We’re in a shifting market right now. Classical Hollywood marketing, financing, production and even distribution have radically changed over the past couple years.
Here’s some of the biggest highlights.
Robotics: Moore’s Law has given us improved (and usually cheaper) computers, editing software and cameras every year. But what’s really exciting is the growing marriage between robotics and cinema. We now have remote controlled drones carrying huge camera rigs in otherwise impossible shots, we have intelligent gyro stabilization giving anyone the opportunity to be a stedicam operator, and to top it all off there’s a growing market of ‘robots’ made for the camera. I’ve seen it in action myself at NAB last year, a robotic crane flew the camera around the room at dizzying speeds and alternately in smooth slow motion with a simple keystroke. Technology isn’t just giving us cheaper and better cameras… it’s also enabling us to write new rules of cinematography.
Crowd funding: Sites like Indiegogo and kickstarter have democrazicted the funding process, breathing life into countless projects that would have never gotten funding otherwise. These funding platforms also give the filmmaker a built-in market before the film is even released. What’s significant about crowd funding or investment is that it allows for a larger pool of projects to be green lit as opposed to the elite circle of hollywood executives that green-light very few projects per year.
Video on demand: Most people are familiar with VOD services such as iTunes, Netflix, Amazon and so on. It’s a great way to distribute your film without the hassle of paying production houses to make DVDs and negotiating deals with retailers. Another exciting aspect of VOD is the emerging market of original content. What started out as an alternative way to enjoy television might become the ‘television’ itself.
YouTube, Vimeo and other video juggernauts already offer more original content than any television service but the problem is that they are mostly shorts, tutorials, or cat videos. That’s changing fast and being accelerated by Netflix and Amazon’s brave foray into original online programming.
Monetization: This is technically the same as VOD but rather than have your film restricted to specific buying platforms you can sell your film anywhere, even on your website or Facebook. Freeing yourself from the rules and commission fee of the major platforms. The two most popular options right now are Vimeo monetization and Distrify. Most films and tv are only available on the big VOD platforms but I predict more and more content will include the content on personal websites at a lower cost than the VOD markets.
The middle man is being cut.