When I was younger, I dreamt of jet-setting off to America and becoming Disney Channel’s next big thing. Then of course I would go on to become a famous actress/singer and there was only one place in mind where I could see my dreams coming true. No, not Disneyland… the other land of dreams, Hollywood.
But why was Hollywood the place? How come I never dreamt of moving to Sydney to become Disney Channel’s newest teen star? It’s simple, ask four-year-old me and she would say, “There’s no Disney Channel in Sydney… Duh.”
Just as Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and the Hemsworth Brothers packed their bags and bought a one-way ticket to La La Land, any Aussie star who wanted to be known for more than just their awkward adolescent years on Home and Away or Neighbours (take your pick) will make the big move. And unless you wanted to star in another overtly clichéd Aussie movie, filmed in outback Australia (think Crocodile Dundee, Australia, The Crocodile Hunter and Kangaroo Jack), then smart move.
But why is that the case? Well really there is only one explanation, Hollywood is a media capital – the centre of finance, production and the distribution of television programs and movies (basically where things come together and anything becomes possible!).
But with emerging technology and emerging centres of transnational cultural production, is Hollywood really necessary nowadays as anything other than a meeting place for industry personnel?
Take the movie Matrix for example. It was directed by Americans, was filmed in Australia, had a stunt double coordinator from Hong Kong and special effects from San Francisco. Wow, it seems the US’ one-way flow of production has been replaced by the rise of a global media environment.
So now where do I go if I want to become a movie star?
According to Michael Curtin in his text, Media Capital: Towards the study of spatial flows (2013) the cultural spheres of influence are no longer bounded entities, but rather, are arising out of the migration, interaction and exchange between countries. In other words, program production is dispersing and because of that, creative pools of talent are attracting other creative people and new media capitals are born. Chinawood anyone?
In fact, other countries may in turn begin to compete with Bollywood, err… I meant Hollywood (see, I’m forgetting that place already) as the hot spot for all the big-name productions. So really, maybe I can live in Sydney and be a Hollywood star after all.
It was good enough for Leo right?