“As Hollywood faces grim times, there’s a silver lining for 2009,” writes Variety columnist Anne Thompson. “If the studios, God forbid, are forced by the credit crunch to make fewer, less expensive films and spend their own money producing them (as the L.A. Times reports in this grim forecast written before the SAG strike looked less likely), they will take less risks, yes, but they’ll also pay more attention to making strong commercial films with a market niche. In short, they will make better films.”

I agree but in a slightly different way. Having tons of money to burn has never upped the quality of creativity for anyone or anything, and having less money always results in more discipline and a lot of honing, which tends to result in better work. Martin Scorsese had loads of dough to work with on Gangs of New York and look what happened. And he was working on a relative shoestring when he made The Last Temptation of Christ and look what happened.