Bad Timing?Complications Ensue
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do you think that at the moment it's a bad moment to go to the States (I'm going to LA) because of the economic crisis? Or, as you once said, the show must go on and now rather it's a very good moment for film industry?
A lot of people are losing jobs all over the US, and that's bound to dry up entry-level jobs in every sector. Ad revenue in the TV industry is down, so there's less money floating around. Credit is tight, which makes gap financing harder, which is going to reduce the number of independent movies made; it may also hurt the studios.

In the long run, once credit loosens up, I think people will have an appetite for entertainment. If you're not dining out, movies are a cheap substitute. If you're not going to the movies, pay cable is a cheaper substitute.

But if you're trying to pick your timing, right now might not be the best time. Renting an apartment in LA might be a bit cheaper, but I doubt that offsets the bad economy.

What's everyone else's experience? Is the bad economy hitting showbiz?



Someone on CBC Radio last week was saying that box office sales were near record levels towards the end of 2008 (at least in Canada). Supposedly, people go to the movies more when there's a recession. If that's true, you'd think the folks in H'wood would realize it's a good time to make movies.

There's only one problem; the recession might be over by the time the movies they're thinking about now actually hit the screens. So maybe, from the H'wood perspective, a recession is a time to sit back and let the money roll in without actually turning around and spending it. (Damn studios!) ;-)

By Blogger Blork, at 11:33 AM  

Don't worry. The recession won't be over any time soon!

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 11:49 AM  

The SAG debacle is probably hurting the industry much more than the economy.

In addition to seeing a report that 75% of Hollywood professionals are unemployed right now, anecdotally, everyone I talk to agrees that the de facto actor strike is hurting them. People who work all the time only work frequently, and people who work sporadically are barely working at all.

By Blogger glassblowerscat, at 11:58 AM  

It's my thinking that while the recession is on, people may or may not be able to go to the cinema. The thing is that people will be complaning about the low interest rates in banks. So why not give people a place to invest that money so they can actually MAKE something. Investing in a movie can make you a hell of a lot more cash than putting it in a low interest account.

By Blogger Neil, at 12:30 PM  

Considering how few movies actually make a profit, investing in movies probably isn't the safest thing in the world.

And 2009 has been a fantastic year at the box office. Possibly the best start ever. Amazing considering the treacle that's come out. I've seen a number of movies, but mostly just catching up on limited releases I missed from 2008.

There has been a common belief that, as in the Great Depression, people will want to escape to movies as a low cost diversion. While I agree in part, the problem is that during the depression, going to movies WAS a low cost form of entertainment. Nowadays, it's an expensive outing.

And I agree with Alex, this recession still has a long way to go before it's over.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:31 PM  

If the thing is to make a film on an extremely low budget there is, of course, a higher chance of profit (assuming it's good).

Agree with the opinion that people WON'T be going to the cinema. It's insanely expensive now. People will most likely (IMO) stay at home and watch TV. Does this mean that while TV will have a lower budget than before, there will be more opportunities for TV writers?

By Blogger Neil, at 1:43 PM  

It's actually a really good time to be in the film business, because the box offices tends to explode during depressions/recessions. I have heard stories of people going to theaters on Sundays and barely being able to walk because it was so crowded. ON A SUNDAY! Nobody goes to the movies on a Sunday! Movies tend to be a, relatively speaking, inexpensive outing. Sure, snacks cost an arm and a leg, but that's why people have learned to sneak food in. While it might be expensive to make movies, those films will still be making a decent buck to offset cost. Really, I hope the recession is still around once I make the hike out to LA. Could make it possible for me to sell something a little bit quicker, because all the studios will be looking for more material is this boom continues.

By Blogger Nicholas, at 7:38 PM  

Nicholas, when it costs a couple $24, not including parking, food or a babysitter, if necessary, to see a movie, I wouldn't say that is a cheap form of entertainment. And most people actually don't sneak food in. Most people buy their food there, so add another $10-$20.

I think that movies offer an escape for moviegoers, but to say it's an inexpensive outing is false. During earlier recessions/depressions, going to movies WAS an inexpensive outing. It's not today. It's cheaper than going to a play or sporting event, but most people don't go to those. I wouldn't say $40-$50 is an inexpensive outing.

By Blogger Tim W., at 11:54 PM  

I know tons of people in Hollywood, with industry experience, who've been laid off and are looking for work. I would assume that any open entry-level jobs would be going to them instead of newcomers. It's a really scary thing to be unemployed right now in LA, and I wouldn't recommend moving here until this passes.

By Blogger Wool in Sunshine, at 1:57 PM  

I know tons of people in Hollywood, with industry experience, who've been laid off and are looking for work. I would assume that any open entry-level jobs would be going to them instead of newcomers. It's a really scary thing to be unemployed right now in LA, and I wouldn't recommend moving here until this passes.

By Blogger Wool in Sunshine, at 1:57 PM  

Yes, it's absolutely hitting Hollywood. But if that scares you off, I'm not sure this business is for you.

Just save money before you get here.

By Blogger Amanda, at 2:40 AM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger sex, at 3:19 PM  

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