A Quick Thought on the 38 Failures of American Film

By jaredmoshe | Jared Moshé's Blog May 11, 2010 at 5:02AM

A Quick Thought on the 38 Failures of American Film
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Ted Hope breaks down thirty-eight more ways the film industry is broken. It's a good list and provides a lot to think about as people experiment with solutions. I still believe that the fundamental problem with the film industry is that the cost of making a film outstrips the revenue that can be received from one. Of course, as long as we continue to flood the market with expensive films that aggregators can pick up for a pittance that won't change. And it occurs to me that perhaps it's the acquisitions mindset that really needs to change. It creates a false distinction between creators and distributors that breaks down the economics of the film industry. A distributor does not have assume the risk of associated with the cost of film creation and therefore has no responsibility for recouping those costs, which means that the film's value automatically is completely independent from it's cost. The hard value of the film becomes unquantifiable. This in turn causes financiers to grasp for anything they can use to quantify the return on investment. Hence the adoption of the foreign sale model, which Ted very rightly points is so problematic that, "no one talks about it." I wonder what would happen if every independent filmmaker didn't go into production until they had a raised a full budget including distribution costs that would insure a break even return on investment or secured distribution in enough territories to insure the same. The mental leap among everyone from directors to marketing execs to producers to grips would be huge: the acquisitions culture literally defines independent film. Everything would need to change... but then doesn't it already?

This article is related to: Thoughts on the state of the industry