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The Next Wave Of Media Companies

The Next Wave Of Media Companies

I don’t like to say I am a “content creator”, because I think it reduces the quality of what I do. I prefer to say I am a “storyteller”, even though I think that sounds a bit smarmy too, and really just covers one aspect of — along with the ultimate result thereof — my endeavors. “Film producer” is certainly a term that no longer is truly applicable to my ambitions, but still probably works best to capture what I do. One day I may finally stumble across the correct term for how I use my labor, but for now I just generate within an industry in total transformation.

We all know that the film industry is changing in many ways. But are we at all prepared for how it is going to change in even more rapid ways in the days ahead?

We not only have to recognize the reality we live in, but we have to anticipate the future desires and needs of the participants in our practice. The ABSOLUTE necessity of content creators & storytellers to collaborate with tech innovators is apparent, but still quite rare in practice. I use to think the result of such a union would be inevitably DISRUPTIVE, but now I see otherwise.

The next wave of leaders will be “The Redefiners”. I am working on some new startups that I believe address the future needs and desires of all participants, so when I looked at this slide show this morning (I was tipped to it by Shilpa Mankikar — thanks!), I had one of those “ah… yes!” moments: this is what I want to do. Is it what you want to do too?

Sometimes we find that in order to do what we really want, we can’t just move ahead; instead, we have to move in another manner altogether. I know I will always want to tell stories that matter, that represent the world we are living in, that connect, move, entertain, and inspire people, and that encourage positive change. I also know that we need to do it in a very different ways than we used to — and there is tremendous opportunity in that.

This slide show captures a lot of what I have been feeling, saying, and sharing. Many thanks to Anil Dash, Michael J. Wolf and their team for writing it up for us.

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Sujewa Ekanayake

Very interesting. One thing in filmed entertainment (feature length movies & TV shows for most people in America & world) is certainly not going to change – and that’s the need for great writing/scripts. Saw a few movies & TV shows recently – from micro/no budget, to indiewood, to big budget Hollywood, foreign TV, to HBO type stuff, and the most enjoyable of the half dozen or so items was Midnight in Paris – a movie that was pretty simple tech wise (and pretty old fashioned in many ways), but very entertainingly written & or made. Anyway, nice to know that as many things change or threaten to change fast that old timey things like a good script & nostalgia & humor & lots of pretty images of an old city can still entertain very well.

The future

The future is in exhibition.

Whoever is smart enough to connect social media to an integrated chain of next wave art house theaters will be da’ boss.

Festivals are on their way down as they are un-necessary middle men.

AMC and Regal are now going to distribute movies. No one with money in the indie world has jumped into it yet, except maybe for Emerging Cinemas.

You wouldn’t need huge marketing budgets if people know where to go like they know how to change the channel to HBO.

Gary Baddeley

Ted, technology has already thoroughly disrupted the production of movies. Whether it’s with the RED or the 5D, the cost of shooting film is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago. Final Cut Pro has done the same for editing.

Distribution has seen some disruption via electronic delivery of movies, legal or otherwise, but the big changes are yet to come.

But marketing has to be the biggest unmet challenge facing our industry. Marketing costs have soared from 5% of budget 30 years ago to an estimated 15 to 25+% today per film. The highly inefficient, expensive marketing methods that studios use are begging to be redefined.

Along with some very smart people from the tech side of the aisle, I’m working on creating solutions for the filmmaking community that will enable an economically sustainable model for efficient distribution and marketing of the many great movies produced each year that either go undistributed or under-distributed. I hope I’ll be able to tell you more very soon.

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