As you stroll through this life – a young child, eventually struggling through those awkward adolescent years before finally making it into slightly less awkward adulthood – the events you experience either directly or indirectly, shape what you are at any particular stage of the journey. Home, career, love or social lives – all of these things evolve or (in many cases) desolve due to environmental factors.
Adapt or die – Just like all of those movie executives that are refusing, via multi-million dollar lawsuits against their customers of course, to adapt their business model to major advances in technology, you too can either change with life or be like a brick wall in a flood zone. The water will get where it needs to go in one way or another, however, and the movie industry will drown if it doesn’t change it’s business model.
Adapting isn’t hard if you try. They’re still on Plan A though.
It’s those endlessly changing life factors that sometimes cause people to just imitate the flooded brick wall. People get so sick of changing and would just prefer to stand still – pick the easy option once in a while – whether beneficial or not. Corporate, inter-personal – it doesn’t matter. Just ask your nearest friend in a poorly-coupled coupling how their latest trivial argument went (if they haven’t told you first I guess).
Your bogan relationships are priceless in entertainment value. That’s right. I just classified your relationship and I probably don’t even know about it. If you get in a fight over trivialities, then a short-time later kiss and makeup – seventeen times a week, you’re probably driving the VN Commodore down Boganville Road heading south towards Boganville. One way. But I digress.
Now ‘dats gangsta.
The music, film and (somewhat) the television industries are guilty of being the brick wall, while penalizing their customers on a one to one basis by introducing draconian restrictions on things people have bought to satisfy an apparently missing element of control. Rights management on downloaded songs from iTunes making it difficult to copy purchased music to whatever devices you want, digital content that’s made available world wide over the internet, but restricted and locked into different price points based on where you live – the list continues.
Nevermind that I’m all up in that bitch with a loader, demolishing the shit out of the wall. I can still download for free, and without any copy protection, so they miss out on both my money and being able to control me. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens when you refuse to adapt to the environment that’s changed around you. It’s this balance of convenience and control that they just can’t seem to figure out. Digital isn’t convenient if I can’t control all aspects of it – simple.
Ironically, I’ve seen this embarrassing Australian anti-piracy ad that compares stealing movies to stealing a car, on a copied DVD.
Perhaps it’s this cluster-fuck of stoic industry that causes signed talent to branch off and start performing in ways that they weren’t originally known for? Maybe they just get so sick and tired of putting up with SHIT in whatever industry they are famous in, and adapt their capabilities? Eventually they just tell the label that made them to go fuck themselves, and branch out you know?
Mostly celebrities don’t get shot dead for trying to leave a label, unlike recently-made-a-hologram Tupac, so they can eventually ‘do they own thang’. This branching out rarely appears to work in anyone’s benefit but their own. But does brand development mean selling out? Even if it leads to people like Snoop Dogg going from rapping about blunts and bitches to doing songs with Katy Perry. Shameful. I still remember when you were sippin’ on gin and juice, laidback, with your mind on your money and money on your mind.
I guess the money’s still on his mind – though was he smart in alienating that original fanbase or did he sell out?
And while I’m on washed up gangster rappers from the glory days of the nineties, Ice Cube went from yelling “Fuck the Police” more or less straight into average acting rolls. Apart from the ‘Friday’ series I can’t really of anything else he’s been in that I’ve watched. But he adapted I guess. Exhausted the rap music and used that fame to create more cash in another industry. Like concerts in his hey-day, did it reach sell out?
Rolling the dice a bit – Delta Goodrem – written about more than I care to admit – turned a fledgling success in Australian pop music, into #1 Proactiv ticket holder (next to Justin Bieber obviously), and lately into someone that spins in a chair on television whenever she feels like it. I’m sure that’s not all she’s spun on in her life, but I digress; I’d insinuate that she’s a sell-out, but really she was from day one.
The difference between Delta and these washed up gangsta rappers is simple – they achieved success in their fields and used that momentum to branch out whilst building their brand (and maybe dumping some O.G. fans along the way). Sadly the majority of Australian celebrities aren’t like that.
“What about all those end of year animated movies Sam!? With all those celebrities in them!?”. Well ain’t that just another beast entirely. Basically the job ad for those should be thus:
Do you like MONEY!? Of course you do! Do you like rocking up to work in your pyjamas and almost literally phoning in a performance from the comfort of your own home, and a hastily arranged iPhone audio recorder!? Of course you do!
Well saddle up, celebrity of minor or major status! You too can earn a shitload of money by voicing an animated film where you merely have to deliver lines with some inflection. We’ll do the rest! We’ll even e-mail you the lines to recite!
TALK AND GET PAID! IT’S THAT EASY!
As you can tell, I hold those movies in high regard as clearly I can’t read between the lines of what celebrity casting actually does for those films (would you have watched Shrek without the names Mike Myers or Eddie Murphy on the poster?).
Celebrities are a brand. As simple as Toyota, McDonalds or Apple. Is it selling out to branch out from what you were originally known for in order to bring in more business? Maybe not. But if you go from rapping about hard shit, to singing with Katy Perry, or from shitty pop singing to rubbing absurd cosmetics on your face – you’re probably a sell out to your original audience.
I think becoming a sell out is harder than executing simple marketing, like printing t-shirts with your damn name on them or something. It’s about using the fame you developed to push something else you never would have been apart of once upon a time. It’s a cold (for Tupac), sad (for Snoop) and smushy (for Delta) reality of celebrity.
As you cry tears of contemplation of this hard reality over your old Snoop Dogg CDs, just remember that I’ll always be here. Hating. Though on your way out, please remember to pickup my souvenir T-Shirts, Lighters, Stubbie Coolers and Stickers from the Gift Shop!