DreamWorks Animation CEO Admits Film Standards Are Falling

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg recently revealed his displeasure at the poor standard in many 3D film releases and admitted that there was an industry wide problem between “marketability versus playability”.

Making movies is an art, but it also requires a business mind otherwise it can’t turn a profit, and give back to those who created it in the first place. How do films make money when the industry is in such a precarious situation? Hollywood has been coming to grips with this problem for several years.

Since the 2008 recession, the film industry has had to struggle to overcome a bad economy and a massive decline in DVD sales and weak digital sales growth. Issues of digital piracy are just one of the many problems affecting the industry, but Katzenberg’s admission about the fact that art is being taken over by the business, is notable.

Are we facing a potential creativity crisis, because we want to be able to market our movies to the widest possible audience? Is the mere fact that a huge drop in DVD sales is driving up the marketing skills, and driving down the art?

All successful films are cleverly marketed, but often the stories don’t match up to the art form. This is what has caused a decline in audiences heading to 3D screenings. It’s expensive, and the quality is poor. There has been a huge interest in the novelty of 3D since James Cameron’s triumphant ‘Avatar’, but that seems to be dying down, and too fast for analysts to give hope it will rebound.

Why is it that bad movies keep getting made? Simple. They can be marketed to a big audience using clever tactics and often, when the subject is thinner than a sheet of paper, and filmbsier than a recycled plastic bag.

I want to take you back to 2006, when Newline cinema released ‘Snakes On a Plane’. I admit, I often refer to this movie in my articles, but it’s a perfect, in your face, example of marketability over art. Three elements : Samuel L Jackson, Snakes, and a plane. The movie sells itself, it is that ridiculous. But for 3D, the technology is not enough to sell storytelling. It never was, and now its even less of a gimmick, so films have to be good.

Can we hope to see a rebound in the near future with the industry’s top filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg turning to 3D?

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