2021: A Year in Review

A look back at the highlights of 2021 from a creative’s point-of-view.

And just like that another year comes a close! It’s as if the creator of the universe programmed our DNA to experience the acceleration of time as more of it passes. I remember as a child the days seemed impossibly long, especially if I was bored or made to do something unpleasant. Now it’s hard to keep track of where the time goes in a week or a month and now this year. Going, going gone.

Maybe we’re designed this way because we’re mortals, destined to die. Are we light beings in flesh suits here for the temporary thrill of being alive? And if so, might we actually learn something or be destined to return to the karmic wheel for another try. Or maybe we’re God’s children living out a moral drama, given the free will to choose between good and evil. But maybe there’s no design or meaning to life at all. How ever you slice it, we’re all gonna croak and that’s a fact.

I hadn’t planned on waxing poetic but that’s the way the words are flowing so I may as well let it be. It’s been one heck of a year. We probably all feel like we’ve been living in a Lewis Carroll Wonderland where life as we knew it is strangely skewed. At the time of this writing 362 days out of the standard calendar 365 have moved from future to present to past, only to be relived in photographs and memories ever again. Okay. On with the review.

As a career creative person I would like to give you my in-depth best movies of the year list but I didn’t get out to the theater much. Neither did anyone else. The continuing scourge of the Covid pandemic hit Hollywood and the theater chains hard, as it had in 2020. We were forced to mask up, isolate and self-distance. Productions and theatrical releases were delayed, theme parks went dark and live sporting events were cancelled. One of the most iconic theaters closed in 2021, the Hollywood Cinerama Dome. And it looks like Amazon is buying MGM.

The studios switched to streaming their blockbuster movies up until very recently and with the Omicron strain raging, the future of the cinema experience remains uncertain. In the summer, the International Alliance of Stage and Theatrical Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) threatened a massive strike. In October, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (A.M.P.T.P.) finally came to the collective bargaining table. Better working conditions and residuals for streaming were key to the midnight deal they reached.

On the upside, Netflix (which added 26 million new subscribers in 2020) kept booming as did the book market. According to Reid Tracey, CEO of Hay House, book sales saw their best year in decades. People MUST have their stories and the ability to interact in real time. I know I did a lot of Zoom meetings. Forbes reports that Facebook is up to 3 billion members this year. YouTube has 2 billion dedicated eyeballs and Instagram has somewhere in the neighborhood of a million.

One thing we know for sure, things in the Hollywood community will never be the same again. All of the above, notwithstanding, according to A-list writer-producer Alex Kurtzman, production costs have risen nearly 20 percent since the pandemic due to the need for the inclusion of medical safety teams on set. He doesn’t see that cost ever coming down. This was first reported by Lucas Shaw in Bloomberg Businessweek (May 26, 2021).

On a personal note, I had a health scare that landed me in the hospital for major surgery (never saw that coming) and now I’m happier than ever to be alive and disease free. There were many more people who were’t so lucky, including some dear friends. So there is much to reflect on and be grateful about.

Since the surgery I joined a private writing group at Hay House (which is mostly concerned with self-help books and auto-biographies) and am working on a book proposal. They insist on a well-developed personal social media platform and following. So here I am building that out and learning as I go. Please like and subscribe, if you haven’t already, and leave a comment! Your feedback is very important to me.

I’ll post a year-end blog story with my top favorite films for 2021 as well as some New Year plans for 2022. Thanks for visiting my site. More to come…

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