Hollywood is in crisis. We all hear about it. We all see it. We all know it. The industry has undergone a huge transformation over the last years with the birth and growth of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. By making it very easy to access their content from almost any conceivable device and very competitive prices, they are not only changing the way we consume entertainment (Who doesn’t like binge-watching an entire season on Netflix?) but also changing the industry all together by literally taking over it, stepping into territory that had been dominated for decades by the traditional Hollywood studios; fear is afoot.
Crisis, however, is not necessarily bad; With huge amounts of money being invested in content development every year (Netflix invested an estimated amount of 8 billion dollars in development in 2017 alone) these companies have been able to create wildly successful shows that have left audiences asking for more all over the world. Some of these companies have even gone as far as setting up a lot of productions outside the U.S. for other markets such as South America. For instance, Netflix recently announced its intention to produce 10 different original content shows in Argentina for their 2018 lineup among others.
To get a different understanding of the repercussions of such developments we recently spoke to Argentinean Actor Federico Cibils who has lived in the U.S. for many years now but who spent a big part of his life there.
‘What a time to be alive for actors everywhere’, he says. ‘This is a topic of enormous complexity as the changes that we see in the way we consume entertainment and the kind of content that we consume are a mere reflection of much more profound social and cultural changes worldwide’, he explains. It is inevitable in an era of instant and massive communication that we mutate every year to a more homogeneous global culture, conserving a unique set of traditions, but with common values, goals, and ways of life. As times goes by an increasing amount of people identify with the characters and the themes of the shows and thus the global audience grows.
As I actor I feel this presents an enormous opportunity for everyone in the entertainment industry as the ever-growing number of productions by these streaming services create opportunities all over the United States and abroad as well.
For U.S. based actors, the rules of the game are changing a lot as new hubs of production develop quickly outside of California but also because of the decision of these companies to incorporate more “new and unknown” talent than ever before. Today your career can take a drastic change for the better if you land a part in a production of these new powerhouses for your potential audience is the entire world. Actors outside of the United States stand to benefit as well as big productions are being set up in countries all over the world. I’m not saying these countries such as my own don’t have a rich cinematographic history; they do. But the quality and amount of productions are bound to rise as these productions have more resources, better access to new technologies and a much bigger audience.
And here is exactly where I think the big opportunity for Hollywood is. More so than any other place in the world, Hollywood possesses cutting edge technical knowledge and creative vision. It probably has the highest concentration of directors, writers, producers and other industry related professionals in the world. The Mecca of filmmaking. In this capacity, Hollywood could take its rightful place as mentor and model for the rest of the world exporting all of these services and knowledge that it has if it can refrain from fighting to keep the productions here. It could even manage to move part of those productions to its territory if, Hollywood as a whole, took a more active interest in developing these new markets and had a more open and friendly approach to outsiders since it already has some of the best infrastructures for it.
Recently Federico completed the film “Time Speech” in the role of Adam alongside co-star and Emmy winner Nick Moss; This upcoming film was local development by Brazil-based production company Cinemakers. This is just one of a few examples of what I’m talking about; there is plenty of interest of producing content for other markets here in California in the realms of Hollywood, but there are many others that just have not been able to make it happen over bureaucratic reasons or costs
Hollywood is still “The” place to be for filmmaking, but it doesn’t adapt, the question is for how long?