Any Fading Empire: The Mutation of the Film Industry

In The Master Switch, author Tim Wu posits that all information industries are subject to a “cycle” beginning with a disruptive innovation, followed by an open industry, the closing of the industry, and ultimately demolition at the hands of a new disruptive innovation. Included in this assessment is the Hollywood film industry, which Wu argues was […]

“This is a stickup! Give us all your inspiration!”

“Good artists copy; great artists steal,” goes the maxim of Pablo Picasso. Many would see an irony in these words, given the cubist master’s reputation for generating a wholly unique style. But Picasso might find more common ground with Austin Kleon, a writer and artist who argues (in “How to Steal Like an Artist (And […]

That’s Just Who I Am This Week: The Protean Career and Creative Economy

The notion of a “protean career orientation”, first posited by Douglas Hall and expounded upon by Ruth Bridgstock in “Skills for creative industries graduate success,” refers to the concept that a creative person engages in a boundaryless, self-motivated career climb – what Hall called “path with heart.” A protean careerist moves according to self-generated measures […]

Join the Club: Guild Membership (and Its Perils)

Robert Rodriguez (And Frank Miller) The first film I can ever remember having a great desire to see theatrically was Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids. Rodriguez was a filmmaker I continued to follow as I matured; From Dusk til Dawn made a major impression on me, as did his book Rebel Without a Crew, detailing how he made El Mariachi on […]

“You’ve Got to Censor Television, You Fools!”: Why the FCC Regulates Content on Radio and Broadcast TV

One of the things that first struck me when reading Jennifer Holt’s Empires of Entertainment was the key decision the federal government made about cable television in regards to regulation: to regulate it in the same manner as the print and film industries, rather than in the manner of broadcast television and radio. It’s an easy […]

Time Isn’t Money: Does Runtime Affect a Film’s Box Office?

Across the web, pieces about the supposedly ballooning length of films crop up every time the runtime of the next Hollywood picture is confirmed. Whether this is factual is contentious, as well as why. If films are getting longer, it would imply that Hollywood sees a correlation between the length of films and their box office […]

The Making of “How Did This Get Made?”

I am not a regular podcast listener. I find it somewhat awkward to listen to disembodied voices simply talking, even if I’m a fan of whoever those voices happen to be coming from. The length of podcasts tends to be a barrier for me;  it’s hard for my attention to be kept by something without […]