Much of the film industry remains stuck in 20th-century models, some dating back more than 100 years, despite the utter transformation of other media businesses by digital technologies. The film industry largely remains optimized for middlemen like the studios, and built around a star system where a very small group of artists is empowered and the vast majority can barely make a living.
In the past, audiences were expected to like whatever was delivered to them and weren’t given a say in what kind of content they wanted to see. Today, there are fewer barriers to entry for filmmakers. Though finding an audience remains as big of a challenge as ever, audiences are beginning to get more involved in the creative process.
“Instead of starting out with, ‘I’m the creator, I want to make this thing, I hope other people are going to want to watch it,’ you see yourself as someone who joins in a community of people that are passionate about the same things that are driving you to tell the story or create a work of art, and you listen to them,” said Ivan Askwith, associate producer of the Veronica Mars film.
The industry is slowly changing, not as a result of one person’s vision, but because industry outsiders are breaking new ground at the intersection of Hollywood and digital media.