Created on 5/4/2008
I recently had a fascinating couple of conversations with people in Los Angeles. One works for a huge, leading mobile telephone platform and the other for a giant film distribution company, now part of a conglomerate.
The message from both seems to be that the days when you had people with passion and commitment at the tip of the spear has long gone. Even the days when a movie company was led by ex talent agents, lawyers or accountants had to be preferable to one where marketing gurus from unrelated industries took over. How can a person who markets soap know or care about getting some market space for a film that you might care about. Their only passion is to use franchise movies to grab market share as effectively as possible. It might make short term sense if you don’t consider that the guy or girl making that small but perfectly formed passion project is the same person who might one day make the future blockbuster.
Just a thought, wouldn’t it be great for everyone if they hired someone who knew about creativity to run a studio…
A related industry is telecommunications. The reason that it is related to the creative, production of product is obvious and simple. There is no point having a big pipe with nothing to pour through it. The days when all you needed was the pipe itself, are gone. The ownership of the pipe, formerly a monopoly, or thereabouts, has now become a competitive business, in which you have to provide a service. That service is the package of entertainment you are perceived to provide the consumer via that pipe.
So telecommunications has become part of the entertainment industry and faces a future in which the giant platforms, who purchased their place at high table for many billions of dollars, will not be able to generate enough returns to meet that investment from the use of their phone systems for speaking. Why would someone pay for calls that will be soon available generally, for free, on their mobiles via the internet?
The guy I met from the telecommunications company asked me how I would define his job. I answered, in my most polite fashion, that he was the Chief Executive for a major platform provider. His response was that this was incorrect, as he would define himself as the CEO of an entertainment company that was simply using broadband technology as a means of delivery to an ever increasing, and hungry public.
So entertainment and creativity is where it’s at, and that’s where you come in.