Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hollywood the Dream Factory - Part 1

Do you want to reach the people who work and live in Hollywood? Are you prepared to be a media missionary? More than likely, you see Hollywood as a valid mission field. Hollywood and the entertainment industry is comprised of a unique people group with their own customs, language and rituals. In order to reach that people group, you must first understand what makes them function. What drives them? What’s important to them? What do they value? And, finally, what makes them unique from other people groups?

Once you understand a particular people group—their makeup and design—it becomes much easier to decipher their customs, language and rituals. How do you get to the heart of who the people are in Hollywood and the broader entertainment industry? I’ve worked with people in this industry for over 20 years. And there are a few things I have observed that could help us to understand the mindset of those who work in entertainment.

Hollywood has always been called the Dream Factory. You cannot understand Hollywood or the entertainment industry unless you understand what the Dream Factory represents. Hollywood is in the business of the mass production of dreams, which is represented in the art form of movies and television. At the same time, they also create dreams for the people who are pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.

The Hollywood Dream Factory and the American Dream are also closely tied to each other, especially for the people who work there. These concepts have led to a social system of mutual patterns and ideas which help to control and influence the activities of its members.

The Dream Factory’s ultimate objective is the pursuit of fame and fortune. This is a driving force in the culture that makes up Hollywood. Hollywood sells the idea that you can have it all. Anything is possible. It’s social system excels in flashiness, bigness and it’s own self-importance. It offers those who seek careers in the industry an opportunity to remake themselves into whatever they want to be.

The ideas that fuel the Dream Factory are complicated. They serve as a metaphor much like California, that if you can get there, life will be better for you there than where you came from. Therefore, those who come to Hollywood looking for opportunities to break into the business will try to achieve it at all costs. After all, who doesn’t want to be rich, famous and important? That’s what the Hollywood Dream Factory is selling, not only to their audience but to those who come looking for a better life.

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