I was reflecting at the end of the year. It got me to this three part post. I offer you my apologies in advance for any rambling. Stay tuned for the posts to come tomorrow and Saturday.
I graduated from high school in 1980, the year often associated with when the Hollywood Business fully became the Blockbuster Business. When I graduated I thought I had a revolution to run (even if I wasn't prepared to run it), but I didn't get around to finding the film business for a few more years.
I was fortunate in the timing of my professional & artistic pursuits that I could benefit from the DIY aesthetic, the approach of the first wave of punk rock (circa 1977), and political events like the class antagonism of the Reagan Years, and the fear & consequences of the AIDS epidemic. Add to that the prevailing post-modern, multi-culti, deconstructionist sway of academia, the birth of a new distribution platform (VHS video), and Hollywood's abandonment of the complex and personal. What could have been a more perfect storm for the coming wave of American Indies?
Circumstances gave me and my generation of filmmakers opportunity (even if some paid a high price). Has such an opportunity come again over the next thirty years? Did we miss it?
As fortunate as I have been, I think it does not compare to the opportunity appearing before us now. The transformation away from an entertainment economy based upon control and scarcity to an Age Of Access And Surplus is seemingly too mind-blowing for most -- other than the young -- to even comprehend. In terms of the film business, it all gets to be reinvented right now (other than maybe, the blockbuster side of things).
We will go down wrong paths. Hell, we ARE already going down wrong paths. But so f'n what? We will find our way eventually, and those that get us there are going to get a nice long ride no matter where they sit (not that the twenty year ride I got wasn't a sweet one too!).
But what has happened in between the time that me and my compatriots marched on to the field, and now, as the young rebels swarm across every nook and cranny? Where were the revolutionaries in between over the last decade? What were the transformations? What did I miss -- despite it being presumably right before my eyes?
Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!