Death of Hollywood? Or Dawn of a New Hollywood?

“There’s eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown.”
– Steven Spielberg on the film industry, June 2013
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Hollywood filmmakers are waking up and speaking up. Recently we’ve heard passionate speeches from Steven SoderberghSteven SpielbergGeorge Lucas proclaiming the tides of change in Hollywood, their frustration as storytellers and their fear for the future. Gentleman, do not despair. The battles you face seem hopeless, and yet I’m here to tell you that what is transpiring is actually good news for storytellers like yourselves.

Here’s the deal, the media landscape has changed. Audiences have changed. Studios are afraid.

They are digging in their heels to keep status quo on an old system that does not exist anymore and studio execs are reacting by making decisions that affect you and the stories you want to tell. Again, do not despair because what the studios are slow to accept is that the new media system invites audiences to participate and ask for what they want and they are demanding quality, compelling and engaging stories – the stories you want to tell.

We are living in an exciting time for storytellers.

Hollywood is being disrupted. A revolution is taking place and if storytellers of repute like yourselves (Soderbergh, Spielberg and Lucas) risk re-imagining how you tell stories in this new age, let go of the need for studios to drive your storytelling and embrace using new technology and a connected audience, you will lead Hollywood into a new age of storytelling.

This new age demands infinite creativity and the production of quality, compelling, moving stories that celebrate audience and story engagement. This age demands rethinking how story is experienced. This new age demands visionaries who are not insulted or afraid of using new platforms and distribution models. This new age demands storytellers take risks to create a Hollywood that produces story that pulls at our heart-strings, takes us away to unknown realms (internal or external) and challenges the hero in us all. This new age demands storyteller leaders.

Death of Hollywood or Dawn of a New Hollywood?

Recently my site stats indicated someone discovered StoryDisruptive by Googling “death of hollywood”. I was struck by the extremity of this Internet inquiry. Though it was clear to me that I am not alone in feeling the platonic shift that is taking place. Others are feeling it and fearing it. My friends, there is no reason to be afraid Hollywood is not dying … Hollywood is evolving … to something richer and better than it ever was and could be before.

But this will only happen if those of us who care about rebuilding the industry step up and lead the way.

So Mr. Soderberg, “make something good, something ambitious, something beautiful, something memorable”.  It’s time to evoke the emotions, actions and beings of audiences. So create as you so passionately dream to create – tell the stories that “pass along ideas and information, and try and make sense out of all this chaos.”

Believe me, the demand is there. Audiences are waiting, and hungry. The audience and the studios are not on the same side. Studios are dragging their feet in this (r)evolution, still making business decisions based on an era gone by. We the people need the leadership of storytellers like yourselves to be story entrepreneurs willing to re-think storytelling, evolve and revolutionize narrative experiences in the 21st century.

Are you in or are you out?

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