LOOKING UPSTREAM, THE POTENTIAL EVOLUTION OF THE FILM AND MUSIC INDUSTRY. Genesis of the Garage band, Small Label and the Mom and Pop Movie
Evolution is a great purifier much the same that running water, no matter how dirty, will run itself clean .
In an age of excess where the oil companies rake in more of our money than we spend on food and schooling combined, --- where the air itself seems to have turned on us, BECAUSE of fossil fuels in them, becoming carcinogenic and poisoning our infants so that when there was clean air, one in a hundred got cancer, now with this air, one in three, in such a toxic age, mankind adapts!
What happens? Evolution rides to the rescue. Suddenly someone discovers cold fusion so you can run your car on Evian water or suddenly legislators force the electric hybrid car on the car makers. It has been legislated into existence by Washington so America will be forced to drive them in four years time and it's this way in every field.
We've got this age of excess back in LA where I come from. Hollywood has seen film costs rise to 120 million for a 95 minute movie! WAY over a million a minute. So what happens? Along came digital video where the neighborhood, teenge Orson Wells can make an entire film for 50$ worth of video tape, maybe ten thousand dollars tops for equipment which could be amortagized over say, ten flicks to being only a thousand a flick. So
his film costs a thousand bucks while it costs a studio 120 million plus 20 million in Prints and Advertising (P&A) to announce its film.
A Teenaged Orson can create a huge audience for his on the internet at a 5$ a month website, without spending a dollar on prints and advertising and whammy you have " Blair Witch Protect" or THE CRUISE a Manhattan tour guide story by director Bennett Miller who proved his chops with this Sundance film and went on to do big screen oscar features like CAPOTE. Any independent company or any teenaged film buff with a honed sensibility and a 4 thousand dollar video camera and editing bay can go shoulder to shoulder with the majors. That's like l917 all over again. It's a revolution.
Those movie stars that costs 20 million each? They can be replaced by any kid's little teeny bopper friend who may be a lot younger and cuter than what costs 20 million on the hoof in LA. I love you, Travolta, but you're getting a little gordo in the chops in BattleField Earth. I have a holistic healer you should see. The human body can go forty days without food if it has summer heat for warmth, pure water, colon chlorophyll implants and coffee enemas and then instead of those midnight burgers, --green salad with tofu croutons when you break the fast.
But anyway, even if he's gordo,. The chubby star costs 20 million per flick. Because stardom rules. it IS Boxoffice. Two flicks a year he's got 40 big ones The other porkers at the trough are the film execs. The head of the studio can take in 23 million a year plus stock options which bring it up to about fifty million a year. With all the unions pushing as hard as they can with strikes, they can't get their workers in a space to take home more than a hundred thousand a year, I'm talking propmen and gaffers. And the rest of the cast, the bit players, those actors, truly are like Cattle they make so little that every two years they're on strike just to get a few cents more of residuals.. So the studio system has not shared the goodies. There is an element of immorality in those making the decisions on top who are plundering the system for their own enrichment and paying stockholders minus zip and paying blue collar workers, the bottom of the caste system, elected to be such by the annointed and appointed ones, 25$ an hour. Why wouldn't these very talented workers use their week-end and offtime to help a digital Orson Wells kid make a movie and work for free if they could get a percentage of the full take? HMM? Cells as stupid as a virus learn to mutate, why shouldn't gaffers, actors, directors and writers?
Very equitable 'people's republic ' type movie corporations could result in the wake of the 20th century, you know. It could happen.
Back to Hollywood current reality. Not quite at the bottom of the pile in Hollywood, we have the theatrical agent . (pause) This poor chap only makes 10% or two million a year --on each star, unless he also has a director, writer, and a few other stars in his stable, so he packages and he automatically gets to be the real producer on any studio
movie, in which case then, he too can make 20 million a year. While he doesn't get stock in Sony (and why would he want it?) he doesn't have to worry about breast implants and wrinkles. His huge earnings go on forever. But NOT if the digital kid is out there waiting in the wings. Mike Ovitz, watch out. Who needs to buy costly stars if you've got your neighbors' gorgeous daughter for free?
In the music industry, the head of the corporation makes 50 million a year. The stock holders at the company, take Universal made MINUS 31 cents a year for each share of stock worth 55$. The stock holders lost a ton of money for risking their hard earned cash. There's something corrupt about the CEO getting fifty mil so the stock holders get zip. See, in an evolutionary world, that's gotta correct itself. AND IT WILL.
I'd imagine the entire stock industry with its daily flood of IPO's earning nothing, and its weekly 1929 crashes --- is going to go seriously south when people realize that they're making minus money plus being forced to read this ridiculous PRINT each day (holding up newspaper and your reading glasses). Sony stock trades at 244$ a share,
and they give their investors minus 44 cents per share? Oh, let's go buy some Sony stock today and earn 44 minus cents and have to read this piece of micro-scopic print daily.
If I give my daughter a lemonade stand on Sunset, and stock it with 244$ worth of lemons, she can probably make twice her money a day. Maybe ten times. We can easily pay Lupe my maid a hundred a day to squeeze lemons and still make a thousand percent on my investment. Why would anyone on the planet invest in stocks? Hoping to catch a wave? Speculating? Yeah right. That's not FUNDING America's corporations, that's risky surfing. How can anyone reasonable invest in stocks when it's about speculation? Who's gonna ever invest in third world stocks if we're a model of where it ends up? It's become an impure industry and it's either going to evolve and become pure or it's gotta go south cuz that's evolutionary law.
And the music industry right now, at any record label, say it's Universal, or --say it's Sony, is brutal. Artists only get 5% a year per record, and that can irritate the artists, cuz face it, artists are nothing if not live temperament. Some of them are going to walk out on the label out of profit sharing PIQUE! Look at the list of artists who started their own labels. AIMEE MANN, MC Hammer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_label
With a home sound studio which any of us can have, just put blankets and cork on the walls of the garage... and a CD burner, any artist can turn out CD's for half a buck each and do like MC Hammer did, kiss his label goodbye and sell CD's out of the back of his car, or on his website, and at MYSPACE.COM, making l00% of the sale price. And as RIAA is seeking to pay artists lower royalties, it's about time!
Movie Stars can always leave the stable and realize that it's their stardom that's bringing in the bucks, why not contribute that stardom to a more equitable arrangement? Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Doug Fairbanks were irked at their low salaries and created United Artists which is still with us today and has been enriching all of the participants' heirs for nearly a century. Travolta just did it with sheer star force, and gave the money to Scientology. Cruise just did it. This proves it can be done, even if most of today's flock of stars hasn't figured out how it can be done.
But it will be done. I know it and you know it because the Inequities of today's film and recording worlds stagger the mind. Just google RIAA and 'pay less royalties" and read up on it. The CEO's are rotten, the stock is rotten, and the news about rotteness always gets around. The minus earnings, the stock options at the top. CEOS driving LIMOS, and all of the employees of the corporation in limos? At 200$ an hour? And annual cash packages in the 7 figures? It's gotta go.
Excess has no place in the modern world. In the case of the Czar of Russia, his excess was, he built immense, gold leafed palaces and conscripted people into the army for 25 years at a time, while the peasants were taxed fifty percent on potatoes they grew for their own tables. Or the English. They let their potato growers starve from blight and never lifted a finger. Shortly afterwards, they lost all their colonies. Seems reasonable to me. Or Marie Antoinette got caught buying diamonds while the people had no food. And there never was any cake, ok? That was just a suggestion she gave, never a viable fall back position. There was no cake to give and the people knew it. Evolution has a way of attacking imbalances. People find out and then when the mass mind is holding the problem God is alerted. And he acts. First by making somebody really obsolete, all of a sudden. (make motion of guillotine slashing a neck) Second by letting the maniacs run the asylum and suddenly you see that Mary Pickford and charlie Chaplin could make pretty good movies. And the BlairWitch project was OK. My kid watched it
screaming. And these things make pretty good money. So what's to keep the evolutionary digital river from purifying our archaic business and making us all obsolete. It's time for us to purify the water, and purify ourselves.
Now, if you want to meet my fasting lady, she makes house calls, get in touch with me.
WAYS TO PRODUCE YOUR OWN FILM - VIDEO
WAYS TO PRODUCE YOUR OWN RECORD: Peter Gabriel's ALLIANCE And the ARTISTS' SHOP, an online music site.