What are they supposed to do?

31Oct11

Over on TheWrap.com, an entertainment industry website, is a special section called the “Hollywood Jobs Crisis.” While the site links much of the problem to the recession, many know better.  Movies that don’t take advantage of the technology professional theatres are able to provide are being made with less frequency.  So, “a reduction in output, of course, translates to a reduction in jobs” (Perren, MMW, p. 159).  An article quotes a LA Times columnist saying, “I think technology is the thing that’s having the huge and disruptive effect. It’s the number one thing impacting all forms of entertainment.”

Compounded with the changeover to digitalization of distribution, the movie industry will see even more jobs lost to greater efficiency.  What will current experts in their field transition to new technologies?  Whose responsibility is it to retrain these experienced workers? It seems to be a self-motivated pursuit.

Film schools are shifting towards curricula that focus on “working in video games or web video.”  Will this shift create a workforce of employees unqualified to make feature length motion pictures?  What sort of living can these people make with online videos?  Susan Christopherson, author of chapter 15 of Managing Media Work, says that these workers have to become entrepreneurs They must be actively and effectively managed, requiring a great deal of self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-management (and some good fortune) on the part of the entrepreneur.”

-Charles Palys

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