Around a year ago, I wrote a post where I referred to filmmakers as "content creators." It was a slip of the keys, and I was rightfully roasted for it in the comments. The fact is, the reason we are trying to make movies and TV is that we are artists. We have a message we want to communicate to the audience. One that drives us to spend hours in front of our keyboards and on set, building the stories we've dreamt. 

But we're facing an uphill climb right now. 

The streaming wars have driven studios and buyers to seek out as much content as they can find. They want movies and shows that can appeal to the masses and bring as many eyeballs to their platforms as you can. This has pitted artists against themselves. The challenge is real. How can you stay true to your art while respecting the business side that can get you paid? 

I recently came across a video that I think sums it up perfectly. Art is not content. And that's okay. 

Check out this link from The Cinema Cartography, and let's talk after. 

Great Art Is Not Content 

The struggle between art and commerce is as old as art itself. This is a site about film and television, so we'll stick to those topics. But studios are just like the Medicis of old, who commissioned art for their homes. Sometimes you don't have a choice in what you're creating if you need a paycheck. But the best artists can overcome that to show their skill and to leave a personal mark.  

Hollywood is generally frustrating, because there are lots of people who it feels like have earned the right to do anything, and you want to join them. To do that, you need to make something of your own that people love so much, they'll hire you to make something of theirs. Do well at that, and you might be able to spin it into getting the budget you want to make your own thing again. 

It's all a give-and-take.

And when people refer to it as "content," you have the right to be a little annoyed. Work has been generally devalued as streamers buy more and more. People stopped searching for art and started looking for filler. Part of that is a worry about getting eyeballs, and another is just laziness. People wonder if art will travel between countries and if it has mass appeal. 

But content will be the death of this industry. It devalues what creatives do so well—not churning things out, but caring so much. I think the first place to prioritize care and appreciation for storytelling is going to be the one who bursts out above all else. Budgeting people to make art that they believe in always seems smarter than just hoping that the content hits. 

But only time will tell. 

Let me know what you filmmakers think in the comments.