An Era of Mediocrity

I’ve been speaking with several filmmakers over the past few weeks, and they’ve all confirmed what I’ve been reading about in the news:

Hollywood executives are scared.

We’re in a moment where no one wants to finance anything. Between the revenue losses and the restructuring, everyone is trying to figure out how to actually make money for their companies and themselves. That, of course, unless you’re David Zaslav…

But by and large, it’s an environment of fear that’s ruling the decisions of large media companies. And fear is never a solid foundation to make great decisions. Because those decisions in a risky, creative field lead to one thing:


We can all feel it. There’s a general loss of excitement around much of the entertainment that’s coming out. There are a few outliers, but generally, everything is much of the same. With all of the different platforms, we have countless options. But I know I’m not the only one who finds themselves just flipping through multiple offerings and wondering:

Why can’t I find anything good?

We are living in the upside down at this moment in entertainment history. It’s a market of nostalgia, disruption, and existing IP. Which makes us wonder if there’s actually any room for opportunity and inspiration in our art form anymore.

And I have good news – there is.


The same filmmakers who have seen the traditional outlets hide underneath their desks are still out there creating work. But they’ve thought outside the box. They’re going overseas, looking at alternative paths of distribution, and overall still fighting to get their own voices out there.

Something to keep in mind is that the world is no longer a captive audience to studios (i.e., tech companies). They’ve done something oxymoronic in capturing much of the media under one umbrella. But also creating the tech which allows us to divert our attentions elsewhere.

Media companies that were once afterthoughts are now pushing the envelope for diverse representation. There are new platforms sprouting up that want to promote different voices from around the world. And, as some filmmakers I know have done, we now have the ability to connect with international companies with a chance to make something that really stands out.


It is a scary time in the American entertainment industry. But it’s exactly in these times that bold action is required. Many of us got into the industry hoping to become the stewards of a large studio. We believed the myth that we would become part of a large institution that would keep our best interest in mind. That would provide us with a life of luxury while we basked in our own creative energy on a daily basis.

The truth is, especially for the underrepresented filmmaker, we have to work harder than almost everyone else. Every day is a hustle, no matter how far you “make it”. We can’t sit on our hands waiting for the golden rain to come. We have to go out there and create collective opportunities. Not just for us and our friends but for other underrepresented filmmakers trying to get their stories out there.


Artists are inherently a strange bunch. We think out of the box and take crazy risks.

Or at least we’re supposed to…

But the nature of filmmaking and the money involved makes a lot of us act in fear. We can get caught trying not to push the envelope too much or being too out there because we are afraid that we might be missing out on the “big payday.”

The reality is that aiming for safety is what will end up destroying us. Comfort is the real dream killer, and we’re all susceptible to its allure. Remember the little kid who just wanted to tell stories and show everyone they could.

Fortune truly does favor the brave. We just have to re-evaluate what fortune really is. And I’ll give you a hint:

It has little to do with money.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply


    Book a meeting here!