Exit Interviews: Part 4, The Top Producer
'The movie business is just such a disaster at the moment, it blows my mind'
The Exit Interviews is a series of anonymous conversations with industry veterans on the year that was (see The Writer, The Agent and The Marketing/PR Exec). These posts are for paid subscribers only.
In annual Ankler tradition, I ask a handful of the wisest people I know in the business their unvarnished opinions — under the cover of anonymity — about what went down in 2022, and what lies ahead. Today, I talk to an Oscar-nominated veteran as box office crumbles, audience disappears and economic models for producers become less lucrative: our producer gets candid about who their MVP of 2022 was, their feelings about the town’s executives, what happened to stars thanks to streaming, and whether a new life under tech is all bad.
2022: turning point or one more step down the road to the abyss?
I mean, it was a disaster.
Do the people that you work with at studios see this as a problem? Or are they hostages to Wall Street?
People see the problems. I think that executives, for the most part, are truly depressed. Nobody knows what their bosses want. And if we're talking about movies, no one has any idea what's going to be made in the future short of the tentpole superhero or IP movies. I miss the days of getting excited about Goodfellas — just movies that are meant to entertain but also provoke you and take you down some path. The kind of movies that are getting made are either just really boring, teeny budget, watching paint dry [stuff], or gigantic extravaganzas. I really liked Avatar. I understand that's a worthy undertaking for sure. Although they're going to start talking about how that's not even going to work financially. So the whole thing's a big question mark.
If you were 20 years old now and you were showing up to make movies in Hollywood, fuck, I mean, I guess part of it would just be, go figure out how to have a relationship with Dwayne Johnson or Ryan Reynolds or Chris Hemsworth. They're just manna from heaven for streamers.
What was so bad about the year?