It’s a sentence and phrase that is heard again and again: Disney or some other large entertainment company has purchased another struggling entertainment company and taken over all their assets. This is an event that over the course of the last fifty or sixty years has begun to accelerate with more companies being sold and bought out than ever before. While this may seem innocent enough or even a natural product of a competitive industry such as the film industry, it is indeed extremely harmful to art and the artistic process.
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Filmmaking is both an artistic and a monetary process. However, to the few big production companies who currently have a vice grip on Hollywood the process of filmmaking is significantly more skewed to the monetary side. Take Disney as an example and their recent acquisition of Marvel and subsequently the Marvel Cinematic Universe otherwise known as the MCU. There is no doubt that these films are entertaining to many and sit in their own genre of art, but traditional art they are not. These films are made with an undeniable formula and are pumped with new names and faces to give off the appearance that they are creating something that has never been seen before, when in fact it has.
The formula and creation of it stems from the fact that Disney and other production companies who do the same thing do not care enough about the artistic element of what they are releasing to create something new every time they release a new project. Over and over again some formula is followed and some content is recycled with new packaging. This is a scary phenomenon for the world we live in and the ideas we have as they all get washed away into the eternal nothingness of never-ending open-ended discussions of possible creation.
This mindset that these production companies have has made a major impact on the film world and the whole film community. Namely, smaller artists struggle to be seen and their stories struggle to be told and heard by the masses. While the world deserves entertainment that betters the world it instead receives entertainment that distracts them from the problems around them. This is not what art was intended to be used for and should not be what it is utilized for now, especially in a time where we live in a society where problems drastically outnumber helpful solutions. Undoubtedly, the mindset of Hollywood and the miniature group of puppeteers controlling its inner workings is set to spell disaster for the art world and our society altogether. But there is still hope.
Understanding and addressing the problem as a whole and unpacking the huge impact that problem has on Hollywood and the world
However, in order to solve the problem, it first must be accessed. So what is exactly being lost by Hollywood being run by a few big companies with only money on their minds? The first and most important thing that is being lost is the value that art and artwork bring to our society. Art is about a deep and devoted message to the world and this is something that these films from little Hollywood lack. While they may contain messages concerning a variety of meaningful topics none of them are maintained throughout the entirety of the film and none of them manage to break through the entry-level of how far they could be carried in the film through its artistic elements. All in all these films come down to an explosive mess of simple-minded messaging and poorly written one-liners.
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Similar to this, something else that is lost are the smaller voices that have real stories and struggles to share. Artists like this have a hard time working their way up the corporate ladder to the big screen since it is always occupied with films from the big production companies. The smaller production companies that usually finance these heartfelt projects have no shot at breaking in and simply are left to try and have as people see their project as possible, but without the silver screen ahead of them, this is extremely difficult. Thus, as a result, these stories are essentially left untold and their creators unfulfilled as they see their project fall into the deep pit of art that the world never knew that they needed.
These are the two main things that are lost in the entertainment world that we live in today. The value of art and small artists should not go by the wayside and should be protected by the whole entertainment industry. Sadly, however, the opposite is occurring as these artists are being pushed out by the large blockbusters which have come to define the age of entertainment that we now live in. But these forgotten aspects of the film industry may be recovered, quite simply actually. All little Hollywood needs to do is make bigger movies.
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What are big movies? How will their presence eliminate the problems we have today and shine light on the artists that need to show in our society
Big movies: movies that push boundaries and attempt to change the world. Notice the lack of the word blockbuster in that definition. Little Hollywood needs to make movies that care about our world in order to fix the problem that they have created for themselves by constantly striving for the highest box office numbers and not the highest number of lives changed and life paths altered. There are several ways the entertainment industry can achieve this. The first is by more often incorporating smaller artists in the films that they choose to produce. Through sponsoring these artists the industry will soon begin to fill with stories from real people about real problems and these stories will be told in a heartfelt and realistic light.
Another thing that the entertainment industry can do is simply produce more original projects with larger-than-life goals. Little Hollywood needs to do a better job of choosing which items to green light and which to pass on. They have a responsibility for managing one of the greatest artistic mediums there is and they need to learn to use that responsibility to create something good and meaningful and not simply use it as an opportunity to score big at the banks.
If these two steps are followed, then little Hollywood may soon deserve a name change and this writer may finally rest in peace with the knowledge that the art of filmmaking is no longer in the hands of the short elite, but instead in the hands of the tall underground who understands the world we live in. Then and only then will little Hollywood and its puppeteers be given the chance to redeem themselves and rightfully declare that they are the richest men in America.
By Nathaniel Lee
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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