Don’t let the snide references to Reaganomics and Walmart fool you: this is straight up, 100% freeze-the-market-because-I-fear-change reactionary thinking. The problem? Salon feels that it’s too easy to make an independent movie, these days: and that all those people who work on independent films aren’t getting enough money (despite the fact that said people keep doing it, which at least suggests that maybe they’re still getting something out of participating). The solution?
Perhaps the answer lies in film institutes and filmmaking organizations collaborating to establish a network of talent labs/incubators where talent is developed in-house, the majority of top film festivals’ admissions are films developed within the network, and top distributors commit to purchasing movies made in the network.
When post-Peace of Westphalia Europe did this, we called it ‘mercantilism’ and ‘colonialism.’ Guess what the consumers get to do, in that paradigm? That’s right: eat what’s put in front of them.
Perhaps it lies in top film festivals developing an accreditation system or trade union, discouraging the existence of festivals that do little more than collect submission fees and dole out digital laurels like candy.
When medieval craftsmen did this, we called it a ‘guild system.’ It takes a special kind of genius to be a form of economic activity that’s hated by both Adam Smith and Karl Marx.
Perhaps it lies in top film institutions refocusing filmmakers on development – placing an emphasis on screenwriting, talent labs and a return to making short films.
Somewhere, there is some poor person whose job it is to sell the concept of ‘bidets’ to the American public. That person is right now feeling an inexplicable kinship to the author of this article: look, another advocate for a nice idea that does not sell! Seriously, it’s been my experience that when you start talking about pursuing a marketing strategy that have First, reeducate the public into liking your product as a hidden first step, things are unlikely to end well.
Perhaps it lies in updated vertical integration models inspired by the old studio system — say what you will about the old system, but everyone working within it got paid and lots of great films got made.
Say what you will about the old system, but people were chronically underpaid, the top brass running things routinely trampled quality into the dirt, and a godawful amount of utter dreck got made. Which, astoundingly, is more or less Salon’s complaint about the current system.
And perhaps none of these suggestions hold the answer, but we need ideas because, whatever the answer is, it can’t simply be to unquestioningly make more features.
…Leaving aside the fact that the first part of this sentence effectively alerts the reader that he just wasted five minutes of lifespan that could have been more profitably spent watching Adventure Time, the question is duly begged: why can’t people unquestioningly make more features?
Right, because the current independent film industry model hasn’t… no, I’m not going to finish that thought. It’s too mean-spirited. Suffice it to say that I am reminded of Reagan’s famous distinction between a recession and a depression…
Whiny film-industry liberal complains that there are too many independent films: http://t.co/w6u8AxlhZb
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) February 22, 2014
PS: Speaking of crowdfunding: I kicked in $20 to Kung Fury because I wanted to see a time-traveling 80’s cop have a kung fu brawl with Adolf Hitler. I’d say that I’m sorry that the concept of Hey, maybe we can find people who want to see this stuff and get them to give us money ahead of time so that we can make this stuff seems to be so threatening to people who are used to being more selective in their appeal, except that I’m not actually sorry and I don’t see any reason to lie about it.
PPS: Man, I’m just a regular Cranky McRanterpants today, huh? I must be getting old.