Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Economy meltdown, recession - film and arts

I'ts been over a week since I am in New York City. I might not be affected directly or not seeing it because I am new in the city but also because where I stay, I see many young Europeans flocking into the city, having fun, spending money as if nothing was affecting them. I might also be unaffected because I am not of a materialistic nature except when it comes to my weaknesses with electronic gadgets! However, my daily routine and work, has kept me busy that I do not get time to go around and get tempted.

As a fellow filmmaker, I have been wondering how much the film industry and arts in general, are affected by this economy meltdown. Some say that as in any industry, this situation might encourage more creativity on the part of filmmakers and artists in general.

The other day, I had lunch in New York, with fellow filmmakers who are out of work. The first thing I realized was that everyone is first of all, cutting down or changing the ways they have been doing things for a while. For example one of my friend, told me how he does not come in town anymore unless he really has to do something or meet some people. For New Yorkers, this might be strange because they are used to be moving around and all the time. However, this economy has slowed down people a little bit who knows, it might be for the best.

During a recent meeting with one of the co-founder of Tribeca, Jane Rosenthal, she mentioned that there are still signs of hope and work is still going in the industry. She talked about situations where film studios have been pushing producers to make more films and booking them. At times, they are booked for a date and even before a script is written! She also pointed out the fact that since the recession-people have been looking for more entertainment , so they have been watching more films either in the homes or in thearters.

These cases are proof that the economy did affect the industry but there is still an interest on the market on both sides - producers and consumers.

According to the October 16, 2008 article in New York Times "How will the recession affect film?

"Where the downturn could hurt us, however, as a worldwide industry, is if the capital flow into the expansion of exhibition dries up. If they don’t continue to build cinemas in Russia and Eastern Europe and upgrade multiplexes in India, then that growth of the market, which creates demand and ultimately production, could be in trouble. I think the success of Mamma Mia! was due to the quality of the film-making and the resonance of the story rather than the fact that we’re living in hard times."

When times are bad you want to be out there, and, as long as we continue to offer the films, I’m not worried about the downturn at all."

I was looking at some stories on the economy, filmmaking and arts in general where I stumbled on these articles




  1. Pierre and the team, congratulations you are the today leaders not the leaders of tomorrow, full of confidence this is a good testimony of the African youth, we are able to take things in charge and make it.
    Vive Africa!
    We are proud of you,may God bless u and the nation.
    All we need now, I mean African youth it is more supports than speeches of encouragement.

    We are able, the word:" CHANGE" is our motto
    Pierre and the team have showed it.
    Guys you are our young heroes.
    Keep it up!
    International Journalist and film maker

  2. For the optimist, the downturn could positively affect the movie industry due to the general public looking for excapism from the grim reality of what life has become, or the out of work consumers having more time on their hands to watch movies. On the other hand, the movie industry is notoriously difficult to make money from. FOr every blockbuster, there are several commercial failures, so the money-men (the suits) may tighten the purse-strings meaning less money in the system which would affect the smaller, arty, independent movies. What would be an interesting topic would be to try and guess what movies will be screening end of this year, early this year. What mood have the artists detected in the public and will they cater to this or do their own thing?

  3. I like this article.

    In another instance, the introduction of digital filmmaking is changing things and cutting down the production (and post-production) costs.

    I think at no level, the economy can affect creativity. This is the only thing that we have for survival.

    Enjoy your stay, the weather has drastically changed and good luck with the rest of your stay. Mr Peter.

    I hope to see you around

  4. Congratulation Pierre for the greatest work you are doing in Tribeca for Rwanda,and we know this one going to bring a big challenge and give us opportunity as young film maker.
    Keep on working hard and representing Rwandan Youth Film maker in the world.
    May God bless and protect you.

    Michel N.K

  5. great blog you have going on here ..Ur article featured on today's times..We are totally proud of the work u are doing and am sure the heights you are destined to reach will prevail any existing recession threats.If you are there and are greatly representing the Rwandan youth then its is a step..After Tribeca now to hollywood..Long live Hillywood and all the brains behind it...

  6. Pierre, I think your article about the US recession is great! It's great to have someone from Rwanda share their insight about this whole recession in US. Being a New Yorker I have felt the negative and positive effects of what has happened on Wall Street. The art scene in NYC has been affected but the positive thing is that no matter how tough times get in US, people will always want to see films!! I know I do!!

    Pierre have a great hillywood film festival. Glad to hear your voice!