We Need to Save Hollywood

Last week was the Oscars. It was a celebration of all things Hollywood and how the movie business is still alive and kicking. But despite the big show and a lot of really great films winning big awards, there’s trouble brewing in the industry. Cord Jefferson summed it up in his Oscar speech:

We need to return to lower budget features.

Filmmakers have always looked up to Hollywood. We’ve assumed that the people in charge of this giant industry know what’s best. But right now, Hollywood is in real trouble. And there’s only one person who can save it:



The companies in charge of major studios are in a bit of a bind. They racked up lots of debt when money was cheap chasing after large IP (i.e., superhero movies), streaming services, remakes, and sequels. These films have insanely large budgets that are now the current floor for a studio-financed production.

But now that getting money is expensive, the strategy appears to be still making movies at the same budget level. But with a new twist:

Less of them.

This is the equivalent of that friend who’s in lots of debt, and their solution is to try to get lucky in Vegas or put all of their savings in crypto. It might work out. But the odds are, you’re going to end up broke and having to sell your house. Are you listening, Paramount?


This situation has gotten so bad that theaters are starting to run out of new films. So now, they’re having to reach out to companies to show their old films just to fill up the screens and keep the lights on. If this continues, movie theaters are going to have to try some new methods. And while it’s trouble for the big studios,

This could be a benefit for the independent filmmaker.


Studios have a lot of personnel, and it takes a long time to make a decision inside a large company. Couple that with the general appetite to not take risks, and we’re looking at a very slow process to get new movies approved and finalized.

As independents, we don’t have that problem. We’re used to working quickly and cheaply. We, like Blumhouse, can pump out a steady supply of new films. Matter of fact, we probably already have a bunch lying around or have friends that do.

We could get a bunch of our films together and become the suppliers of all this missing inventory. Which can help influence what this industry needs:


If all the studio-financed movies stay at the current budget level, the same studios will not want to take a risk on someone new. They’ll simply cycle through directors who’ve already done it, who tend to be white, male, and (most importantly) older. If you’ve been working as a director in Hollywood for decades, there’s not a lot of fresh takes and perspectives coming. As an audience, the novelty starts to wear thin.

But if we independents can start becoming the suppliers, I guarantee the bigger companies will do what they do best:

Copy the exact same strategy.

Which will be a win for both sides. More people will get the chance to prove their talent, and studios can start making some money. And it’s minimal risk for both sides.

For the past decade plus, we’ve been watching movies about superheroes coming in to save the world. The truth is, we’re going to have to be the ones who do the saving.

I just hope it’s not too late.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply


    Book a meeting here!