Monday Prescriptions – Dealing with film industry changes

Film Folk!

This week’s topic is CHANGE. Well more importantly how you view change and how it is incorporated into your success.

Upcoming writers, directors and producers stress and worry about their future. The horizon changes constantly (VOD/recessions/council closures) and they are uncertain whether there is ‘room’ for them, often told ‘it’s tough’ and ‘hard’ by the big guys above them.

Succeeding is always seen as ‘a mountain to climb’ or a ‘nut to crack,’ or even an impossibility.

Now, here at Film Doctor we would like to suggest that ‘change is in the eye of the beholder’. Whether ‘success’ means becoming the next Aaron Sorkin/James Cameron/Bob and Harvey Weinstein or just making a couple of films for local distribution, it is often in the way you VIEW life, VIEW change and VIEW the industry that determines how far you will get.

1. Consider this article from British trade magazine Film Weekly (1938):


Film Weekly

The article continues and goes on to mention that foreign film should be exhibited and watched widely. WOW. For the period it makes sense, but in these days it just reads as ridiculous. There aren’t foreign films showing on every screen of every multiplex but almost every decent sized town has either an arthouse cinema or a multiplex that exhibits foreign work. It seems absurd now, but this was clearly a crazy and novel thought in the early days of the film industry.


2. Consider “Batman – The Dark Knight Rises” producer Michael Uslan‘s quest.

Basically, every studio turned down making Batman (you can read his journey here).

NO BATMAN!? Michael Uslan totally revolutionised the superhero movie and now we are constantly inundated with Marvel and DC movies every year!

They said no, no, no and then CHANGED their minds.

So without change = no foreign movies, no Batman V. Superman, Captain America, Spiderman, Batman, Thor etc…and no cinema?

3. TV was supposed to eliminate the silver screen

Didn’t quite happen did it? It just changed the game. Cinema had to become a competitive experience (with Television), just as theatre had before it. See The Artist for inner changes like Silent to Talkies.

So in the years before us (and during) we have had all sorts of scares. The death knell ringing for cinema and its participants before it was even born. We now have the same worries every time a British Film Policy Review comes in, closure of the UK Film Council, SOPA, 3D, VOD etc etc etc.


No matter how deep or surface level the CHANGES are, we still have our CONSTANTS.

People need entertaining > People create films > People pay to watch films.

Everything changes AND stays the same. It is THAT simple.  Every time new legislation or new mediums or media or ‘rules’ have come into play,  just acknowledge them and be a part of it. How big a part is up to you.


Whatever has changed, keep yourself up to date with the past, present and future of film and plough on. Change is often seen as the end, but really (and yes we’re going to go with a Hollywood happy ending to this post) it is a new beginning.


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Any questions/thoughts/experiences of your own??? Leave a comment below!
Have a great week!
The Film Doctor Team
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