Innovate Or Die: Current & Future Trends Shaking & Shaping The Film Industry

In this current age, the lines between the big and small screen have become blurred. Filmmaking has already changed in many fundamental ways; from technology to technique, here are some of the trends that we will be seeing more of in the near future.

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It’s been a difficult decade for the movie industry. As television production values soared, and with the introduction of subscription streaming services, more and more people decided to get their screen entertainment elsewhere. But rather than sounding the death-knell for cinema, the new challenges and competition have spurred the industry to explore new avenues. Some of the emerging trends in film industry show levels of innovation that are sure to keep audiences engaged, however they choose to watch.

In this current age, the lines between the big and small screen have become blurred. Filmmaking has already changed in many fundamental ways; from technology to technique, here are some of the trends that we will be seeing more of in the near future.

Audience Engagement

In all areas of media, interaction has become key. Advertisers engage their target market via Twitter and attempt to make content that connects on an emotional level. The first experiments have been done in creating interactive content in film and TV, and as technology develops we can expect to see the film industry start to embrace such immersive events.

At present, the use of mobile phones in the cinema is still a social faux pas, but that could all change soon. The choose-your-own-ending has already been tried on the small screen; it surely can’t be too long before the direction a movie takes can be chosen by audience vote.

Virtual Reality Tech

Speaking of interactive filmmaking, VR could bring a totally personalised experience to individual viewers. Recent breakthroughs in technology have brought some VR-enabled live-action video cameras to market. This opens all sorts of doors for creating movie content to be consumed in an entirely novel and totally immersive medium.

The film industry could be said to be a bit behind in the adoption of VR technology, as online casinos were some of the first to pick up on its potential. Any filmmakers who are interested in pursuing the tech in their creative process could do worse than to consult their colleagues in online gaming software development for some pointers. It’s not uncommon for the gaming industry to be ahead of the curve, and it can be a good predictor for what the future holds in other areas of entertainment. Take a look here for more on gaming industry trends.

Low-Budget Filmmaking

If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that the big-budget blockbuster is still alive and well. 2018 saw more box office records smashed, so the Hollywood heavyweights can still draw the crowds. But at the same time, as the everyday technology at our fingertips keeps getting better, quality movies can now be made on a shoestring.

Two examples are smartphones and drones – kit that is available to pretty much anyone these days. Several films have already been shot entirely using an iPhone, and there’s no longer any need to hire a helicopter to get sweeping overhead shots.

Movie Theatre Subscriptions

Despite the healthy takings in 2018, the year before was a bleak one for movie theatres, and the future is still far from certain. An evening out at the cinema doesn’t hold the same appeal to today’s audiences as it once did, and a major deterrent is the cost.

One option that some theatres are exploring to get bums back on seats is movie subscription packages. Some such schemes have been launched already, although with notably mixed results. But with so many multiplexes remaining mostly empty, it will need a worthwhile deal to tempt people out from their sofas and back to their local cinema.

Broader Content

The social change that the world has seen over the past few years is already being reflected in the subject matter that film makers choose to tackle. Already there are more and better roles for female actors, more women behind the camera and more movies focused on women’s stories. The same goes for all kinds of diversity, with directors given a free rein to produce content telling stories and featuring characters that would not have been found in the mainstream only a few years ago.

Looking forward, we can expect to see our leading actors break out of the old Hollywood mould of preternatural beauty. Now our screen heroes and heroines can look just like us.

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About the Author
Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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