Off Topic: Apocalypse Now! The End of Hollywood?

Jul 23, 2013

Credit The Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection

Of all the industries imperiled by the new economics of the Internet age, Hollywood has seemed among the most resilient. While newspapers crumble and musicians resort to dubious gimmicks to make money off of their music, movie studios have continued to break box office records in much the same way they always did. The reason seems obvious: the health of Hollywood has historically been a question of ticket sales, and as long as people can't easily recreate the spectacular experience of seeing a movie in theaters, then tickets will keep selling.

However, some industry insiders have their doubts about the sustainability of the Hollywood model. As this summer's dismal blockbuster season has shown us, the big budget films that once bankrolled Hollywood studios may no longer be the cash cows they used to be, meaning it may be time for a new strategy. At this moment of transition, we thought we'd look at the where the film industry is headed, where it's been, and ask what exactly it is that keeps us going to the movies.

In this episode...

Dr. Kim Walker, film professor at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, speaks about the history of Hollywood and the different economic models that the film industry has employed over the course of the last century.

Scott Teems, writer and director of That Evening Sun, discusses balancing his passion for making smart, independent films with his need to make a living in Hollywood, and how writer/director John Sayles offers a template for younger filmmakers, like Teems, looking to strike that balance.

Jim Turner, founder and president of the Independent Film Society of Colorado and their annual film festival, The Indie Spirit Film Fest, talks about the social aspects of film and the importance of providing filmmakers with a venue to share their work.

Adam Mansbach, author of the bestselling adult-oriented children's book, Go The F**k To Sleep, and someone who's literary success has movie producers taking note, shares the secrets of pitching stories in Hollywood.

Dr. Ryan Platt, assistant professor of performance studies at Colorado College, discusses the historically reciprocal relationship between "mainstream" movies and the cinematic avant-garde.