How did the entertainment industry achieve its current standard. We look far into the past and starting from the middle ages where the performers, mostly gypsy were ill treated and ill reputed. Jesters were but mere clowns, and clowns as we all know don't hold much status. Then you take Shakespeare's actors. Men played women, women weren't present. There wasn't a million dollars to be made from Romeo and Juliet. Comedians and performers were the low end of the totem pole. They worked hard and passionately but it didn't go anywhere and they were never the respected members of society.
Fast forwards to centuries later and the shoe is on the other foot. but how come this time it fits so well? Is it because civilization was a bit cross eyed and wore the shoe on the wrong foot to begin with. Shouldn't art be appreciated more. Well then you question the renaissance and other such movements that held art up to the standards. Art was everything, it was exquisite and beyond. Yet it wasn't a viable business. It was admired but it didn't effect much.
Perhaps it was just theater and performing arts that were under appreciated. The value of art is something that not just every artist but every person should question. Then you have the great composers who rubbed noses with royalty. In the end there seems that the place for artists wasn't under-appreciated, but rather segregated to certain events or so.
What is the difference between then and now. Well one can only speculate. The true solution to this question would most likely require years of study and a formation of a thesis that could perhaps earn me a Phd. Fortunately I don't have the patience for that.
What is the difference then, simple, back then art was appreciated but there was no money in it. The difference between artists and business men is that business men strive to achieve supremacy and artists strive to exist. The goals vary and therefore artists stay poor or mildly rich. But now the business end of it has taken over and the artists are becoming richer and richer. They have accountants, managers, agents dealing with money. And those only make money when the artist makes money. life for them has changed, and they have become role models and in todays world idols.
Kids wanna grow up to be them, they set trends, which in this consumeristic society means not only money but fame and success. There is more of a chance you know Will Smiths next film rather than the current foreign policy set by our dear president. To the point that presidents to be frequent comedy shows to boost their popularity. The world has become quite an interesting place.
So then why. Well it could simply be because of the industrialization of the film industry. Starting with the early twenties and on and on. Films became important to a newly industrialized culture where working conditions were getting better and better, and people weren't working from dawn to dusk in farms or the corrupted factories. living conditions were getting better and better. People seem to have more time on their hands.
Now they couldn't go out every day. So at first film started competing with theater. It seemed generally the same thing. But soon the extensive range of film started to impede on theater and the world started to change. Now we fast forward to the advent of home playing devices. They started to compete with home entertainment, which for the most part consisted of books and perhaps board games. Film started becoming a part of life like nothing else. It started becoming a part of the conversation.
So what is the value of film now? Or the value of books and paintings? Is theater obsolete? All are important questions that vary with the one answering. But important none the less to ask. With all of art that we consume in todays world, do we really understand the need of it or do we just consume it just like every other product. The difference is that art will speak to your soul more than your physical needs.