Five Things Not to Love About the Biz
October 17, 2008 6:25 PM
While I’ve lived in Hollywood for six years, I’ve worked in an industry centered elsewhere for most of the time. It’s meant a lot of flights to New York and San Francisco versus sticking around town. Outside of a few meetings here and there for my first start-up, Stylediary, it was rare that I did any business in the L.A. area.
For the past six months, I’ve at last both lived and worked in town, as a producer of my own Web and traditional TV projects, and as a digital media/entertainment advisor and consultant.
I have to admit, I love it. The industry is such a cool mix of creative and business, and seems to have tons of opportunity for women. It’s an incredible challenge to put a project together, but like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
But, for as much as you can love Tinseltown, there’s plenty about it that you learn to dislike. Love it or leave it, its part of the business, of course. However, if you’re newly entering a market, this is what you will go up against:
1. The Layers. A production takes a lot of moving parts and therefore a lot of people. But, the downside is that the industry is comprised of a dizzying amount of layers, a small number of which are decision markers. It can be hard to find your way–and do business.
2. It’s Expensive. For $8 (domain name) and any free blogging platform, you can launch an Internet business. TechCrunch.com is one of the biggest sites in the business world–and it’s a blog on Word Press. For $1k, I have a 2 minute sizzle reel. Unless the project sells, there’ll be no return on that investment.
3. It’s Time Consuming. If there is any place I’ve felt overwhelmed by the entertainment market, it’s been here. In my world (iInternet), a site can go live in minutes. In this business? Not a chance. Years later and you still may not have sold your show. It took months to make a sizzle on one of my projects.
4. There’s Rif Raf. Hollywood seems to have an enormous amount of people who say they work in entertainment but really don’t. It can make doing business here very tough until you find an ‘in’ into the system. It can also be expensive.
5. It’s Tight. There are only so many slots for shows at a network, and only so many networks. And then, those networks branch into niches, so you’ve got to plug into something from there. You then have to get that story on the arc, have all the tension, the organic connection….. It makes it very hard as a creator.