To all appearances, the business of cinema goes on as usual. Yes, movies are being made. The production lines in the studios keep churning out their images. The digital effects specialists stay up late at night to meet endless deadlines. Films open in Berlin or Cannes. Critics write their reviews. People talk about the latest releases at work or during dinner with friends. More than ever the filmmaking industry is part of our everyday cultural landscape. Premiere tells us what is going on. Critics on TV give thumbs up or down. Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight keep us abreast of the successes and distresses of the stars and would-be stars. Even the historians of the medium regularly bring out fresh editions covering recent developments in the field. Once a year, the Academy Awards are seen the world over. Week after week, Variety tabulates the receipts. The money keeps pouring in. Another blockbuster year for the motion picture industry is in the works!
On the surface indeed, nothing has changed and it is business as usual in Hollywood. If we dig a little deeper, though, it is not difficult to see that this background of continuing normality, glamour, and professionalism in the industry in fact hides radical transformations that have influenced the conception, production, distribution, and reception of films in the last