Monday, 17 November 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #191: When Is It Time To Go?

The history of Hollywood is littered with the shattered, tattered remains of studio bosses who tried to hold onto power long after their careers had jumped the shark, and instead of retiring with dignity, ended up forced out, their achievements buried under a wave of sour grapes and ignominy. Very few of the original studio moguls retired of their own accord, usually forced out by shareholders with ammunition laid out by the moguls themselves.

The main reason for this is because Hollywood is held in esteem far beyond it's actual importance. Don't believe me? Think back to the wall-to-wall coverage and 'in depth' investigation given to the death of washed up pin-up and Z-List actress Anna Nicole Smith, and compare it, in both quantity and quality, to the media's investigative coverage of the backgrounds of the recent presidential candidates. Celebrities are given way more attention than their accomplishments deserves, with the relatively new phenomenon of people who are simply famous because they're famous.

Glamour is like a drug, just look at the constant fame-whoring of past-their-sellout-by-date performers like Madonna, people who are famous for no good reason like that Kardashian woman, and countless other celebutards who regularly, and publicly, debase themselves for their next fix of fame.

Being the boss of famous people is also like a drug. It intoxicates, clouds the mind, and makes people think of themselves in terms far beyond what their reality can deliver. It also takes the boss' mind of what their main task is, which is to make movies that make money for their shareholders and investors, and put them on paths where no movie mogul should tread.

One path has them producing, or distributing films that aren't intended to earn money, but instead earn pats on the back from their social set for their "courage" in spending other people's money without fear of any reprisal other than the apathy of moviegoers.

The other path is where they completely disdain not only the opinions of the general audience, but of their colleagues as well. They start meddling in everything, insisting that their every brain fart is sheer genius of Einsteinian proportions. There's no room for compromise, cooperation, or even common sense, it's the whims of the mogul, or the highway, with nothing in between.

Either way is not healthy for the company, as money starts to dry up, and shareholders and investors start collecting these sins to use against the mogul that has offended their wallets.

Now how does one know when a mogul is about to head down these dark paths?

In my opinion, the surest way to determine that a mogul's has jumped the shark is the first time they ask: "Don't you know who I am? I'm (insert first name) Fucking (insert last name)!"

The moment any executive says something like that, their mind is no longer on their true business, and it's time to move on.

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