Let’s occupy Hollywood. Got your attention yet? Look, I don’t want you to think I’m going to set up a tent in front of the Bank of America building on Sunset and Vine. First, I don’t think the tent would brook much support with the LAPD, and second, it’s October, and it’s still freaking hot out here in LA.
My idea of an occupation happens at the cineplex and on the television screen. It begins with questions: Are there enough television programs, enough films, and enough web-series dedicated to young people and our concerns? Who is talking about the recession? Unemployment and its effect on families? The wars in the middle east? Why are drekky remakes like Footloose and The Thing taking precedence at the movie theatres over our stories? Who are the auteurs of our generation?
I know there are some excellent writers and directors out there who are attempting to tackle these stories, especially overseas, where I think there is more support for an examination of difficult topics. It takes courage to return to these themes, and to not treat them in an exploitative or unnatural light.
But I don’t think it is for lack of courage that so few of our type of media is made. Too often studios run to escapism because they are afraid of taking hard risks. That means we have to take up the charge and tell these stories ourselves. Of course, it won’t be easy, and we won’t receive much support. But aren’t all great movements begun by outcasts? It is time our generation took up the call to make exciting, interesting films about what we are experiencing. Let’s not let the studios’ “one percent” let the ninety-nine percent go unnoticed.