Tech Writer Corroborates Bleak Hollywood View

At the end of her chilling New York Times Op Ed, author and screenwriter Hilary De Vries wrote that she would be thinking of her departed residential neighbors while watching the Oscars Sunday night. In the piece, she recounted how a female writer-director and a pair of soap opera actors on her block have recently been separately foreclosed on by the Great Recession.

In response to De Vries, CNET media and entertainment columnist Greg Sandoval cautions that Hollywood’s DVD cash cow has been permanently put out to pasture. He also reminds that there is now a firmly entrenched public view about the digital media space, reflected by the recent defeats of the PIPA and SOPA bills:

I’m not trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. I grew up in Los Angeles. I have family and friends who make their living in the film sector. I’ve also covered tech for more than a decade, and what’s happening to the film industry now is something I’ve seen happen to media before.

Two years ago I wrote a piece titled “The End of the World as Hollywood Knows It.” My message was this: Not one of the media sectors restructured by the Internet or digital technology has managed to rebuild itself to its previous size. Not recorded music, radio, or newspapers. More and more it looks like it’s Hollywood’s turn to get a haircut.

Sandoval says a February 24 piece in the New York Times by Brooks Barnes (“Web Deals Cheer Hollywood, Despite Drop in Moviegoers“) seemed almost like a rebuttal to De Vries. But he thinks there’s no reason to believe Hollywood film execs will succeed where all others have failed.

[Photo: Olivier Le Queinec/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.