Filmmaking Careers in the Internet Era
- December 2, 2020
- Posted by: Julie
- Category: Blogs
Filmmaking as an art has been around for more than a century now. Never in the history of films has come a time where audience perception/interest has redefined the norms for the craft to an extent it has today. We live in a world of smartphones, and Smart TV, and every day we spend a considerable amount of time (approximately 3-4 hours on average) on our phones. As we watch videos online, our interests get registered in the form of data. This data is used by filmmaking companies to develop insights which in turn have an impact on the moviemaking craft. With this background, an aspirant who wishes to get into the filmmaking industry will face several challenges during his/her career. He/she needs to have strong foundational knowledge in the art of moviemaking and must be exposed to the latest technology.
In this write-up, we will try to shed light on the challenges of filmmaking in the digital era and how to prepare for a career. There are also suggestions on filmmaking courses in India which help build the knowledge and skills required to be successful filmmakers.
Challenges of Moviemaking in the Digital Era
With the advent of the internet, we are moving towards a world that is more consumer-centric. India has about 9000 theatres and the television arena is filled with hundreds of channels that operate 24X7. The number of subscriptions for OTT platforms such as the Amazon Prime, Netflix and Zee 5 has been on the rise in recent times. Online platforms have had their impact on moviemaking in various ways. Right from the way the movies are produced using the latest technological tools and promoted online to the way the movies are distributed, new platforms are playing a key role at various stages of moviemaking today.
Following are some of the many challenges in the moviemaking business today.
Shift from Single Screen to OTT
There are about 9000+ theatres in India out of which 3000+ are multiplexes and they amount to about half of the revenue generated from theatres. An increasing number of single-screen theatres have been brought down to create multiplexes. Still, the number of screens per million population in India is one of the lowest among nations. For instance, China has about 60,000+ screens which is more than 5 times higher than the number in India. COVID-19 changed the way movie distribution took place during the lockdown. When the theatres were shut down in the country, moviemakers had to choose OTT platforms to premiere their films. Bigwigs of the telecom sector such as Reliance are planning to fulfill the gap in demand Vs supply of movie screens, especially in villages. People may soon be able to watch their favorite films first-day first-show through the Jio platform on their mobiles in the near future. This shift will pose a new set of challenges for movie makers. With reduced attention span, moviemakers will have to come up with extraordinary content in order to pull the audience.
Rapid Changes in Technology
The moviemaking industry is also subject to changes in technology. Right from conceptualization, building a team, production, marketing and distribution, technology has a key role to play at every stage. For instance, the development in VFX technology makes it necessary for moviemakers to adopt new techniques to present their stories better. On the other hand, it is also important to market their product well in the world of the internet. In recent times, the movie industry is coming up with innovative ideas to market its multimillion projects on the internet. The challenge moviemakers face as far as technology adoption is concerned has many layers. Moviemakers should simply be quick learners.
Reduced Attention Span
The lowering attention span of the audience can play a key role in the success of movies in the world of the internet. The audience takes about 8 to 10 seconds to watch an ad regarding your movie on the social media page. They scroll down quickly and moviemakers may fail to make an impact sometimes. Therefore, right from the teaser release or digital poster release to the movie premiering event, everything must be taken care of to ensure that audience notices the movie. As far as OTT platforms are concerned the dwindling attention span, makes it challenging for moviemakers. They do not have a choice but to focus on making films that grip the audience.
Multiple Channels / Platforms
Today, a moviegoer has several channels to choose from as far as film watching is concerned. He / She may choose to visit the theatres to watch his / her favourite actor’s movie once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Moviegoers may also simply refrain from going outside and watch all their favourite movies online. When this is the case, moviemakers should have a clear picture of how they want to release their film and what works for them.
Too Much Content
As far as movie release is concerned, there is too much content available online and offline every day. Therefore, movie makers will be literally competing with movies and other forms of content from all over the world when they are releasing their product.
How to Prepare for Filmmaking Career in the Digital Era?
There are many filmmaking schools and institutes throughout India that have been training students in the art of movie production. However, the modern era requires more sophistication as far as technical education is concerned. To become a Storyboard Artist, Visualizer, Compositing Artist, Production Assistant or Character Modeller, one must have thorough theoretical and practical knowledge in various concepts. There are few reputed institutions in India that offer degree courses in filmmaking. Jain University, Bengaluru is one of the top colleges where you can learn the art of making movies. It offers 3-year program in B.Sc Digital Filmmaking and VFX. The program comes with add-on certification from International Moving Image Society UK. Techno India University, West Bengal offers BFA specializing in Digital Filmmaking and VFX which is a 4-year program. The program provides a thorough understanding of various areas of film production including cinematography, sound effects, visual effects, documentary filmmaking, editing concepts, storyboarding etc.