Wednesday, October 6, 2010


RVCBard asks the question about pricing that nobody has dared to ask: where are your ninjas?

My answer is thus:

Is not Isaac's stance that people should have access to theaters for reasonable prices a way to allow more people to sneak into theaters? Isn't it a very NINJA thing to want to do?

And isn't 2amt's stance that people should pay what they're capable of -- and that theaters should feel free to charge higher fees if they need -- an awfully familiar stance? The stance... of PIRATES?

I knew this would all boil down to being pirates v. ninjas.

Up until now, I've kept my nose out of this debate because I see a lot of sides to the equation. I'm not going to venture into the quasi-math of A+B+etc., but it seems to me like there's a fixed amount of money in the system, and that money is simply not enough.

Seeing as there is not enough money, people basically wind up either:
  1. Compromising their mission to provide more popular fare that they can squeeze revenue out of.
  2. Compromising their artists in the form of low wages, etc.
  3. Compromising their staff (such as an entire literary department).
  4. Compromising their audience (through the form of high ticket prices).
  5. Failing.
The point has been made a couple times that the choice you make is basically what defines who you are. What's more important, your mission or your staff? Your artists or your audience?

Trying to cut production costs becomes, at a certain point, like trying to cut waste:

Some artists/companies will hit some vein of success -- a Broadway transfer, a surprise hit of a mission-accomplishing show, or a MacArthur Genius Grant, that will change the calculus. Or maybe in 2012 we'll elect Europe to be our President and the money spigots will flow.

So, seriously. Are you a ninja? Are you a pirate? Are you a robot? How you decide to fail is probably going to define who you are and where you are going.

Don't feel like failing? I suggest NYU Law. Everyone else: Fail again. Fail better.


RVCBard said...

Ninjas can be anywhere at any time, practically invisible. Pirates have to stay at sea. Ever seen a pirate in the desert? Me neither. But I have seen ninjas. So there!

CultureFuture said...

If you have seen ninjas in the desert, you've clearly seen some pretty shite ninjas.

RVCBard said...

Look, they were only beginners!