Early Signs of a Hollywood Turnaround
The good news: Things are so bad you can't fall from the floor
The year 2023 was about as much fun as a drive from Abbot Kinney to Hollywood Boulevard to make a 7 p.m. premiere.
And 2024 is being greeted like Mike Ovitz turning up at a reunion dinner of CAA partners.
So we know the bad, the monsters hiding under the bed.
But for a moment, let’s look past the pitfalls. Let’s consider, just as a thought experiment: What if we’re not all doomed? What if Hollywood might eke its way through the miseries ahead? And not just eke its way through but actually thrive?
At some point, things seem so hopelessly tied in knots that you start to wonder, maybe things can’t get any worse… which suggests they are about to get better.
People do what works for them until what worked not only stops working but becomes a millstone around your neck threatening to drag you under. And then, and only then, do they try something else. We’re at that place. In the late sixties, the old Hollywood of big grand productions and glitzy stars, after 50 years or so, ceased to connect with the culture, and as the studios spent more and more, and the bigger the epic, the harder they fell. And the more Hollywood alienated themselves from the audiences.
That is, until something more gritty, direct and personal emerged. Then everything changed.
When Hollywood gets desperate enough, this industry of know-it-alls finally shuts up and listens.
Today I sort through the trainwreck and find some green shoots popping up. A lot of things that hadn’t worked, or things that had conspired to send us down the wrong track, are coming to their natural end.
Looking around, amidst the gloom, here and there, you’ll find things that are revealing our first signs of hope in a couple of years…