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Monday, April 21, 2014

Art is lost in America to Marketing and Profits

A new Paradigm for the industry

The difference between Hollywood and most theater around the country.

Everything is being about money in Hollywood, greed and profit, not about art, culture and society. I guess I come from a theater as service for others and art background.

Major Hollywood agencies are seeking outside equity and expansion into areas that are not traditionally agency turf. That means a potential battle with the unions, who look upon agents as working for their members not as schools, production companies or wings of soup to nuts one stop industry entities.

SAG does not allow agencies to have schools, to invest in films or television, to push non-union talent and a list of other things that do happen at agencies around the country. While the majors have been good at keeping with SAG's guidelines they are now pushing the envelope, saying that in this integrated and recession dominated new media world cross ownership and both vertical and horizontal integration are essential to the future of their business. Earning commissions on work by talent and on such side revenues such as book deals or personal appearance, is no longer enough as far as the large agencies, and many smaller agencies are concerned.

The truth is that talent loses in this shift, as we become products instead of clients, and commodities instead of human assets and the agent's partners in the industry.

The coldness of how talent is selected or cut, based on outside consultants or demographics, instead of relationships, talent and belief, has been felt by most of us as talent.

It is no longer about the art, or the craft...

The business is looking at new ways to make money, including closing the windows on new releases before DVD's or Internet. Paramount will offer first run movies in four or fewer weeks through Red Box for a buck. Red Box does offer "back catalog" and "classic" films (meaning older popular, not quality).

A whole new paradigm is in the works.

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