“Film is the best way to capture an image and project that image. It just is, hands down. That’s based on my assessment of what I’m seeing as a filmmaker […] As far as innovation and experimentation, I’m in favor of any technological innovation, but it will always have to exceed what came before. None of the new technologies have done that […] I’ve gone to movie theaters and watched [my films]. Not enough filmmakers do that. And not enough people in our industry spend enough time in theaters and see the end result.”
Director Christopher Nolan (one of the last filmmakers to still shoot film exclusively) with a message for Hollywood and his fellow directors, in a wide-ranging conversation with The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief film critic Todd McCarthy at CinemaCon this week – the annual gathering of theater owners in Las Vegas.
His comments have reignited the long-running film versus digital debate – one that continues as the era of film prints reaches what looks to be its end, as the so-called ongoing digital revolution (production and distribution) asserts itself (certainly in IndieWorld, and catching on in Hollywood).
In recent years, there’ve been numerous editorials by various industry insiders and outsiders, experts, declaring a shift in the way audiences are consuming content, and thus, how content creators are, or should be delivering their content.
Some have even been so bold as to predict the death of celluloid cinema as we’ve known it. Others have pointed towards a future in which the mobile web dominates, rendering the theatrical and television experiences near-obsolete.
I don’t think anyone really knows where we’re headed with absolute certainty. It seems that, right now, we’re all scrambling, throwing darts at ideas, hoping to land on something that works. I don’t think movie theatres and television are going to suddenly disappear; and I don’t know if the web is indeed the final frontier. I’d like to believe that all 3 can and will co-exist, with each serving some purpose that the other 2 can’t, or can’t quite as well.
But we can’t deny the effect the information superhighway and overall “digital revolution” has had on the way the world distributes and consumes media.
What I’d like to know from all of you who frequent this blog is where and how most of you consume content.
I like to do this once every year or so, if only just to gauge any shifts in trends over time.
Your responses to the 8 simple questions below will be very useful to us and much appreciated, which I will then compare to the previous years I’ve run this survey:
1. Approximately how many feature length films do you watch each month – cumulative (at the theatre, on TV, DVD rentals/purchase, on the web, iTunes, on your iPad, PDA, etc)? Feature-length (whether fiction or documentary or animation), not shorts.
2. How many of the number of films from your answer in the first question do you watch at the theatre?
3. How many of the number of films from your answer in the first question do you watch on TV (network or cable)?
4. How many of the number of films from your answer in the first question are DVD rentals/purchases?
5. How many of the number of films from your answer in the first question do you watch via the web (whether via iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon On Demand, YouTube etc, etc, etc)? Remember, feature-length films only.
6. How many of the number of films from your answer in the first question do you watch on handheld portable devices – iPhone, iPod Touch, PlayStation Portable, etc, etc, etc…?
7. Whenever choosing how and where you watch movies, which is of greater influence on your decision: price or convenience?
8. There are numerous web-based series. Do you watch any web-based series regularly, much like you tune in weekly to watch your favorite primetime television drama or comedy program?
That’s all for now. I may have some further questions which I’ll post in another poll; but these are a good start. Your responses are greatly appreciated.
But even if you’d rather not answer the questions, feel free to chime with your thoughts on Nolan’s defiance (if you will), and the overall shift in industry trends/standards.