My girlfriend, Lorrie Fisher, is a psychologist and a very wise woman. One of the important things that I have learned from her is how to let go of regret. What I learned from Lorrie was this: Given the decisions that I have made over the past 35 years of my career, if I were to go back in time to each of those decisions – armed with no more information or resources that I had at the time… could I, would I or even should I have made any other decision? The answer has come back to me again and again, probably not.
A lot of my media creation and distribution clients are struggling right now. The media industry that I work in is in such disarray that many companies that formerly had a strong position in their relative niche are struggling to find a foothold in a market that is built on the shifting sands of technology and time. Many of my current and former clients have had to totally reinvent themselves. Some have actually left the DVD, television or movie industry for greener pastures. Others have so totally transformed their business as to make it unrecognizable from its former structure. Gone are warehouses, in-house sales teams, acquisition pros prowling the media festivals and specializations that made them a lot of money in the past. Replacing that are internet sales, independent contractors, global content alliances and multi-discipline distribution strategies.
Veteran filmmakers and directors have had to resort to crowd funding, day and date VOD/Netflix releases and foreign pre-sales to get their films made. Gone are the days when they walked into Warner Bros, Paramount or Universal and got the money to make their movie.
If the sands of technology and time are shifting under your feet… learn to surf. There is no point in holding on to the past wishing that things could be, would be, or should be… different.
I suggest to you that there has never been a better time to be a content creator or a media distributor. With the loss of the iron grip the TV networks and big movie studios had over what people see, there has come a brave new world where creators are free to make filmed entertainment and educational content that they can sell directly to people without anyone telling them what they can or cannot do. The consumer now decides what they want to see and what they will pay for. If you make programs and movies that people want to see then you make money.
To quote Carly Simon, “…these are the good old days.”