By Ray Pride

Drew McWeeny

“The job of writing about film and entertainment on a daily basis [is like] walking on a treadmill. You’re in constant motion, but you never seem to get anywhere or accomplish anything substantial. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve wanted to do over the years, only to have the demand of the daily grind gradually beat all of the ambition out of me. You get to a point where you’re just trying to keep up with the always-hungry maw, and you never really have a chance to step back and look at what you’re doing. The last few months, I’ve had a chance to really look around at the state of movie journalism and, honestly, I’m not sure where I fit in it at this point. There are so many good writers out there right now, and it feels like they’re all being asked to run a marathon with one leg tied behind their back. In a world of clickbait, what good is it to be a real writer? I don’t care about writing breathless stories every time a new trailer is released, and I don’t care who just got cast in a film that won’t be out for three years. There is such an ugly competitive thing in our business, and yet the stakes are so low and the actual things people are fighting over are often ridiculous.

So can I do this in a different way?

Can I do this in my own way?
~ Drew McWeeny Muses, December 2016 pdf

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch