Recently, Spielberg and Lucas predicted the end of the film industry as we know it. “There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown,” Spielberg said. “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm.” Lucas added, “[The Studios] are going for the gold. But that isn’t going to work forever. And as a result they’re getting narrower and narrower in their focus. They’re not going to know how to do anything else.” (You can read more of what they said in Daily Variety.)
And you know, they are probably right. But is that a bad thing I ask? Let’s look at some film history…
Few people alive today remember the Golden Age of Hollywood – a time even before Spielberg and Lucas. Yes, there was such a time. Genuine studio bosses like Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn wielded absolute power over the movies and their stars. But eventually in the 1960s the studio system imploded. The movies were over – people said.
But in reality, the end of the old studio system left a vacuum to be filled. That gave birth to the exact conditions that allowed Spielberg, Lucas and Coppola (the father not the daughter), and others to make their classic landmark films. Films that probably would not have been possible under the old studio system.
So if the current studios do implode (again), and I agree that is a matter of when, not if, some new great cinema will be born out of the rubble – just like what happened in the 1970s.
And actually it has happened many times over the world-wide life of film.
Please share your thoughts and comments!