How Digital Has Changed Filmmaking

Written by: Charles Matthau

Summary: Digital has changed almost every aspect of filmmaking.

Since the movie industry has decided to shift to digital, the entire process of making and marketing a movie has changed. Although we’re not quite at the apex of what is possible, indie film makers stand to gain the most from this revolution. Many filmmakers release directly to YouTube, where they can earn ad revenue on their projects while developing a following. That’s been common for some time. Studios use YouTube, Apple’s movie trailers and other websites to distribute their trailers as well. These bigger-budget releases bring attention to channels outside of television.

Needless to say, there has been a whiplash effect, where quality has reduced while volume has increased. The good news is that much of this poor content is filtered out by YouTube users themselves. The system includes a thumb up or down button, which helps others by keeping the new content interesting.

Film rights are fast becoming distributed digitally as well, but the market has some work to do to catch up to the times. While companies seem willing to distribute films online, the rate of adoption for this technology has not been very encouraging until recently. We saw a preview of what the future could look like with the 2011 flick Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller, which almost released to Comcast customers while the movie was still running in theaters. During the final hours, the deal was scrapped because theaters refused to show the film in protest. Distributing films is a very delicate operation, but access is opening. Especially as the international market grows.


 

Bio: Charles Matthau owns and operates the Matthau Company, which produces television shows and movies. The Charlie Matthau Company recently adapted Elmore Leonard’s “Freaky Deaky” into a film starring Christian Slater and Michael Jae White.

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