Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Film - Michelle Blevins

Today in class, I will present a case study on the website and social media's impact on digital film. This website is an online, fully functional production company created by the Hollywood actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He describes the site as a place for everyone interested to submit their work and collaborate with others to make art, especially films. They have even premiered a few of the products at the Sundance Film Festival and South by Southwest in Austin. I researched how production companies like this one have developed and function within, or rather alongside, the traditional film industry.
I will begin my presentation by discussing the advances in technology that made companies like this one possible. The transition to digital film began in the traditional film industry with advances like computer animation, green screen technology, and especially non-linear editing. The increase in availability of high-quality editing tools and high definition cameras removed the power from studio executives, and placed it in the hands of the willing public. Those who wanted to make movies now had the ability to do so. Making a film was never a cheap endeavor for an individual or a small group, but they had the potential of making a profit down the line.
This website is one step farther than a regular independent film production company. It's online! The benefits of having an online production company is that you can communicate from anywhere. There isn't any need to meet in a conference room or all live in one city. People on hitRECord collaborate from around the world. In this way, the increase in competition helps the talented filmmakers and worthwhile productions really rise to the top. There is even a liking system on the website for collaborators to promote their favorite works.
While I'm uncertain on whether a company like this one could ever actually rival the traditional studios, I really applaud Joseph Gordon-Levitt on this endeavor. I think this use of new media and audience involvement really brings something new to the film industry. At the least, I think this will hold studios accountable for their products and their production systems. They now have a check on their power, no matter how small. While hitRECord is a quite novel situation in the scope and success of its product, I hope that the film industry can, in this way, embrace new media even more and find the best talent out there to keep our entertainment of exceptional quality.

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