Hollywood is dying. And that’s good news for Christians – but not for the reason you might think.
Back in January, before the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Vanity Fair ran an article entitled “Why Hollywood as we know it is already over”, by Nick Bilton. The picture Bilton painted of today’s dying Hollywood was a dire one: a mixture of over-regulated and heavily unionised labour, with a state of affairs not working for anyone in the film industry – except those who benefit from jobs that are often non-jobs.
Take the example given at the opening of the article. A job description with the words “to dust away raindrops” must be a joke, surely? Well, no, it seems that someone on the set gets a paycheck for doing just that. This is one of the many absurdities highlighted by the article in an industry whose practices are wedded to the worst extremes of union practices dating back over 50 years.
We have to remember this is Hollywood. Most of the film-making around the world (and, indeed, around the United States) operates on diametrically opposed lines. Independent film-makers tend to do everything on the cheap – they have to. There is no one brushing raindrops away and getting paid for it, unless they are also the costumier, the make-up artist and, possibly, the assistant director as well.
Nevertheless, Hollywood is a world apart. And this is the case not just in regard to other film-makers but also to anyone outside the liberal bubble that floats over the Hollywood Hills. With the odd exception, faith-based or more conservative views have been all but taboo in Hollywood for the last 60 years or so. Therefore, the fact that the current Hollywood establishment is losing its grip on film-making should be an occasion for those whose values are different to take heart, and to take stock.
It is not just movie-making that is changing. Netflix and other such platforms have altered the rules of the entertainment game. Today people watch films on computer screens just as readily as at cinemas. Purists complain that the computer screen is no place to watch a film. When you next hear that lament, take a look at the age of the person making it. The new generations – basically anyone under 40 – do not care where they consume their entertainment: computer, tablet, phone or in 3D wraparound virtual reality.
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