2014 was a huge year of milestones and accomplishments in the worlds of professional film and photography. 4K started to make a significant impression on the scene. Newer and cheaper cameras with amazing capabilities changed the “DSLR” filmmaking landscape. Political and international developments even had their share in the fun. But I think all of that was just laying the ground work for bigger and better things to come in this year. So over the next few days I want to share with you my humble, yet what I believe are bold predictions for 2015. These will be quick reads along with recommendations on what we as professional visual artists can/should do to take advantage.
#5 – Video on Demand Will See a Huge Explosion in Usage
VOD has already been on the scene for a while. But I think the developments of the Sony hack had a very interesting an ironic outcome–more people most likely ended up seeing “The Interview” via the VOD release than who would’ve seen it otherwise. It made $31 million in its first week or so of release, and Sony is saying it’s one of the most successful releases in its history. No doubt that is just PR hype and spin, but nonetheless, one can’t deny this movie has probably done much better than it would have otherwise.
I say this prediction is bold because there are some peeps in the Hollywood biz who think that although the VOD numbers for Sony are impressive, they actually won’t result in a huge increase in VOD releases. SlashFilm lays out reasonable theory as to why this won’t happen, essentially saying that the decline in VOD sales once it was release suggests that maybe we won’t see a huge spurt.
I think we are game to see a huge bump because the public has already been primed for it. Services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant have made the online distribution and consumption of cinematic content not only a natural occurrence, for many people (myself included), it is the preferred way to watch a movie (I’ll watch a Netflix version of a movie even if I have it on DVD. It just easier. Call me lazy. 🙂 ) Take that combined with the developments we saw last year, and I think we will see more and more studios using VOD.
What this means for you?
Many of you who read this blog aren’t directly in the “Hollywood” movie-making business, but nonetheless, what happens at that level will trickle down. There isn’t a better time in the history of the medium for indie filmmakers and content producers to release content and make a stake in the ground. Whether via mainstreams sites like YouTube, Vimeo on Demand, and iTunes; or via special sites like VHX.com, IndieFlix and Bit Torrrent Bundle (or any number of other similar services), 2015 is as good as time as ever to make that film you’ve always been burning to make. You might not become the next Spielberg or Tarantino, but maybe you can be the next Edward Burns.
What say you?