When a company decides to produce a feature film, or a television show, what is it actually looking to do? Is it really looking to do anything other than make as much money as possible? According to Roberts, while revenue may be the bottom line, that doesn't mean that we are throwing creativity out the window.
However, the GQ article by Mark Harris suggests that the film industry would rather churn out clear moneymakers than take risks that could flop or lead to bigger pay-offs. Harris specifically looks at the recent and future summer movie line-up, and noted that the overwhelming majority of the films have built-in fan bases. Whether it be a movie developed from a comic book, a sequel, or a remake, we are continuing to see these "safe bets" produced. And Harris is right, when you look at the movies that we had last summer, it is absolutely astonishing at the amount that fall into those categories. You may not think about it until someone points it out, but it is definitely a trend. He also gave the counter example of Inception, which he said the movie industry thought was produced as a favor to director Christopher Nolan. What turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the last decade was an afterthought until it began to rake in money.
As the movie industry has experience somewhat of a struggle recently, we are beginning to see the creative side (the writers and directors according to Roberts) align more with the commercial side. The creative side knows that it has to be able to produce a profit, first and foremost. So in this sense, I think that economic factors absolutely impede creativity. Writers may think that if the revenue for their most recent work isn't there, then who knows if they will get another chance. They must be conservative, because that works and that is what is accepted.