The Rise of the Collective
Superstar pairings are nothing new. You look in the NBA, and you see the elite wanting to play on the same team. It’s a formula that might not always be ripe for success (see New York Knicks and Houston Rockets), but it is one that has been happening for years in the film industry. Going back a decade, we had the comedic group that included Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, and etc. take over Hollywood. Martin Scorsese works extensively with a handful of individuals, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Christopher Nolan has a thing for Michael Caine, Christian Bale, and Ken Watanabe. The list goes on and on. At the end of the day, it is who you work with, and not what you work on.
Being in the film industry for almost a decade has taught me one thing; it sucks working with people you dislike. Working with the people you spend time with outside of work, to individuals who can really see your vision, leads to success. In a sense, picking who you work with has been on the rise, which has established some amazing work. We have had some of the funniest, deepest, successful, and critical work come from these groups. Quentin Tarantino revolutionized this concept, putting together a group of people that he liked on a personal level. The movies might not be big budge or tent pole, but the chemistry was there. Rarely is there a miscast or bad apple. It’s not that everyone gels on camera, but as actors, creators, and personnel, the product comes out just right. Old Hollywood is ripe with stories of heated rivalries, actors/directors/producers walking off set, and horrendous pairings. That just does not work anymore.
This past month, we had a chance to talk to acclaimed producer Adi Shankar. The man behind ‘Dredd’, ‘Lone Survivor’ and ‘The Grey’ discussed many things, but one thing stood out; the collective. The idea of not just working with friends, but people that hold and mold your vision. That is what we will see over take Hollywood over the next 5-10 years. The consumer is starting to tire of big budget for the sake of big budget. They want content, not star power, and in a sense they have become savvy to the behind the scenes. No longer are producers and writers in the shadows any longer. We have the internet to thank for that, and it’s not going away.
As we dwindle down to better movies, as well as content, the facts are still the same. There is a need for quality. Whether that comes in the form of conscious work, or good chemistry. The rise of Netflix, and the demise of the franchise, will eventually lead to a restructuring. What’s important is the collective breathes strong, giving us more laughs, sighs, and cries. Make these superstar pairings a thing of the future, because we all win.