Labor Day Links & Ponders
What is work and does it change when you love it?
I know it would all be a whole lot different if I felt making movies was just a job. Or at least it would feel different. It has never felt like a job job to me. I feel lucky every day just to be here. I love movies and I love the process of making them, even the struggle. But why does it have to be so hard? And why does it seem like the very system that has been constructed for it is also what is responsible for all the negative aspects of it? I know it is hard to get it right. I know it is about things going wrong. But maybe we don’t actually want it to go well. Maybe most enjoy all the petty annoiences and bad behavior, because how else can we explain the preponderance of it?
A silver lining to the Streamers & Studios abuse & disrespect to and for the creative classes, is the public’s improving understanding of producers’ roles (and struggles). I may be seeing things as I hope them to be, but I think the recognition of what a “real” producer does is getting better. We will see if it sticks though – or any compassion actually develops. That said, I think folks generally recognize that the AMPTP do not represents producers (and hopefully they will change their name soon as a result).
And I do think most industry folks have a growing respect for what the “real” producers do. Some credit goes to w/d hyphenate Billy Ray who on his “Deadline Strike Talk” podcast just a “real” producer on for the 3rd time. If you missed the prior one with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn, it is a #MustListen. This week’s with Jennifer Fox is also the reminder everyone needs of the impossible situation the industry has forced producers into, with no fee for the work we do, a consistent demand we split what is there with others who don’t do the work, and a gig that encourages you to invest what you have often back into the picture. And did we mention there’s no back-end participation anymore? Yeah, there’s that too. I, for one, vote to have Billy Ray keep this podcast going long after the current swarth of overlord disregard (I’m tired of calling it a labor issue when the blame is elsewhere) is long gone. He can illuminate the entire constellation of the creative/culture industries I suspect.
I also caught up on one of Billy Ray’s older episodes featuring former Good Machinist (and Film Nation founder) Glen Basner and super-producer Gale Anne Hurd. They are recognizing and speaking clearly that transparency of data is a necessity, that a new non-dependent film ecosystem is required, that the monopolistic consolidation of power needs to be broken up, and that the goals of Wall St & “activist shareholders” are against our goals of rewarding risk, fair and ethical treatment of creators and employees. Glen nails it well in pointing out that NO ONE seems to have a clue as to what an “equitable” solution would be fore everyone; what does that even look like. Who’s got the ideas?
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