Email re: Hollywood
I recently received an email from a friend (and former intern) who asked if I plan to see Evan Almighty, and if I had any general thoughts about the film.
I may see it on DVD one day, but have no plans to see it in the theater. Even if the reviews had been good (or even lukewarm), I would have still waited; I just don’t have time, or the desire, to go to the movies these days.
With one exception.
I was a worker bee on Evan, my first big-budget studio film in ten years. I got my start on Hollywood films and worked on at least a dozen of them, in every conceivable capacity.Â But now I dwell in the indie and documentary worlds, and after the EA debacle, I’m reminded why I bailed from Hollywood in the first place. (I’m putting together an essay on this topic and will post it at a later time.) I met some great folks on the gig, but also saw some wicked mojo behind the scenes, and am absolutely convinced that karma got some serious payback in the form of dismal box office receipts. Enough said for now.
Most ‘movie people’ I know, those that have been in the business for a while, lack enthusiasm for the films on which they worked. It becomes a grind, and the studio execs tend to be neurotic, power-obsessed boobs, and the idiocy rolls down hill. The fun of movie making evaporates when you have marginally competent executives calling the shots, writing the checks, and micro-managing beyond their skill sets. Not unlike regular ‘ol corporate America, I reckon. Again, more about this later.
Finally, filmmaking can be fun, and the advent of digital video, self-distribution and internet delivery are taking the Hollywood ham-fists out of the picture (ha), resulting in a more entrepreneurial environment that leads to greater satisfaction in the ranks. Granted, it may not be as lucrative, but one day it will be, when talented young filmmakers learn to harness and control their own distribution, and cut the greed-heads out of the loop.