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Businesses Entertainment

The Fall of Traditional Entertainment Conglomerates 204

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-me-know-how-that-goes-for-you dept.
Advocatus Diaboli writes "We no longer live in the era of 'plantation-type' movie studios or recording houses. However large private companies still have considerable power over content production, distribution and promotion. Technology has been slowly changing this state of affairs for almost 30-40 years, however certain new technological advances, enabling systems and cost considerations will change the entertainment industry as we know it within 5 years."
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The Fall of Traditional Entertainment Conglomerates

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  • by by (1706743) (1706744) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:03PM (#34977806)
    While the TFA's GTA movie is no doubt impressive, the Blender Foundation produced Big Buck Bunny [wikipedia.org], a (in my opinion) beautifully rendered ~10 minute short. You can download the rendered version here [bigbuckbunny.org], and can even download the production data here [kino3d.org] -- it's released under Creative Commons I think.

    It may not be quite up to Pixar's standards, but I think it's pretty slick (and no, I'm not affiliated with either company =) )
  • by blarkon (1712194) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:33PM (#34978002)

    The biggest difference in the short term will be the death of "Big TV Sci Fi" of the Galactica/Stargate/Trek variety. SGU was canceled recently due to poor ratings, yet several torrent tracker sites reported it consistently ranked in the top 5 shows downloaded. Say what you want about the quality of the show, but if it was consistently downloaded by that many people, it had an audience. The problem was, it had an audience that couldn't be monetized.

    The reason why Big TV Sci-Fi is in trouble more than other genres is that the audience of Big TV Sci-Fi is the most likely to seek a method of viewing the product that can't be monetized. The SyFy channel isn't moving towards showing wrestling because they think that wrestling is cooler than space ships and time machines, it is just that the audience for wrestling will watch wrestling on the TV rather than downloading it and watching it in an alternate manner.

    Perhaps, maybe, somehow there is a business model where you can make money out of hi-budget Sci-Fi that people download rather than watch, but other than George Lucas' "sell lots of toys" method of recouping expenses, no one seems to have found it yet.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:56PM (#34978100) Homepage Journal
    You are sort of right, but you are really not looking at this from the right angle. While doing what Hollywood does takes money, but now thanks to the proliferation of technology, we are not limited to just consuming what Hollywood produces. Most people have a set amount of time they can devote to entertainment, now back in the day video entertainment consisted of TV and movies, all products of the entertainment industries. Now there are literally tons of different types of videos I can watch, things like video game reviews or comedy sketches or political commentary. And while the Hollywood stuff I do watch cannot be easily replicated by people on the internet, overall I still end up watching less of what the major studios produce.
  • by WebManWalking (1225366) on Monday January 24, 2011 @12:11AM (#34978180)
    David Byrne on the future of entertainment production and distribution: http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_byrne?currentPage=all [wired.com]
  • by b4upoo (166390) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:09AM (#34978482)

    Actors, musicians and vocal artists are about to be replaced with computer generated synthetic entertainers which will reduce the cost of film and music production. It will also generate a legal crises in that one might be able to blend say John Wayne and Elvis Presley into a new synthetic being. People who own rights to various characters will all clamor that they see their image or property rights portrayed in a synthetic entertainer. The litigation will be endless.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Monday January 24, 2011 @01:27AM (#34978564) Journal

    The problem with all of this, is that *talent* is still expensive.

    No, not really.

    ...you can't get a trained steadycam operator to film an on-foot chase scene without paying him 50 an hour.

    Maybe in California. Try shooting in a state with fewer unions and less bureaucratic red tape, and you'll find dozens of camera operators working at local TV stations who would gladly do it for $20 an hour just to have something to do on the weekends. Heck, if it's a low budget production, some might even volunteer to do it for nothing. Will it require a few more takes? Probably. Will it require enough more takes to justify paying a camera operator as much as a software engineer or a pharmacist? Probably not.

    Besides, you could just cut out the chase scene, film it from multiple static cameras, use software to reduce the shaking in post, or fudge it with a zoom, and odds are good that nobody is going to think any less of the movie for it no matter which of those techniques you use.

    You can spend 20 hours making a music track yourself in Garage Band that everyone hates, or you can pay a group of musicians a few grand to use their stuff.

    Or you can do a time-cost tradeoff and ask a few of your friends to check out local clubs, find a local band that seems good, and get them to record something for peanuts. Or if it doesn't have to be unique, you could go buy some royalty-free music CDs for fifty or a hundred bucks a pop. It all depends on what you're looking for.

    In my experience, the key to making movies on a shoestring budget is to get people who can act (but who aren't famous yet), and shoot on location at locations that don't charge money to shoot there. This way you're not paying studio rental costs and you're not paying exorbitant per-hour costs for your cast, so you can take a little longer to get things done without it being a problem. Once you're no longer paying a truckload of money for every minute the cameras aren't rolling, you can get by with a much smaller crew, because one person can wear multiple hats.

    For example, unless you're doing an absolutely insane amount of lighting (way more than most low budget productions), there's usually no need to have both an electrician and a lighting person (unless union rules say you have to, of course) because 90% of the power you run is for lighting anyway. (The other 10% is for your camera and audio gear, which if you're doing it on the cheap, translates into an orange extension cord running from the nearest outlet.) During the actual shooting, that person double as your camera operator or your mic boom operator. You can now easily shoot a movie with a crew of two or three people (though extra hands are always welcome when packing, unpacking, and hauling the gear to and from the truck).

    You can get good workers from your local university's communications and drama programs. You can often get people to outright volunteer for the opportunity to have their names in the credits of something that they can use in their portfolios when applying for jobs.

    And finally, ten days worth of Arriflex 35mm camera rental will buy you an XH-A1 that will do a good enough job that it won't get in your way. And if you edit on a laptop with Final Cut Pro or whatever, you can get away with exactly zero studio or editing bay time, and equipment costs that are a tiny fraction of what they were just a couple of decades back.

    What you don't get by going this route is a distribution channel. That's the sole reason that the major studios are still in business. Most movie theaters aren't willing to take chances on works shot by no-name groups, and good luck getting a major DVD distributor to even look at you, much less any rental chains. The actual cost of making a good movie, assuming a crew of two and a principal cast of four or five at $30 an hour is maybe thirty or forty thousand dollars. If you get most o

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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