I have been thinking about this very often, and it still plagues me.
Ever since I really got into animation, I have wanted to make feature films with my own stories and characters. I would like to do more adult stories (not tits and ass stories). I had hoped to contribute something positive to the world of animation.
I have always had my doubts about if I would do that, but youthful optimism (or idiocy) has always prevailed. However, ever since I have read The Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies by Edward jay Epstein has almost killed my hopes.
In this book, Epstein shows us how people earn and make money in the world of film. In today's Hollywood, so much money is poured into certain films, that Hollywood executives do everything possible in order for the film to make money. That is why so much of Hollywood emphasizes franchise films. They are more guaranteed, at least in their minds, to make money for their companies.
This makes me fear for those who strive for originality, particularly those in the world of animation. Even in Independent and Foreign circles, it is getting harder to get films made. The film companies like to make films that have a strong American backing.
Now, I know there have been a lucky few who have had the chance to make their own films, like my hero Ralph Bakshi, but that occurred during a time of great upheaval, when the old studio system was dying off and new voices were encouraged. Today's Hollywood encourages routine and almost discourages new voices. One example of this is mentioned in Epstein's book, when an aspiring filmmaker brought forth an idea to a film executive. The executive said, "Too bad this movie hasn't been made before, or we could have done the remake."
Need I say more?