So if you go in with Jon Claude Van Damme in Pinocchio, they look at Jon Claude Van Damme's movies and they say, "People go to see his movies, we'll make it." But if you go in with Passion Fish or Powwow Highway or probably just about any movie that's in the film festival here in Taos, they all go, "I love this material, this so great, these are the kind of movies that we want to be involved with, but it's too soft, you know, you gotta come back with stars." I mean, Boys On The Side would not have gotten made without Whoopie. It's the simple truth of the matter.
You have to find some way to get power into your hand and that unfortunately is usually about talent be it actors or actresses or directors. It's not unfortunate because, hopefully you come with a great piece of material and you get great film makers to realize it. But, they don't care about stories, they don't really care about messages. They don't care about participating in the culture. They're there to make money, it's as simple as that.
But we have a situation in the computer industry which is the wild west; and the Internet is, as we speak, still open to anybody. You know, for fifty dollars a month you can get a site on the Internet and you can put your program which has access to 30 million people world wide. And in a way, even though I'm a filmmaker and I don't make this kind of programming, I think it is important to realize there are all kinds of opportunities and how long it lasts is really a function of how active we're going to be in making this a people's medium. Because it takes very little to be able to put your programming, put your text, put your graphic design, put your quick time movies on the Internet and get them seen. And nobody is controlling it; it's wide open and all you need is a computer, a modem and a telephone line.
So, I say until you break up the distribution system as it is, and give it personal empowerment which is what the Internet does, thank you Jonathan. That's where the future lies, and in fact that's what our panel later this afternoon is about, global access. Because once you breakdown those--it's really still the studio system.
Ad Age--Advertising Age--which is the trade publication for advertisers, has for three years been running a three or four page section every week on how advertisers and ad agencies can get in on the Internet, because they know that's where the market is going. And so, that's another area to watch. The Internet should not and cannot be romanticized as the last frontier. It's going to be as commercial as cable television has become and as PBS is becoming.
And I just want to say one other thing about that. Somebody over here asked, how do you get the word out. How do you spread the idea of media literacy and everything and we've just been talking about educators and producers on two extremes. There's at least another area which represent--I like to think I represent, journalism and part of the media also. But the journalistic part of it. And I know there's probably very few journalists here, but journalists and the press and on television should be doing so much more to help deconstruct their own media and to point out things like what's going on at PBS and why were getting pap from it and John Tesch concerts and nature shows instead of anything that's controversial.
It's because they have major sponsors like Dupont and GE that will not allow it and that forces the hiring of more conservative programmers who want to please the sponsors and please the congress. It's not just congress that's the bad guy in it, it's been commercial interests for a long time before that.
Much as I'm really critical of a lot of the stuff with the OJ case, I do have to say two good things. Every other issue practically in this society is getting articulated through that case in interesting ways and people are actually paying some attention. I don't think it's the ideal way they would do it.
The other thing is that even though Bill Clinton is not my favorite politician, I like him better than Phil Gramm and some of these guys and his ratings keep going up the longer OJ becomes the most important person in the county. So, as long as the consciousness is not on what Bill Clinton is doing every day, then he's in better shape. I'm being factitious. Leslie, you seemed like you had a comment.
I used to write, this is a big admission, I used to write for the Star newspaper, the tabloid. Like the Inquirer. And I learned, what I learned about advertising is a very similar lesson: you can't loose their interest for a second. For a syllable. And when you do, they go away because we viewers, I hate to call us consumers cause it's such a reductive--
The other thing I would follow what Leslie was saying about, look at the worst financial scandal in the history of the world which is the savings and loan scandal. One of the reasons that went down was precisely because it was complex story about numbers with talking heads and the media couldn't find a way to inform the American public about it very well and even when they began to, it was only when they had some people--the Keating Five. Once they had some people, they could tell the story a little bit. Everything has to be told through some person in this culture. It's terrible.
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