Future Thoughts

I wrote a while back about the "collapsing" film industry, and what can be done about it. But I didn't really go into the alternatives that would keep such a doomsday from occurring:

The New Media.

Everybody loves YouTube and Hulu, even if almost all of the content on the former is pure, unfiltered junk. The questions here involve what sort of revenue system is viable, and when truly great content is available.

Let's face it-- there's been no Birth of the Nation to send online media into the stratosphere. Of course there are the viral videos, but they don't have that blockbustery attribute of making most people want to re-watch them.

Nor are they exactly raking in the dollars.

New media takes care of distribution needs, but marketing is still a sort of challenge. Getting blogged about and e-mailed generates good word of mouth, but if some brilliant kid from Wyoming uploads the next Citizen Kane onto YouTube without promotion, it's gonna be a long time before anyone discovers it.

There's also the question of what sort of aesthetic quality users/the audience accepts. The glossy 35mm look is still dominant in the cinema world, but a bargain-basement webcam is fine for vlogs and other ephemeral online video.

I think as time goes on, audiences will be more willing to accept media that defies genre expectations for appearance-- which could allow for popular feature length films to be made on $300 budgets, and 1080/24p video diary entries.

Yay for cross-pollination.

1 comment:

  1. It does seem odd to me that, since The Blair Witch Project, more hasn't been done with different types of media production. However, as with any medium, there is also the problem of people accusing others who attempt something different with the same form or appearance of copycatting or being unoriginal regardless of what they are trying to achieve. Because 35mm is the norm, there is little criticism of films for being in that format, but with newer forms, as, for example, with computer animation, I still hear a lot of comparisons being made to earlier works, even if they are drastically different. I think this is going to be something best left to the IFC and the Cannes Film Festival and other independent artists to continue to push for, using the internet as a way to spread the word. Enough crossovers over time and different forms will become the norm, just as in music or politics...