Changes In The Movie Industry

Yesterday I had breakfast with a studio executive from one of the Majors here in Los Angeles. Much of what we talked about revolved around changes in the movie industry and how many of the studio folks are slow to implement new ideas.

With an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 independent movies flooding the market each year, the movie industry is experiencing what happens to any industry when cheap labor, inexpensive production technology and efficient distribution enters the equation. Your once high priced product is now competing with cheaply produced, comparable goods.

In the past, studios controlled distribution which provided immunity from outside competition. So even if you made a movie – odds were good it would never get into the mainstream market. But the internet has forever changed this. These days, any filmmaker can get their title into digital markets like iTunes, Hulu and Amazon.

To put it into perspective, let’s say you have the biggest and best Frozen Yogurt shop on your street. Then one day, over 10,000 small Frozen Yogurt shop competitors open shop next to you. What would happen? Would you spend more to market? Would you create flavors nobody else could emulate? How would you keep the business?

This is the dilemma with the studios. And this is also your dilemma as an indie filmmaker.  With all the competition, how will you make your movies profitable?


  1. Sunil says

    Its a great post! adds great perspective to one’s thinking!
    Finally I blame the population explosion teamed with globalization which act in a synergistic effect to screw up the world!
    Because of all this a hobby can’t remain a hobby and a passion is turned into pain- because d world out there expects more. there is stiff competition and nothing sells other than the best. Else u gotta be shrewd swindling people! Suddenly the whole talk is revolving around money making.
    If you work at your ease peacefully trying to be non-commercial and more work oriented-you are kicked out. On the other end you gotta do lot of “out of d profession jobs” like money making, promotion, financial deals, appearance for attraction- and this adds lot of pain to your passion.
    Basically the world in a passive way, is trying to nullify you as an individual. Thus an active intervention is needed like a “swim against the current” attitude to make your survival. The end product might be success but not a sustained happy and peaceful life!!

  2. Christina Poole says

    Great question. I think you really need to view filmmaking as any business. If you are making a product, you have to market and sell it somehow.

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