FINAL FANTASY: Hollywood's Days Numbered
by James Jaeger

Even though shows like ET and E channel desperately continue to promote LA as the film capital of the world, at least two factors will eventually make this a FINAL FANTASY. These factors are:

A. Broadband distribution of features (and all other entertainment) will preempt the MPAA studio/distributors primary bread and butter business; and,

B. Digital stars will undermine the star system and thus remove the basic reasons talent floods into the city or is even needed by producers.

All one has to do is screen the recent movie, FINAL FANTASY, to know exactly what I mean in the case of point B above. Did the characters look TOTALLY life-like? No. But after 10 minutes or so, I forgot they were digitally-generated stars and found myself completely absorbed in the story and incredible visuals. And watching this made me understand why Tom Hanks expressed a little alarm about the future of actors in Hollywood, for it is probably safe to say that, in another 5 years, it will probably be impossible to distinguish between a digital star and the real thing on a screen. Plus, the technology will drop in price, just as the once mighty AVID commanded over $75,000 for an NLE editing system, one can now purchase an NLE system for under $5,000 and cut features with the same level of quality. When one considers all the plug-ins which are constantly being created by independent software vendors, its a SURE THING that creating digital stars will be an economical snap in the future.

Combine these advancements in hardware and software with the increasing bandwidth on the Internet, not to mention the multitude of other private and public (fiber optic) networks being built right now on a global basis, and it's easy to see why producers will no longer need the MPAA studio/distributors to finance or distribute features. Almost all of these new networks will completely by-pass the twisted-pair infrastructure of the bell system, and many of them will totally by-pass today's cable and satellite networks as well. Why mix pearls with swine.

So, here we have the ability to deliver features globally (and in far higher quality than a mere DVD which is compressed) combined with the ability to animate narrative drama from scratch -- including stars -- and all this without the excessive salaries demanded by name talent and the endless creative accounting demanded by studio accountants. What function will Hollywood serve in this new "E" world? None. What will Hollywood be able (or willing) to offer the millions of hopefuls that enter the city? Nada.

But of course the Hollywood propaganda machine will continue to promote LA LA Land long after it's dead so it can attract people into the town's rotting service industries (which will include, not only the millions of hopefuls in the acting, writing and directing crafts, etc., but waiters, taxi drivers, painters, servants and the infinite barrage of assistants and suckers with money to spend, all necessary to continue the ponzi) in southern California in an attempt to sustain or drive real estate prices to ever more ridiculous and artificial levels. Remember, the price of real estate is almost solely a function of population. When population decreases, so do real estate values. When population floods mindlessly into an area, the real estate prices increase. It's simple supply and demand of a limited resource - apartments, housing and land. Thus it should be no surprise that the studios, and the worms that feed off them, place much of their holdings in real estate, and use their propaganda machines, as well as their networks, to constantly promote these assets? Also, given the terrorists attacks of 7-11, it is evident to an increasing number of people that living in cities, especially a city like LA which has a huge Jewish population (the avowed enemy of possibly hundreds of millions of Islamic fundamentalists and certain terrorists) does not come without potential new risks. If LA were not concerned about this, the Emmys would not have been cancelled the week after the terrorist attacks on New York City (another city with a huge Jewish population, and the corporate home to all the Hollywood studios).

So, as these factors come into better focus along with A and B discussed above (i.e., bandwidth increases and computing becomes better/cheaper), you can expect to see a mass exodus from cities in general and especially, LA, the Land of Promises, back into the heartland, where savvy talent and investors will realize that their best opportunities for recognition in the entertainment industry no longer will come from Hollywood, but from seeking out those unique new stories right under their neighborhood-noses, producing them on their PC and distributing them directly to millions of people over the broadband networks -- all without the hassle and superficiality of Tinsel Town and its creative accounting, nepotism, discrimination, catch-22 unions, violence ethic, rejection and disrespect for private investors, artists and the disenfranchised.

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