Sunday, March 9, 2008

Part II - Book Review - The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein

In my first post on The Big Picture : The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein, The first chapter covered 60% of the old system and 40% of the new system.

Then it moves into Part I: The New System which consists of chapters 2, 3, 4, & 5. Chapter two is about those who created the new Hollywood entertainment conglomerates and how they did it. Chapter three is on the problems with moving product into foreign markets, and how they overcame them. Chapter four covers the "Big Six" in entertainment. Detouring around problems, and creating the various axis of controlling the market. Chapter five covers, in a nutshell, how they make money while rarely making a profit.

It's truly interesting stuff, and while I can understand their wish not to pay the gluttonous governments of the world their over-taxation beyond the minimum due. It also serves to fill their greedy pockets. Well, if they avoid paying most of the taxes, the government raises business rates across the board to compensate, thus further burdening other businesses often most detrimentally, small businesses. Second it provides that they can shelter themselves from paying much in the way of back-end to anyone. Now I'm not against anyone making a profit, nor even a big profit. However, when it doesn't help your workers who are helping make that profit, or worse, you screw them to make your profit, then you are really just a greedy bastard.

Part of this can be stated because they are publicly traded companies & that their bonus' are paid in stock. Therefore rather than concentrating on dividends, they focus on raising stock price. Of course, the fact that the government always wants more in taxes, rather than coming up with ways to reduce spending, means that they are at least as much of the problems as the companies themselves.

Bah, anyways, 5 chapters down, 24 to go, plus epilogue, notes, acknowledgements.

I'm going to I.L.L. Planning the Low-Budget Film by Robert Latham Brown on Tuesday and probably be able to pick it up later in the week. If you haven't heard of it or him, I'll sum it up. He is a well known line-producer who doesn't go over budget. His book, contrary to it's title, covers budgeting any movie, regardless of budget, and is basically the industry bible as far as books on the subject go.

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