Photo by Debra Lopez
_Beasts of No Nation_ was snubbed because Netflix made an historical move that will change the face of how artists can tell stories they care about and remain completely free of the corporate system that is Hollywood. For the first time in history, a streaming company released a feature (bypassing the film festival circuit) and paid a director TWICE his budget.
**THAT NEVER HAPPENS...**
Usually indies like Beasts do the festival circuit, Sundance, Sony or Focus pick it up and do a small release and pay the filmmaker almost nothing for his work, but then those studios eat up what money the film makes. The filmmaker just gets a great credit and hopefully future work. So, the artist making an indie film is making it, not for the money, but because this is why he is here: to tell stories that remind us of the fragility of human life, that act as a society's consciuous....
Independent film is just that. It is made with no intention of making money. It is made with the story (not widespread appeal and money-making potential) as first and foremost. It's a kind of pure form where someone who has figured out what they're supposed to be doing in this life can do their work without interference from studios.
But Netflix has changed that. Netflix bought the film after it was made, as is and paid the director upfront with no idea if they were ever going to get their money back.
Do you understand what that means for people in this business who want to tell stories because that is their life's work and not just about making a buck?
It means for those of us brave enough to step into our purpose, there's finally a place that may actually pay us a livable wage.
Hollywood snubbed Beasts because Netflix is sending a message: we can make important films because we have some Hollywood studios don't: a subscriber base.
With the advent of all these other platforms, Amazon, Netflix, artists can begin to write stories and create films that have meaning that speak to the reason we became story tellers to begin with.
Oscar & her friends, whatever, they see the handwriting on the wall. Great films can be made and make money and Hollywood studios may never see a dime of it.
We should be celebrating any advent in technology that frees people up to work at what they love, what is their purpose, the reason they are here.
So, how about we reframe the Oscar snub as not personal, but rather a business move. A business move that is going to free up a whole lot of filmmakers who will no longer rely on some Hollywood studio to decide what film gets released and who gets paid. With the new streaming, for the first time in history, independent self-producing artists (this includes the stars who get producer credits in the films) are finally going to get fucking paid for work with integrity behind it.
Anytime, life kicks you out of one structure, it's because you're supposed to be doing something else...
Life is creating space for you to step into your own personal grace which is why you're here.
The internet gives us a business platform that is free. You can run a business from your laptop, you can self-publish, you can go to college or design school and create a business that provides a service that we all desperately need, but no one has thought of.
Snubs, rejections are huge opportunities for you to step upto the plate. So, next you want to rage over some perceived snub or rejection: check in with your lists of what you love, what makes you happy.
Does this rejection set you up for a kind of unimaginable life you've only dreamed about?
Time to start thinking about what that life will look like, so when life creates a vacuum, you have something to fill it with: your heart's desire, your dreams.
April Yvette Thompson