Despite Famous Comments The Movie Industry Is Safe

th-5Recently Steven Spielberg and George Lucas made comments that may have been taken in the wrong way. Their comments centered around the declining movie industry and mentioned that studios and the industry is headed for a “massive implosion”. When reading over their comments I couldn’t help but think that they didn’t feel what they have done for their whole lives is in jeopardy, but the fact that they way they have done and seen things is headed for a massive change.

The movie industry is pulling in massive amounts of money of the last few years, even in the theaters. What the two storied and highly respected directors were driving at is that movie studios are limiting the massive amounts of money they will spread out. They will give movies like The Avengers more money than they would in the past as opposed to giving some of that movie to films more thought provoking or historically relevant films. That means lesser known actors will be put in bigger roles. I believe this to be the biggest boom of new talent discovery that may have ever occurred. th-6

As far as films and viewing goes, the studios couldn’t ask for more. With the internet and availability through cable and satellite networks like DirectTV and Time Warner with their movie demand and accessibility are the standard in the states. In the UK companies like Sky TV Broadband allow as much access as anyone. They offer all premium channels like HBO and Showtime as well as features like HBOGO which might be the best thing to happen to movie and TV fans in years.

As far as smaller more thought provoking films, fear not movie fans. Look for the independent film industry to absorb the films that major studio don’t deem budget worthy. This has been a growing area for films in years. And though they are tougher to find in theaters thats what the afore mentioned  areas are there for.

So in a bold move I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Lucas and tell you that good films are going nowhere.

8 thoughts on “Despite Famous Comments The Movie Industry Is Safe”

  1. No disrespect, but if you read through the statements that Spielberg and Lucas made I’m not sure what there is to disagree with. They say that two or three major flops could cause massive upheaval within the industry. This is virtually indisputable, and it would not be a good thing for the industry. For instance, New Line essentially had the entire studio on the line when it made the “Lord of the Rings” movies. They didn’t flop, so the studio became a huge success. Had those movies tanked, the studio might very well have failed.

    I don’t really understand your argument about the infusion of new talent. If studios make fewer films (putting their money only into blockbusters) there will be fewer roles. That will make it harder to break in, not easier.

    Lucas and Spielberg also said that viewers can expect higher price tags at the box office. That seems to be a given, as there has been price creep for years. Studios have gone crazy over 3D simply because they can charge for it, and we see a glut of movies that shouldn’t even be made in 3D. If they can charge $25 a ticket for a movie, they will. And that is not a good thing for viewers.

    I agree that cable outlets provide some hope for thoughtful films. But — for people who really love movies — the thought of everything worth seeing moving to the small screen isn’t exactly reason for celebration. Fortunately, home theaters are better than ever, but I would still rather watch “Lincoln” in a theater than at home.

    The reason Spielberg’s and Lucas’ comments seem rather indisputable to me is that all you have to do is look at other media industries to see how things have played out. Much of this has to do with competition. Consumers have many things competing for their entertainment dollars and the result has been consolidation at just about every level.

    Radio is more homogenized and boring now than it has been in decades. The same is true of newspapers. Many magazines are closing. The music industry has imploded to the point where it is very difficult for musicians to make a living. Believing that this won’t happen in the film industry seems a bit naive.

    I’m not saying there won’t be any good movies anymore, and I don’t think Spielberg or Lucas were saying that either. The main point of their message is that it will be more difficult than ever for a young filmmaker to get his project financed and distributed. That is a bad thing for movies.

    Although musicians have a hard time getting paid, music is still relatively vital today because it is really cheap for a band to roll into a studio and record an album. So, if you’re willing to spend hours on the Internet searching for great stuff, you can find it.

    Making a film is much more expensive and requires many more people. That doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore great films, but it does seem to indicate that they will be harder to find… and that more of them will show up on TV as opposed to in theaters.

    1. My argument for new talent is that a role that would normlly go to Brad Pitt will be cast with a more unknown because the studio won’t pay as much for a lead role because they are giving less money to the movies that aren’t as much blockbusters.
      I agree that this hurts smaller unknown filmmakers but I rarely hear anyone say I wish I had seen a movie like Lincoln in the theater. Fans are ok with seeing such films at home.
      You make many valid points I just don’t see studios going under from this. New Line’s rep wasn’t hung on Lord Of The Rings and if it was that was not a risky choice. It was one of the most beloved books ever and the script alone made it a sure thing, although there is no such thing.
      I greatly appreciate your well thought out comments and thoughts and the fact you truly took the time to read my post. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back for more

      1. I’ll definitely come back, as I subscribe to your blog and love to check out your thoughts.

        I look at the acting roles this way. Actors go where the roles are. If studios finance fewer films and put more of their cash into blockbusters, there will be fewer roles. This may result in lower pay — even for big-name stars — but we’ll have to see how it plays out. As a rule, a studio will not pour millions into a potential blockbuster anchored by a no-name. It’s just too risky. There are exceptions — like the then-lesser-known Sam Worthington in “Avatar” — but these are exceptions.

        That means fewer roles and more actors (including big names) competing for them. If this happens, I expect to see fewer people — not more — breaking into the movie industry. Just look at what’s happening in other media. A few big personalities are becoming increasingly important (Rush Limbaugh in radio, syndicated columnists in print media, etc.).

        As for putting all one’s money in a few big pictures, it is risky no matter what. The gamble New Line took with “Lord of the Rings” is well documented. And a few failed projects have sunk studios in the past. Check out this story: http://deadspin.com/5966616/just-like-heavens-gate-why-didnt-the-lord-of-the-rings-series-fail

        New Line might have survived with a “LOTR” failure, but there’s no telling. It was a small studio to be playing with that kind of money.

        To be sure, other studios will step in if one or two fail. And, if that happens, maybe some will go back to making smaller films.

        The main thing Spielberg and Lucas were saying, however, is that it is harder than ever to get a film made… particularly a small one. And that is bad news for the industry and viewers. It means people could be stuck either with commercial projects that the studios see as cash cows or REALLY small indies with no budget (the first “Paranormal Activity” comes to mind). That would be a shame since so many great films occupy the middle ground. They need money for solid production value, good players, etc., but don’t need the millions of a special-effects film.

        You are probably right that a lot of folks don’t care if they watch “Lincoln” at home. But I still like the theatrical experience, so I would hate to see it go away completely.

        Thanks for the provocative post!

      2. I agree that there’s nothing like going to the theater I just go based on people I know and co-workers views and I think PART of the reason films get downloaded so much is that people do not care where or how they see a film they just wanna see it.
        So glad to have such an intelligent and thoughtful subscriber!!

      3. Thanks for the compliment. I think you are right that most people just want to see the film. That explains the prevalence of iPads, digital downloads, etc. I certainly don’t mind watching at home (especially since I have a pretty nice setup) but I guess I’m a purist. I’ll still pick a theater if all things are equal.

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