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: Survey of Film-makers
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Jun 15th 2013
I'm writing a feature on the future of the film industry for the magazine I write for,
. I know there are more than a few of you on here who have been involved in the creation of films, music videos and documentaries over the years. If you'd be interested in potentially having your voice heard in this feature, that would be amazing. I'm gathering quotes from various people at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, and speaking to one or two big-name directors, but I also want to have a wealth of other material and opinions to draw on.
You can either answer the questions in the comments here, or email me your answers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you could also start with a sentence or two about how you've been involved with film, and links to your profile or latest projects, that would be great.
Thanks in advance to everyone who responds - I'll be crediting you if I use your quote, and posting a thank you on my blog to everyone who responds. I won't be able to use everything, but I'll be trying to squeeze in as much as possible.
Here are the generic questions, which I may refine and re-phrase if there's a point I would like you to expand on. Don't feel you need to answer all of them, just what's interesting/relevant to you. Film students would be welcome to comment too. If others have genera comments, please feel free to chime in too!
1) Steven Spielberg recently predicted the end-point of the rise of the 'tentpole' or summer event movie - more expensive tickets, with only big Hollywood fare being screened in most cinemas, and many cinemas closing. IMAX seems to be the first example of this. The art house cinemas and non-blockbuster films are on the way out, as he sees it. How far do you agree or disagree with this assessment?
2) The rise of Kickstarter and crowd-funded films presents alternative models for funding and distribution. Pop-up cinemas, video-on-demand services, straight to-DVD markets all represent possible sites for the viewing of film that for the most part are new, and were unavailable ten years ago. Is this a healthy market for emerging film-makers? What do you see as the challenges and opportunities outside the mainstream of cinema, and the traditional theatre / home video trajectory?
3) Creative Scotland claim to have increased film funding significantly in Scotland over the past five years - what are your thoughts about the way films are funded and supported in your country? What are funding bodies like CS doing right, and what needs to change?
4) Peter Bart has said: "The basic process of shooting a movie was exactly the same between 1920 and 1998." Meanwhile Hollywood producer Lucy Fisher believes that emerging markets ad technology offer an opportunity for young film-makers to "take the means of production back into their own hands." To what extent have technological changes - from cheaper high-quality camera equipment, to the proliferation of effects-driven, CGI-filled movies and 3D - affected your career in cinema, and where do you see these technologies taking us next? Is there any substitute for well-shot, well-acted and produced drama?
5) Many predict that cinema will become more interactive, emulating video games; others predict a surge of film creatives turning to work in the video games field. What are your thoughts on this?
6) Does the new proliferation of possible markets for films - via streaming services, pop-up cinemas and DVD-only releases - offer the chance for greater artistic expression, more risk-taking? Or does it merely open the floodgates for poorly-produced films by amateur and semi-pro film-makers, making it harder to find the true quality?
7) Steven Soderbergh has said: "Cinema is under assault by the studios with the full support of the audience.” Barry Norman meanwhile has said: "This is a great art form – the cinema – and just to use it to attract teens seems to me to be a terrible waste." Do you agree cinema is being 'dumbed down' or does this only apply to certain types of film and film-maker?
8) Film Critic Elvis Mitchell has noted the difficulty of marrying the emerging, digital, DIY film-making culture with mainstream/studio film-making culture: "You're basically buying somebody who's made nine or ten films for no money, and then you're gonna give them a chance to make your big-budget movie that has nothing to do with the reason they made movies in the first place, and then they'll be disgusted and go back to broadband." How, if at all, can these two markets - DIY and crowdfunded, digitally shot and distributed films, and traditionally-funded studio pictures, coexist, or are they in direct competition?
(For Scottish directors)
9) The number of films shot in Scotland over the past five years has reportedly doubled - many of these have been big budget Hollywood films, such as World War Z and Prometheus. what, if anything, does this tell us about the health of the Scottish film industry, and what consequences will it have for up-and-coming film-makers in the region?
Jun 15th 2013
It's not the end of one form or another, but a growth in diversity of form.
Jun 15th 2013
Working on my responses now. Will email through in the next couple of days. I'm trying to resist the urge to rant and go off-topic, but no guarantees...
Jun 16th 2013
Thank you! Rants welcome.
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