How long will major commercial entertainment last?
I bought a “newly released” Blu-Ray movie the other day. Innerspace, starring Martin Short, Meg Ryan and others.
I recall seeing the movie (and it being funny), but it was a long time ago – and frankly forgot most of it. Online “reviews” (TTFWTW), said it’s one of those movies you can watch over and over and enjoy. It’s in my collection of un-watched movies which will eventually get played.
But opening the “disc” got me thinking…
Commercial entertainment is so tightly controlled!
You know CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s all have such excessive “theft control” packaging apparatus. Shrink-wrap, and even more labels on top after you remove the shrink wrap. I know part of the reason is to make it easier to “see” in a bin of many products, but you know the main reason is theft (or “anti-theft”).
These big production companies, and their cohorts in the media-player industry (DVD, etc.) have all conspired to make it a “closed” system.
Sure you have (relative) newcomers to the game like streaming media (Netflix, Amazon, Roku, Hulu, etc.), but the physical media genre still exists. Very strongly too (have you seen how new-release movies at Walmart are one of the least discounted items they sell?)
There has been such a tight leash of “control” over this “intellectual” property like movies and music for such a long time – and in comparison to the general population, it’s made a VERY small number of people very rich. Which is also why the “piracy” of such entertainment nuggets also have such a nice gov’t penalty (FBI trouble, massive fines and more). A group of people have gone through great lengths (not to protect their “rights”), but to protect their wealth. Nothing more than wealth.
What if society said “fuck you?”
Sure, big-budgets allow for “spectacular” special effects, and grand scenery. And almost up till now, it also afforded the proper equipment (and screening locations) to truly present an “out of this world” experience that “entertainment” as we knew it was all about. Stuff you couldn’t get elsewhere. Provided by a (very) select few (privileged) people, directors, and actors.
But technology is allowing smaller outfits to provide equally (if not more) entertaining products. (One such example is the crew at Corridor Digital) who make “entertainment” clips like this:
Their collection of “moving pictures” is quite unique (using mostly digital effects), but it’s neat to see what they come up with next. (Subscribe to their channel if you haven’t yet).
Can you “give up” big movies?
I guess the main point here is, that the big studios definitely do belt out grand productions that not too many people (or groups of people) could match in terms of their theatrical or “fantasmagorical” scope. Either in production quality (or budget required to do so).
But is “grand” and “scope” really 100% necessary for entertainment these days? Or is it more concepts, ideas, scripts, stories and simple execution that matter more?
I mean, have you seen some of these big Hollywood movies that have come out in the past 10 years? Many, if not most of them have some kind of oddly placed societal message in them that don’t seem to match reality. They peddle social concepts (global warming) or other sexual matters (gay, transgender) that don’t line up with true demographics.
Little video producers who are skilled with a few Adobe applications and physics can do some amazing work with a micro-fraction of the budget.The one thing that you can see is different is that they do it with a true passion – and not just a paycheck. I’ll pay to see that any day over a big-budget Hollywood brain-fuck!