On May 13th, on my way to a friend’s apartment, we stumbled upon the set of Ben Stiller’s new movie right outside the 125th St. subway exit. They were filming in the middle of the street. What struck me the most was that one of the façades of the building had been completely redone (cast, cement, wood, paint… it looked absolutely real and solid) for the film.

Really? No building façade will do? They had to build a complete new one?

That is exactly what is wrong with the film industry. It’s an industry. Mr. Stiller is a star, and he does not have time to move around. Efficiency over cost. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, it must be done this way, on this day. The contract. The producers. Promotion. Deadlines…

Of course movies end up costing millions of dollars. And they could cost billions if there was such a return.

It’s a formula. An industry. Predictable (or so they like to think and try) returns. Which needs predictable environments. No unions. No imagination. No technology innovations. No criticism. No tendencies. No art. No nothing but block buster after block buster. 

Have you noticed how some “friends” make movie after movie together? Do you think it is because they have “chemistry”?

Then these people meet and splurge and demand that they be “defended” because they “create jobs”. Just like any criminal organization, or political party, or  any other group involved in monetary exchange.

We have to suffer copyright and DRM restrictions on our rights and access to culture so they can create mostly trash and force illegal distribution budling deals. We have to suffer fallacious ads in the subway saying “Film production generates $400 million in tax revenues for NY, with equals to the salary of thousands of firefighters” while they hide the fact that the film industry received $420 million tax “incentives” in New York.

And that is how the industry chokes (itself). Concentrating on money, revenue and return, and demanding “protection”, instead of offering innovation, access and quality.