"Apple is shuffling showrunners on its much-anticipated morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon." —Variety
Hollywood producer Jason Blum, best known for such low-budget horror hits as "Get Out" and "Paranormal Activity," saw this coming.
At SXSW last month, Blum was asked by Recode's Peter Kafka why nobody—not the studios, not the "streamers"— was copying his hugely successful low-budget model. I've transcribed the relevant section below:
BLUM: The studios won’t make low-budget movies because they’re not built to make low-budget. Sill the best distribution in the world is done by studios.
KAFKA: The machinery is built for these big things.
BLUM: The streamers eventually may, but right now the streamers are overpaying talent to compete [with the studios], and so If you’re going to do a low-budget movie, you’re definitely not going to do it for Netflix. The reason people are working for Netflix right now is because they paying an enormous amount of money to these people up front.
KAFKA: You hear the stories of the streamers overpaying. Netflix writes big checks. Amazon writes big checks. Apple is now writing these crazy checks. Even HBO, which pays well, says “Uh, we can’t keep up with that money.” I assume that filters down to you.
BLUM: It filters down to us. The market for talent, for artists making TV and movies, is super wonky right now because it’s not correlated to profitability.
Apple, Blum suggests, may already be infected with Hollywood's DNA:
BLUM: The biggest reason [the low-budget model] is not replicated is because Hollywood is totally connected to ego, and ego does not allow for low-budget movies. It’s so tied into the DNA of Hollywood, especially at the representation level. Agents, Lawyers, Managers, but also the artists. Everyone cannot disassociate from “If I have a hit, I should make more expensive movies.”
Link to the video here.
Thanks to friend-of-the-blog Richard Wanderman for the pointer. Blum, he says, "is right on the money about this."