4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For insider David Puttnam, Europe, who invented the movie, lost the movie industry battle due to external (two World Wars) but mostly internal causes.
1. Contrary to Europe, the US saw the movie industry as a totality where consistent profits were generated by control of distribution and theatres.
2. Europe didn't understand the power of marketing and of the market (the changing patterns of consumer demands)
3. the suicidal movie theorization by the left, e.g. his target man J.L. Godard, who claimed that his struggle against the commercial imperialism of Hollywood was analogous to the eternal struggles of the working class against monopoly capitalism, yet Godard was forced to acknowledge that 'workers don't come to see my films'!
4. The vanity of the European movie critics, who continued to support selfregarding movies, while the public went out in droves to see American products.
5. social causes : Hollywood had developed an outright defiance of the wishes of powerful cultural elites. The working people and the unemployed in Europe were receptive to the message that America was a place where anyone, regardless of birth or social rank, had the opportunity to acquire wealth, fame and freedom.
The way of making pictures in Europe has still not fundamentally changed since the publication of the book, but all the inter- and subventions of the EEC commission will be wasted money, unless there is a big change of mind.
Some obvious measures are needed for a revival :
- coproductions at least on an European level and, better, on a world scale (China, Japan, US). The market of each European country is too small to create a profitable movie industry.
- Collaboration with TV channels and movie theatre companies.
- the European big budget movies should be shot in English (I know it's a disaster for non English speaking actors).
- take into account the consumer market.
- a big part of the movie budget should be spent on marketing and promotion.
It's easier said than done, but Canal+ for instance has understood the challenge.
Puttnam's book is a must read for every European film maker.