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The Film Industry Is A Skyscraper

  • The Film Industry is a Skyscraper

    Think, if you will, on this analogy: the film industry is like a Skyscraper.

    What do I mean by this? Let me explain. Our Industry is like a skyscraper and we it's inhabitants. We enter on the ground floor and all seek to climb as high as we can, all of us secretly or not, hoping to some day reach the penthouse. We make our way from floor to floor always working our way up.

    The truly successful make it to the highest floors and a few even to the penthouse enjoying the fruits of their labors without looking back. The fewest - amongst an industry inhabited by hundreds of thousands - control the greatest share of the income and capital. While the many more behind them spend their whole lives struggling to get ahead and catch a break to get to the next floor, all of them driven by the desire to gain admittance to that elusive penthouse above. As in any skyscraper, it is possible to use any number of avenues to reach the next level. But the easiest way, the elevator, is often in use or stopped somewhere above, seemingly only going one way - up. But admittance to the penthouse is a different story. You need that one elevator that goes only to the highest floors. And though getting on that elevator doesn't guarantee you will make it to the penthouse, not having access to it pretty much guarantees you will never get there.

    We work in a strange industry. In most industries your success is based upon the quality of your work and abilities in that chosen profession. To get started, you get a job and prove your worth. The better you are at your job the higher you rise in your profession.
    In our industry, quality, and abilities are only needed for longevity. To get started it really is based on who you know. Even a complete prat at the job can climb a long way up if he knows the right people. We need to change this – it's not productive for the industry. It locks out talented individuals and promotes less talented ones based on being in the right place at the right time. That's great for those lucky enough to be in the right place, but for the many others working hard to get ahead it is a frustrating fact that bars them admittance. We need to strive to work together to help each other get to the next level, as it were, pushing ahead through the strength of our united abilities.

    To those of you that have made it to the upper levels, or perchance even to the penthouse, we ask you to remember what life was like on your way up; to remember what it was like to be driven by your craft and the desire to be able to create films your way; to remember what it was like to get that break that meant you would not have to wonder where your next rent payment was coming from – or, for that matter, where your next meal was coming from. We'd like you to remember that call home when you told your folks it was okay…you'd made it. We ask you to use the wealth and the power you have achieved to help those of us on the lower levels. Many of you help out all kinds of noble causes, and we applaud you for that, and ask you: is not your chosen craft a noble cause? Are those who were inspired by you, or those around you, not worthy of your helping hand? When we say, "we all need to work together," we mean "ALL" of us from the lobby to the penthouse.

    Remember, in a business where it's not "what you know," but "who you know, and who they know," somebody sometime gave you a break.  And in a world where the only thing that matters at the end is not what you had, but what you did, don't you think that this is the biggest gift you can give?

    So, go ahead.  Send the elevator back down.