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Is it Time to Give Up on Hollywood?

Do we need Hollywood? Tinseltown is starting to look like a dusty (and evil) establishment that we can ignore. In fact, I think we'd be better off for it.

It seems impossible to imagine movies and TV shows without the bigshot producers and their bigshot wallets, but... do we really need them? Do we even want them?

We already know Hollywood is a pit of corruption so stinky it makes politicians look good, and everyone's always whining about how every movie and TV show feels exactly the same. Honestly, Hollywood isn't impressing anyone these days.

Mind you, I watch every Marvel movie and love Disney shows. A big-budget popcorn flick is often what the doctor ordered, but I also love (and miss) the smaller stories and more creative ways to use a camera.

Have you seen Theater Camp? It's hysterical, heartwarming, possibly the best movie I'll see all year, and it's certainly not a big budget feature. An indie studio could fund several movies like that one each year, and — voila — just like that, theaters would be filled with passion projects and fresh ideas. Sure, Hollywood movies are filled with bright, flashing lights and big, loud noises, but I'm ready for stories with genuine heart and soul.

To some degree, this transfer may already be happening. Independent studios and short film makers who quickly agreed to the union terms are currently working on their upcoming releases while the Hollywood's famous movie lots are collecting dust (and rent payments). Hollywood is already unnecessary.

And entertainers have started to move on. Consider actor/director Keegan Connor Tracy, who said on Instagram she was looking into alternate career paths because this strike has taken away her job. (And for many, it has taken away their desire to work for such a toxic industry. Along with their homes. Countless industry professionals have already lost everything but the clothes on their backs.) This is a shame, because Keegan's work behind the camera is fantastic. She's exactly the sort of creative who ought to be making the next wave of movies, and it's frustrating to imagine how many great stories we're not being told because Hollywood's leadership is inhuman.

The strike makes things look dark, but this might be a golden opportunity to take back the entertainment industry. Maybe it's time for new ideas and new studios, new industry leaders who will quickly agree to the strike's reasonable terms and let actors and writers get their work onto the big screen without going through the Weinsteins of the world. (Shudder.)

A transformation like this can't happen overnight, and perhaps I'm not being realistic, but I can't stop thinking about what the future might hold if we stopped waiting on Hollywood to throw us a bone and started building something new, something we can be proud of.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also something of a filmmaker himself, having once directed this absolute masterpiece.


  1. I don't watch many modern movies myself, but seeing what is going on and reading this sounds like a mirror of the video game industry; where plucky indie devs make some of the best and most original stuff while the 'AAA' companies churn out soulless monstrosities where the main goal is strip of us of as much money as possible for the least amount of effort and creativity.

    Compare the mess that are AAA games like Redfall, whatever Madden or FIFA game EA has churned out this year, the latest NBA travesty of game, or the next rehash of CoD to indie and AA gems like BG3, King of the Hat, Core Keeper, and Rounds, and you'll see what I mean!

  2. Slayers: A Buffyverse Story, by Christopher Golden and Amber Benson.

    I’m not sure what article this comment belongs under. It’s Audible, not Hollywood, though it’s full of Hollywood stars voicing their roles. That alone makes it listenable for me. My usual dislike about audio books, not knowing who’s talking, is nixed by knowing those voices so well.

    I’ve only just begun the story. So far it’s fun and frightening, captivating and convoluted, delightful and disappointing. I have issues - with missing characters and ignored canon, but I’m in it to the end. Anybody else gonna listen? Definitely a Hollywood alternative.

    1. Måge, Slayers has indeed been a hot topic in our writers room. We're figuring out how we want to cover it, but we'll cover it somehow.


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