Monday, February 09, 2009

Think Small

From Scott Kirsner's Cinematech:

A lot of times when I've written about some interesting little Internet experiment that has generated $50,000 or $100,000 for the creative person behind it, someone will e-mail me to ask, "Yeah, OK, but how does that support the media industry? A movie studio can't pay its security guards for a week on that kind of money."

Good point.

I'm very confident about digital media's ability to support individual creators, doing the kind of work they want to do, often on tightly-constrained budgets. (Constraints = inventiveness, right?)

I'm less confident that it will support the same gargantuan, diversified companies that raked in the big bucks in the days when there were only four TV networks, six movies released every weekend, a dozen important records issued on Tuesday.

For too long we've had the homogenized voice of "The Media" telling us what is what in terms of entertainment. That is, what they need for it to look and sound like so they can distribute it.


No more. There's a lot of stuff on the web that I absolutely loathe, but I'm not their audience... and that's okay because the way things are shaking out they don't need me. They can go along and do things they want to do, and I can do things I want to do...

and we can both profit from it.

Before, that couldn't happen. The media had to fit a wide market in order to be successful. You had so many costs associated with DVDs, books, video, audio and so forth that you had to make it palatable for a wide variety of folks. The digitization of the whole process has cut costs to the bone. Put the opportunity to say something unique, controversial or eclectic into the hands of the everyday person. Add to that the opportunity to get paid for it, and you have a whole new way of thinking about media - small.

And while that's going to lead to a lot of crap, it's also going to lead to a lot of unique, talented voices being able to say something that rings true to you.

And the studios are just going to have to deal.

Make that : Deal along a variety of media fronts.

1 comment:

Michael Herzog said...

If there is a market for guarded studio space I'm sure it is possible to rent some at a reasonable price.

Warehouses don't seem to have a problem paying their guards. ;)