How “Less is More” will beat “Bigger is Better”

15 years ago if you had a band, to be recorded meant that you had to buy time at a million dollar studio. 10 Years ago if you wanted to make a feature film, you needed millions.

Today any band can do a good job with a mac and Garage Band and you can shoot and edit a feature film on $10,000 of kit.

This transformation will apply to all sectors of the economy – we will not need the Big Studio, Big Factory or large amounts of capital and so need huge sales.

Less is more will beat Bigger is Better. Here Richard Gayle offers more information in support.

Two years ago, Joss Whedon produced Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog for about $200,000 and made over twice that back. It could be more today.

And as shown in this example, it is a nice business model. And it is a business model totally disruptive to the sorts of business models used by Hollywood, whose bloated budgets support an ecosystem which permits them to use arcane accounting schemes resulting in movies that never make a ‘profit.’

The same technologies that can produce this disruptive system also happen to be pretty much the same ones that are also used by the ‘pirate’ they claim to hunt. It is very possible that the regulations they get in place to save their own business model will also be used to prevent market entry to the very same disruptors that threaten them.

A win-win for them and a huge loss for us. And for the creative talent that creates the material for the studios to begin with.

This is how money corrupts so much of our system.The only way to stop this is to make it a crime to do what Whedon and Burns are doing. And a first step along this path is to hamper the use of digital technologies and restrict the innovations they drive from bearing fruit.

Industrial Age approaches created business models that need billion dollar movies in order to sustain them. Or billion dollar drugs. Or 10 million albums sold. Or a million books sold.

Information Age approaches create business models needing 1000-fold lower revenues to sustain them. Instead of fighting this disruption, a healthy system would be working with them, co-pting their disruption to further their own business lives.

Not likely to happen as we watch Kodak – who collaborating with Apple sold one of the first personal digital cameras – file for bankruptcy, completely missing the digital revolution it was actually first poised to take advantage of.

Now the studios stand at the same spot Kodak did 15 years ago. WIll they make the same mistake?

But as with all disruptive technologies, the studios can just not see how making a movie for $100,000 and getting back say $300,000 is sustainable. I expect there are huge numbers of creative talent who would disagree.

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One response to “How “Less is More” will beat “Bigger is Better”

  1. I think you are spot on. You no longer have to be big to succeed.