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Renegotiating the Relationship Between Audience and Filmmaker

Cinema has largely remained the same for 120 years, but the landscape is gradually changing. As audiences, we’re learning how to find and articulate what it is that we want, instead of learning how to like what we’re given. Studios are discovering that it’s no longer feasible to treat audiences as disposable commodities.

“We’re in this big shift right now,” said Ted Hope, the head of motion picture production at Amazon Studios and former CEO of Fandor, “where entertainment economy is pivoting itself, and looking at what it means to focus on a world of cultural abundance.”

In one sense, the barriers to entry have dropped; yet Hollywood enforces their own types of barriers by focusing on CGI blockbusters that independent filmmakers can’t replicate. And while it’s never been easier to produce content, it has become increasingly difficult to find an audience due to the saturation of markets and diversification of platforms.

The next generation of filmmakers grew up online. They’re seeking to facilitate audience engagement and dialogue, rather than generate a one-way flow of information. The evolution of the film industry poses a host of questions: Can failure culture be integrated into filmmaking? Will the method of delivery continue to influence content? How will the roles of audiences and filmmakers continue to shift and intertwine?