – YouTube and the millions they have spend on creating YouTube Channels, with new/original content is just one example. Yet it’s not just large web companies that are swaying the tide away from traditional Hollywood studios, it’s also you. With the help of consumer electronics (Smartphones with HD cameras and cheap video editing software like Apple’s iMovie), individuals are also creating wonderful original content – just look at Vimeo or YouTube.
How difficult is it to get an original story made in Hollywood today? Even director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) had a difficult time getting Inception made (The Day the Movies Died by Mark Harris). That’s how hard it is…
Hollywood’s lack of originality and courage has opened the door for indie movie makers to not only create the media they want but also reap the rewards of their hard work. The cost of hardware needed is under $1000 – the cost of marketing your work (Vimeo/YouTube/Facebook) is free and the legal fees are zero. Hollywood is going the way of the Music Industry and I personally can’t wait until both are faded memories of where beautiful art used to be made.