December 8, 2008

Our Time

Okay, I'm a bit frustrated right now because I'm trying to watch this movie we're considering for Opening Night at the 2009 NY Int'l Latino Film Festival, but I can't get the darn thing to play. Neither my DVD player nor Mac can get it rolling. I think the DVD is corrupt or something. Argh!

That bit of venting aside, a friend took me to this holiday party on Saturday night at a fantastic UWS apartment - super beautiful. The host works at a basic cable network, so there were lots of TV and media folks there. The talk of the party? The economy. More specifically, what's happening in media as a result of the recession. If you haven't read, most major media companies, including V
iacom, NBC/Universal, CBS and ABC, have already had or are rumored to be planning major layoffs. And, Yahoo! is predicted to cut 1,500 - 2,000 employees any day. One network guy I met was just let go as part of an entire division elimination. A marketing executive at another cable network has been given just 25% of her usual operating budget so she feels somewhat paralyzed in terms of planning for 2009; how is she supposed to get anything done without a real budget? It's really insane and, obviously, pretty scary. I did, however, meet one guy who's interested in discussing potential partnership opportunities with Cinedulce and, also, maybe the festival; he's in acquisitions and programming at a major video viewing site (jackpot!). I sent him a follow-up email this AM, so let's see if he responds. Fingers crossed. All I can do is keep pushing and hope Corporate America realizes two key factors: 1. film and media viewership tend to see an uptick during hard economic times because it's a relatively inexpensive form of escapism; and, 2. creativity flourishes during hard times because, inherently, art is a form of personal expression and social commentary... heightened emotions, observation and reflection = greater compulsion for artistic expression. Some of the most challenging economic and social periods have inspired some of the most creatively significant periods. Please! Charles Dickens would have had nothing to write about if not for London's rampant poverty and social inequity! ;) So, I'm hoping Corporate America realizes this is the perfect time to align their brands with storytellers: professional, amateur and/or even 'armchair directors'. This is the time to be cool, to get 'it', and connect on a more personal level. This is the time for inspiration and vision. And, this is also the time to seek efficient solutions for maintaining through the pipeline a steady flow of new, relevant, high quality content. This is our time.
~ Liz

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