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Death of the Movie Star: We Don't Need You Anymore!


[Ed. Note: There’s been a lot of attention in the entertainment media lately about the death of the movie star. But because the entertainment media is just as out of touch with reality as any movie stars we felt they were the least qualified to discuss this subject, and so we’ve asked our contributors to weigh in. And who better to kick this series off on a Friday than Mr. Crowder?]

“You’ll never work in this town again!” – Thank God that nobody will ever have to hear those words again (my recent internship at MSNBC notwithstanding). As the iconic “movie star” begins to die, so does the gate-keeping Hollywood machine. No longer do mere peasants have to acquiesce to the all-powerful Tinseltown establishment… And that pisses them off something awful.

Toronto Film Sean Penn

Back in the day, if you wanted to get the kind of exposure that would propel you into movie stardom, you needed to head out to Hollywood. Plain and simple. Once there, you’d have to put yourself under the thumb of industry higher-ups (more commonly referred to as “dirtbags”) if you so much as wanted a chance of seeing any kind of screen time. A few walk-on roles and uncomfortable back-room “casting couch” auditions later, you might find yourself actually getting some serious screen-time. Once arrived, you’d have to carefully walk the Hollywood tightrope if you wanted to sustain a viable career. If you drew outside the Tinseltown lines, you were going to get shut down.

All of a sudden, new media enters stage-right. In the information age, the ability to directly reach a target audience (combined with rapidly evolving and more affordable technology) is rendering Hollywood more and more irrelevant. Thanks to free-market competition, nearly anybody can purchase a high-quality D-SLR camera and create a motion picture virtually indistinguishable from their expensive film counterparts.

…Hollywood no like.

No longer wielding the power of “star maker” or holding the keys to the necessary studio doors, Hollywood is now frantically searching for new gimmicks in an attempt to gain the upper hand. That’s why we’re seeing radically expensive movies about blue nudies and incessant rehashes of tired, old, franchises instead of movie star-driven films or pictures with a plot. Also, when in doubt, throw in more breasts.

It’s Hollywood math.

There are two ways to handle this; you can mourn and long for the Hollywood of yore, or you can see this as an opportunity to seize. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a filmmaker, this is your chance. You don’t need a studio or James Cameron. A decent Canon camera and MacBook will suffice. If your little heart’s desire is to act, there have never been more opportunities available to you than today. Independent films, student projects and online content can allow you to flex your muscle while avoiding the awful constraints of corrupt actors unions, and the left-hook of Sean “Tiny Fists” Penn.

So my question to you is; how are you going to take part? For decades, outsiders have complained of the elitism in Hollywood. Now is your chance to change it.

Though I would advise you to review your online content for quality… we don’t need any more “turtle humping work boot” videos lying around.

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