Term Paper: Economics of Hollywood Popular Music

Pages: 3 (1152 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

Hollywood, Pop Music and Weightlessness

Economics of Hollywood

When we think of Hollywood as a concept, as opposed to an actual place, it's one that we tend to associate with glamorous red carpet premiers, film starlets and, most importantly, giant box office blockbusters. From the Roman epics of Hollywood's Golden Age to the disaster pics of the previous generation to today's special effects extravaganzas, much press coverage, media attention and studio money is invested into the success of a few enormous releases every year.

In spite of our tendency to associate Hollywood directly with these practices, there is evidence that this is the exact approach that is destroying the artistic and economic capacity of our movie industry. According to Tony Kahn, narrator of "The Monster That Ate Hollywood

, the focus on investing prodigious sums of money in large-scale vehicles such as the Marvel superhero movies that currently dominate the theatre landscape has made it exceptionally difficult for films of more modest box office ambitions to gain access to studio money.

In addition to changes in the structure of the industry, there have been great changes to the technical way that films are made. Epstein (2005) describes the impact that technological advancement and computer animation have had on the industry, indicating that "the digital magic which allows the New Hollywood to achieve this potential may have somewhat less salutary consequences for the community that has in the past so powerfully defined Hollywood." (p. 349) This denotes that special effects and digital animation are not just subsuming content but also the role of the performer.

The result is a context in which fewer projects are made on an annual basis and, worse yet, a context where those which are routinely denied access are the more creative, unique and original scripts in circulation. The work by Kahn makes the argument that, in this context, it is extremely difficult for independent films of value to gain any kind of traction. Kahn asserts that this has, consequently, reduced the output of Hollywood to mere spectacle. Today, the institution know as Hollywood has largely been consolidated into just a few major studios, themselves all subsidiaries of larger media conglomerates with a single-minded interest in profitability and little connection to the art of cinema.

2. Popular music

Sadly, the patterns impacting the film industry are deeply intertwined with those impacting the world of popular music. Just as in Hollywood, the music industry has been largely consolidated into just a few major players. Also as in Hollywood, record labels have been devastated by economic downturn, both in a general sense and more specifically within their respective fields. Thurston Moore's insightful documentary, Money for Nothing, would reveal the beginning stages of what would become an outright collapse of the one mighty music industry.

The 2001 documentary foretells this downfall by warning of the consequences of creating a marketplace that discouraged creativity, embraced formula and trended toward a broad base of mediocrity. As the documentary indicates, the priorities of record labels shifted considerably as they became subsumed by larger media companies. A great example is Warner Brothers, which was known as a creative and progressive label for decades as the support of acts like the Grateful Dead and Tom Petty. With the internal disputes and the AOL Time Warner merger, the label's identity changed significantly. Its reputation for embracing the creative freedom of its artists, for gambling on progressive musical acts and for out-letting a… [END OF PREVIEW]

Hollywood Truly Global? Essay


Technological History of Jazz in Film Thesis


Development of World Music in Light of Commercial Practices Introduced by Globalization Term Paper


Fight the Power by Public Enemy Term Paper


Hard Rock Cafe a Different Experience Thesis


View 59 other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Economics of Hollywood Popular Music.  (2013, May 22).  Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/economics-hollywood-popular-music/6222552

MLA Format

"Economics of Hollywood Popular Music."  22 May 2013.  Web.  18 October 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/economics-hollywood-popular-music/6222552>.

Chicago Format

"Economics of Hollywood Popular Music."  Essaytown.com.  May 22, 2013.  Accessed October 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/economics-hollywood-popular-music/6222552.