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ABC Squared Economics and the Hollywood Strike

ABC Squared Economics and the Hollywood Strike

An ABC Squared Economics project recognizes the collaboration of Artistry, Business, Citizenry, and Community that is required to create an effective corporation. Regardless of the size of a project, be it a book, a bridge, a film, a government, a non-profit, a tool or a toy, when humans organize it requires the vision of Artistry, the particulars of Business operation, the participation of the Citizenry required to accomplish the goal, and the Community that is developed by working together to achieve the goal of a better life because of what you are producing.

When the Romans first invented corporations, they were created to serve particular needs and dissolved once the need was met. We’ve often come to see corporations as eternal monoliths that provide the security and stability we have come to know and love. However, as many a former business owner can tell you, corporations are not eternal and go out of business all of the time.

As the Guilds of Hollywood rework their contracts, I would invite them to consider what goes into the development of a project, be it a film, television show, or other endeavor. The Artists have the vision to create whatever is being created. The producers are in the Business of providing what the Artists need to manifest their vision. The Citizenry of the crew members and neighborhoods in which it is produced make the vision possible. And through donations and taxes, they provide for the Community required to have a market in which the project can be produced.

As revenue is created through the marketing and release of a given project, the division of that revenue should create residual incomes for all involved so that the money generated through profits are treated as a more thorough distribution of funds than the 20th century model in order to allow for a more fluid currency that will more adequately meet the needs of all involved.

In the 20th century model, profits generated from the release of a film go largely to the Business participants of Producers and Studios with a portion also going to the “above the line” Artists. However, if we are able to rethink the investment all of the other players put into the project and allow for a more thorough distribution of the revenue for all involved, we can create a much more dynamic economic system that allows our currency to flow like a currency instead of being dammed and hoarded by only a few. For the 21st century model, we need to tear down the dams of elitism and provide remuneration for all who participate.

Let’s say we have the four basic components of Artistry, Business, Citizenry, and Community. And to keep along the alphabetical line of thinking, let’s say we have 26 levels of participation within those four components. Let’s look at how the various levels of participation might play out on a film project:

The Artistry consists of

A – Writers

B – Director

C – Actors

D – Camera

E – Lighting

F – Sets

E – Props

F – Costumes

G – Editors

H – Animators

I – Sound

J – Background Actors

The Business includes

K – Producers

M – Associate Producers

N – Assistant Director

O – Associate Producers

P – Studios

Q – Distributors

R – Theaters

S – Streaming Services

T – Licensing

The Citizenry required to make it all happen is all thanks to

U – The Crew

And the Community is lifted up by supporting

V – City

W – County

X – State

Y – Country

Z- Charitable and Social Profit Organizations

Let’s say that the revenue generated from the project is then channeled in the following proportions:

Artistry – 40%

Business – 30%

Citizenry – 10%

Community – 20%

For each level of Artistry from A to J, there are different degrees of involvement and participation, and each of those levels would get different amounts of the 40% that would go to Artistry. So the writer who conceived the idea will get a much greater portion than the background actors, but even though background actors implement much less skill, even if they only get 1%, they should still be appreciated for their participation.

For the levels of Business, those variations in distribution will also exist, and the Executive Producers will certainly also make more than the background actors. The Citizenry in this case would be the gaffers, production assistants and other crew members, and the Community is given the opportunity to develop because of the infrastructure created by our various levels of government and social profit organizations.

While the 20th century model does allow a few films to make remarkable profits, there is still a sense of lack. I think we need to view our economy with a greater sense of abundance if we’re really going to thrive as a society.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash