Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Wait Is Over

It has finally happened. After 9/11, I knew it would happen, I just didn’t know how long it would take. With the closure of the writers’ strike, several of the newly formed businesses (2-5 years old) in the entertainment industry had the opportunity to transform and transcend the traditional business models of production companies, management firms, financing groups, and agency’s by meshing them all together. What I mean is that new businesses have emerged within the industry that now have the capacity to fully finance, produce, cast, and distribute a feature film without necessarily reaching out to an extended network of companies that was so imperative before.

One company that mirrors this metamorphosis is The Collective. Founder Michael Green was joined in 2005 by Jeff Golenberg (previously head of 3 Arts Entertainment), Sam Maydew (founder of Popart Entertainment), and Aaron Ray (founder of Nine Yards Entertainment). The partners of The Collective have done some of the biggest deals in the last decade in all areas of media. Besides generating over a billion and a half dollars worth of music deals alone, partners in The Collective are responsible for film Franchises such as Big Mommma’s House and The Fast and the Furious. Besides creating traditional media deals and managing clients, The Collective represents a diverse array of talent, writers, directors and media companies as well as RKO studios and all of its library and intellectual profitability.

So what, the company has a list of their own a-list clients, deals with media, and can produce films? That’s just the beginning…The true change in the business models has come with film financing. Unlike before, and definitely believed to be the first of its kind for a management company, The Collective has a Finance and Sales division that focuses on serving producers, financiers, and distributors of all levels. Everything can be done “in-house” to get a picture developed and released.

My point in over-exploiting the structure of this company is to reveal that the traditional platform for success has completely been revolutionized, both in the entertainment industry and in politics. Post 9-11, Republicans became a little bit more like the Democrats and the Democrats a bit more like the Republicans. This has forced political candidates and politicians to take on more of a bilateral approach, often selling and winning over voters on their “middle-groundedness.” This notion has truly come to the forefront of political ideology in the 2008 Presidential election. Hillary Clinton’s political plans are conservative enough that she might win over some republican voters who might have otherwise voted for McCain. McCain’s agenda seems liberal enough in some areas that some democrats might throw their support his way. And for Barack? He is nowhere to be found, as most republicans seem to fall for Hillary before Barack. Why? Perhaps because they point the finger at him because he is “black” or “inexperienced” or even for because he does not fully support the war in Iraq. This is particularly worrisome for me, being a Barack supporter, because he just does not seem to play the “middle-ground” role so well and if he is voted as the democrats Presidential candidate, he will loose a large amount of votes because of this.

Presidential candidates, especially the Democrats, have always relied on Hollywood for enormous financial support. Barack and Hillary raised a majority of their funds from people involved in entertainment, and even McCain did too. The change in the platforms and structures within politics and entertainment will continue into the future as these new models for success become ubiquitous.

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