With that said, I have to complain about the negative tone of some of her recent reports. This week's show had a trio of wonderful, articulate writers talking about how terrible the business is and how bad it is out there for writers and how CBS doesn't buy as many pilots anymore and how big writers are competing for small jobs and on and on and on... I had to turn it off. And that's the first time I've ever turned off that podcast before the final sign-off.
And of course, this is not the only place that negative reports are showing up. They are everywhere. It seems that reporters can't wait to jump on the next indicator of doom and gloom in the entertainment business.
I'm not buying it. Maybe it's my Taoist bent, but I believe there is good and bad in every set of circumstances, and you need to report on both. And if you're in those circumstances, you need to be able to see it from both sides, and then chase positive results.
In the music business, starting several years ago, the shrinking power of the major labels and distributors also resulted in a wide range of artists and genres gaining a level of success that they could never achieve when the industry was controlled by a handful of companies. As any industry changes, the companies that are dominating under the old model will lose power. Kodak and Polaroid were dominant players when snapshots were shot on film. In the digital world, they struggle to compete. Xerox almost went out of business thinking it was selling copiers, while its competitors made great strides focusing on information and document management. A different spin on the same business; but it's your point of view that makes all the difference. There are countless other examples.
In film and television, as broadband delivery takes hold, Blockbuster struggles to compete in home video where it once dominated. The television networks struggle to get the attention of viewers they once had all to themselves. Studios struggle to make money as technology levels the playing field - first in production, then in marketing and soon in distribution. This is the nature of business. The cheese moves (another reference to one of my favorite business books).
But as the established players lose power, other new and nimble players gain opportunities. There are new independent distributors popping up. There are new marketing models. And to Kim's credit, she has been all over the Paranormal Activity story. (Who makes a movie for less than the cost of a nice motorcycle and gets it released by Paramount to the tune of $70,000+ per screen in its first week of limited release?!!) That story would not exist under the old model dominated by the big players.
Writers should stop lamenting and start writing. If you have talent, figure out where to put it to best use under the new rules. Good stories are good stories. Don't complain because you can't sell another one to the same guys who bought the last six -- just figure out where the money is going to come from for the next six. And the same goes for everyone who was making money under the old system and is now making less. You are creative people. Get creative in your business practices and figure out where the new opportunities are. People are still going to the movies. They are playing games and watching videos and amusing themselves in any number of ways. They want to be entertained. Entertain them.
Am I naive? Maybe. But I don't think anyone can see an opportunity that they don't believe exists. Yeah, maybe I'm naive, but I don't think I'm wrong. You tell me.