All Things Must Pass (a documentary on the rise and fall of Tower Records) is a cautionary documentary with 2 key takeaways:
What has more possibilities…the present or the future?
In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion.
In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. Surreal.
In any business you typically work for today or you work for tomorrow. Few business can deftly pull off working for today and tomorrow. Tower Records got caught up in the moment; it was focused on the present. So Fired.
Classic business regrets…
Yellow Pages did not give us Google
Starbucks didn’t offer us Keurig
Borders stumbles with online retail; what Amazon does so smoothly
You get big doing one thing well and then…you…I dunno hope it’s enough? Watching this doc I understood why Tower Records failed…well not really. All this money…all these industry connections…access to rock stars and no vision. That’s more frightening than an 80s slasher movie. Just ask Blockbuster.
The odd thing is Tower started by selling vinyl, if only it’d found a way to hang on it could have gone full circle. Or Tower Records could have created the first iTunes or the first Spotify. Or, if, shoulds…what’s done is done. Smell Ya Later Tower Records.
Another Richie using crowdfunding…sigh. “You unbelieving and corrupt generation! How long must I put up with you?”
Studios are risk averse. Totally understandable it costs a lot just to get established actors who’ll give your picture a decent shot at opening and once you’d paid the fees for these actors you still have to shoot the movie, market it and distribute it.
Begin Tangent: From a purely economic perspective complaining about diversity isn’t valid; it doesn’t have legs…if you got $50 million or more riding on a movie you really gonna go with somebody who may deliver big audiences? From a business perspective it’s best to apply risk management; a white actor can shake off bombs somebody is still hiring Jennifer Asinston right? From a purely business perspective I get it and don’t blame the system; their job is to make money not art: End Tangent.
All Things Must Pass is directed by Colin Hanks dude from Roswell and son of Tom. He also crowdfunded the movie raising $92,025 on Kickstarter. Not a fan at all of established creators fleecing the public. When your dad is Tom Hanks you have a lot more options than Kickstarter while still being your own man, if that’s a serious issue.
Kevin Smith said it best: “Unlike back when I made CLERKS in ’91, I’ve GOT access to money now — so I should use that money and not suck any loot out of the crowdfunding marketplace that might otherwise go to some first-timer who can really use it.”
Word. But that’s our present circumstances…in time All Things Must Pass.
Sammy’s Status: All Things Must Pass…how true.
Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair podcast: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.