The Future of Film: It’s All About the User Experience
Few days ago I finally had the chance to watch Side by Side, a documentary of its time where Keanu Reeves interviewed directors, cinematographers, editors, colorists, actors, executives etc. to better understand why film, why digital, and why film vs. digital. Although there is a real risk that this documentary might look outdated in a very short time debate wise, it is a window on a moment in time where the Industry split and -most importantly- it is an ode to storytelling. After watching it I just wanted to grab a camera and shoot something. (i.e. watch it if you can)
The documentary screened at Tribeca during its Film Festival, and a number of panels were organized under the general theme ‘The Future of Film‘. While online looking for more information, a panel named ‘The Future of Film: New Tools for Filmmakers‘ (unsurprisingly) caught my attention.
Now, let me be totally honest with you right here: this panel was not about new tools for filmmakers. (booh) I usually dislike ‘false advertising’ for panels, and I think Tribeca should have changed the name of the conference (or at least the Youtube description) once they realized that Andrew Weissman (Union Square Ventures) and Jason Hirschhorn (Media ReDEFined) did not end up talking about what they were supposed to, but I will forgive them because that said panel was awesome. Or so I felt.
So, what is this about?!
(took me some time to arrive to this point today.)
OK, perseverant lad, this talk is about the Business. Hirschhorn and Weissman discuss the state of mainstream production and distribution, why the industry is so reluctant to change pattern, where TV/Cable/Netflix are at ‘now’ (keep in mind this was a year ago), and most importantly, what needs to change for users to stay on board.
Why is this interesting to you, indie filmmaker?
Because, as I mentioned recently from another angle, things are changing fast and drastically, and it is not that crazy to think that soon, you will have as much odds than a studio to reach a very wide audience, even though you don’t have a $50 million to market your story. Because users don’t care. (and yes, I used ‘users’ and not ‘audience’ because this is what it is about.) 99% of the people don’t know if a story is produced by Warner Bros or Jane Doe, and if they love it, they don’t care. They do care about finding stories easily, hearing about them from their friends, having access to them instantly and being able to share them as quickly as they want to. So everything Hirschhorn and Weissman talk about in this panel is relevant to you, to better understand what are the problems Goliath is facing, and what are the solutions everybody should think about.
All in all, take 40 minutes, lay back and listen carefully. It is all worth it:
check the archives for a taste of it.