Film: where local is a dirty word

imageI’ve condensed yesterday’s post into a personal theory:

Prominent outsiders coming local is more newsworthy than any local.

Therefore, when seeking local publicity, the prominent outsider is more valuable. This is because the outsider validates what is local in a way that the local cannot by themselves. The other alternative is ENTIRELY local, which can be considered THE SCENE. This is only valuable locally unless there is such a pool of quality that your scene can be recognised OUTSIDE of the scene itself, at which point you are defined by your LOCALITY. (Whether we can or would want to consider that when we’ve had such an obvious international history is another question.)

Another problem with LOCAL is whether it is a quality that the market demands. Local food produce may be what some people want but can the farmer sustain himself on this market alone? Or must he sell further afield too? At which distance does the farmer stop using ‘local’ as a quality? A quality outsider is a quality outsider in lots of places but is only local to one. If the locality has a pool of talent that is recognised outside of the locale, then the locality becomes the quality. Think Danish bacon.

Let’s use a film example. If Tom Cruise comes to the UK he gets headlines regardless of what is happening locally, because he is ‘quality’ and his presence in the UK validates that we are important enough for Tom to pay us a visit. An all-British production gets news here and that quality travels abroad, sometimes labelled as a ‘Brit-flick’, which is a term defined by its location. Hollywood is a local, Nollywood and Bollywood are locales. Tom Cruise being in town arguably still trumps the Brit-flick in Britain. So it is at a national level.

Which brings us to the painful regional question: is there enough talent in Birmingham that can be considered quality at HOME and AWAY? Those that argue YES should consider – will the local quality still beat a quality outsider for newsworthiness? And more importantly, have you got evidence of it?

James

 

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