Who is this “Hollywood?”

hollywood_corporate_overlords_illoFrequently, I see posts on Facebook or Twitter from disgruntled moviegoers that sound something like this:

“Well Hollywood, that was terrible.”

“Hollywood really dropped the ball.”

“Why can’t Hollywood make more movies like _____?”

“Get your act together, Hollywood.”

People are talking to “Hollywood” like it’s some singular, giant thing that cranks out movies. I imagine these irritated folks standing in front of the “Hollywood” sign, shouting at the mountain, and the mountain shugs and says, “SORRRRRRRY! I’LL TRY BETTERRRRR NEXT TIIIIIME!”

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 4.30.25 PMI need to clear something up: “Hollywood” is a location in Los Angeles. It is a boulevard. It is also a nickname for the entire entertainment industry. But it’s a nickname — a very broad, abstract idea for what the industry really is.

In real life, the content we all watch is made by people — thousands of people. Many of these people collect in buildings in Los Angeles, but also all over the United States and the world. Many, many of these people have never met each other, or shared ideas, or have the same agendas. Not all of these people are motivated by money. Not all of these people make blockbusters, or are white men, or are out to remake your favorite childhood property. Bottom line, “Hollywood” is not some mulit-headed, hive-mind collective with one purpose. Most of the time, a lot of us don’t even know what the rest of us are working on.

HOLLYWOOD is just people: Many are creative people who care a lot about what they’re making. Some are executive people who care too. Then yes, there are the cynical a-holes who don’t care and just want your money. But most of the people I’ve met in the business are genuinely trying to make something good. Even when they’re misguided. Even when they are not good at their jobs. They’re honestly trying.

So if anyone falls short, it’s not like they planned it. They’re probably sorry and trying to figure out what went wrong, just like you.

It’s not an excuse for poor execution, but instead of rolling your eyes at “Hollywood,” get more focused. Seek out the creators and individuals that you like or dislike and start to reward or punish those people with your choices and dollars. Don’t fault the entire industry for “Dark Phoenix” or “Ugly Dolls” or what CGI “Sonic” looks like. Movies are made under crazy circumstances and pressures and everyone is working with a different set of tools. Every film is a different obstacle course.

Reset your expectations for “Hollywood.” Because it’s not really the mountain monster you think it is.


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