The Vanity Fair article discussed earlier: “Why Hollywood As We Know It Is Already Over” has gotten a lot of traffic this week. While I have already discussed the article in general, Scriptnotes’ response (John August and Craig Mazin) is interesting view at the other side of the discussion: Is Hollywood Dead? Their response is largely based on statistics, economics, and the idea that the business people involved with the industry have two motives: to make money and to make culture (in this case films). This distinction is incredibly important and is one of the main topics of this blog. It is the merging of business practices and art that makes Hollywood efficient, it is the idea that profit and entertainment can go hand in hand; and tandem with this is the point that for most business people in the film industry money is a secondary component.
It all comes back to the point I made originally. It is the content that is intriguing, it is the films that matter. What I will acknowledge Bilton’s claim to the newspaper and radio industries, I will disagree when it comes to the fate that Hollywood is dying because of Silicon Valley. Film studios, especially the Big Five, need to understand that companies like Amazon and Netflix are not the enemy, they are allies. As a distribution system, Amazon and Netflix allow more content to be seen by any person anywhere in the world; as a content creator, it is even more compelling. Where do you think they get the equipment to make shows like Stranger Things? Sure, they have their own funding and pools of talent to choose from, but some of it, from a logical and realistic standpoint, has to come from Hollywood itself, or at the very least, the stores and engines that make Hollywood work.