It was about one week ago when Disney announced it would tighten authoritative control and significantly compact the infrastructure of its little sister (comparatively) indie company Miramax.
Variety reported a nearly 75 percent reduction in staff to a mere 20 remaining executives and said that marketing and distribution departments are supposed to face some serious restructuring.
Miramax’s economic struggle has been apparent for sometime, and now the foreign films featured prominently in the studio’s queue will be decreased to make room for more commercially viable genre pics, specifically comedies and thrillers.
Toronto International Film Festival saw many distributors turn the cheek to most films regardless of critical reception, and considering an anchor like Miramax is essential the independent film industry, this could have a serious impact on short-term release schedules.
The big picture (via Variety):
On the whole, the shrinking indie slots at studios spell ongoing tough times for filmmakers. Some are already crying doom over what the Miramax cuts will mean for acquisitions at Sundance in January. Despite the fact that the label made very few pickups in recent years, the notion that just one more possible buyer was taken off the field is cause for a full indie orange alert.
Until an effective monetary growth strategy can be devised to strengthen the relationship between the big bad bureaucrats and the earnest, artistic little guy, the public’s access to diverse kinds of cinema in major multiplexes will surely be inhibited.
Does this downsizing signal something much more detrimental for the industry?