[caption id="attachment_67400" align="alignleft" width="220"] Getty Images[/caption]
Well, this sounds great: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, speaking at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, said that, more or less, the Hollywood system as we know it is about to come crumbling down. Thankfully they gave us a heads-up so we have time to go buy hardhats and heavy duty tarps. (And those kids still have time to change majors, gulp.)
"They're going for the gold," Lucas, the man who created "Star Wars," said. Unencumbered by irony, he continued: "But that isn't going to work forever. People are going to get tired of it. They're not going to know how to do anything else." Spielberg, known for his own small art house movies like "Jaws" and "War of the Worlds," sounded even bleaker: "There's eventually going to be a meltdown." Say it isn't so, Uncle Stevie! "There's going to be an implosion where three or four of these mega-budget movies go crashing to the ground and it's going to change the paradigm again."
Spielberg and Lucas, of course, were able to grow in prominence and obscene wealth thanks to the deconstruction of the studio system in the nineties and the rise of artier, more filmmaker-driven projects in the seventies. With the one-two punch of "Jaws" and "Star Wars," of course, studios became once again fixated on making the biggest, most profitable movies possible, even though without the auteurist seventies Lucas and Spielberg would have never been able to create their defining works. Woof.
The filmmakers then complained that two of their respective projects ("Red Tails" and "Lincoln") barely made it into theaters, with Spielberg claiming that it almost had to be an HBO movie (before remembering that he was Steven Spielberg and could probably get a 2-and-a-half hour long drama about the creation of the sugar packet into 2000 screens).
Where or when this catastrophic implosion is going to happen, the filmmakers failed to theorize, but they did suggest that VOD and The Internet will be the next great distribution platforms for television and movies, and that videogames could easily overtake cinema as the premiere entertainment venue. But hey, what do these two jokers know?