Why the film industry is how it is

Why the film industry is how it is

For my friends who don't work in film, some information about the toxic power structure in the Hollywood.

For my friends in the industry, what can we do about this?

Some things to know about Hollywood:

1. It's hard to make it.

A lot of people want to be in film. It's hard to make a living wage. It's exponentially harder to be really successful. The number of successful directors and producers out there is probably in the hundreds or low thousands. Compare that to the thousands who graduate from film school each year.

That steep funnel means that you have lots of desperate people and a few powerful people

2. It's hard to make a film.

Most films bomb. You have to make a film cheaply (exploit people), hustle it, and pick the right films. If you're someone who can pick the right films and work the magic, you are worth a lot. Those people are irreplaceable and untouchable. Everyone else is highly replaceable.

3. So the power imbalance is high.

4. You have to be insane to work in film.

From 12-hour shoot days to terrible pay to a toxic culture, the industry selects for people who put dreams and emotions and relationships over rationality.

(5) So film is highly nepotistic.

Powerful people have the ability to make careers. Nobody wants to work with unreliable/dramatic people, so it's easy to destroy reputations. There is almost a superstitious reverence for successful people.

Put all this together, and you have an environment where those who have climbed to the top are revered as gods and catered to, and everyone else is stepping on each others' toes. It's better in the indie world, but not by much.

At its core, the fundamentals of power in the industry come from the reality that there aren't many jobs and many people want them. People want to make movies and are willing to struggle to do so, which says to me that we won't see much of this change any time soon. (the power dynamic, not the sexual abuse)