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The Future of Cinema

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Board rooms of executives have been scrambling to find a feasible future for movies shown in theaters for the last decade.  With television screens getting bigger,  surround systems clearer and 4K streamable video available at the touch of a button, why pay quadruple the price to drive to a theater and watch a film with people obnoxiously talking, texting and munching on popcorn when you can just stay home and see it in the comfort of your living room with your loved ones?

Community

Ultimately, the only difference between a great home theater system and a commercial theater experience is the audience.  You can't see Star Wars VIII opening night with a crowd of lightsaber carrying Jedi at home.  When the Millennium Falcon appears, there won't be a wild crowd cheering.  So, to make a film that will succeed in the rapidly approaching future of streaming video, you  must create a community experience where having an audience present is part of and necessary to experience the film to its maximum potential.

Think of it like you might think of a concert.  Sure, you can listen to The Rolling Stones at home on your computer, but you can't hear and feel the roar of a crowd of rabid fans.  You can't feel the adrenaline rush when Mick and the gang appear on stage.  And, as such, you cannot experience the excitement of an opening night premiere from the comfort of your home.

This means that films must be conceived of, marketed and produced in such a manner that they make the community a part of the experience.  Get the public invested in the film on a personal level.  Think of a biopic about Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.  Traditional producers would get a big name to play Kobe, put him on some billboards and expect people to show up because it's Kobe.  But,  they could be doing so much more...

The movie is about basketball, so why not hold a national basketball tournament where the winners win prizes, such as tickets to opening night, free t-shirts or getting to walk the red carpet with the stars?  Then, get a major sports brand like Adidas to sponsor the event.  They pay for the tournament and get their brand all over the nation and you get thousands of participants (not to mention those watching the event) invested in the film for free.  If you competed in a basketball tournament for the new Kobe Bryant film, you'd probably be more likely to go see the film than if you just saw a trailer (and you'd probably grab a friend or two to go with).

This is the future of cinema.  And it is exciting.

Please read about my Modern Marketing techniques to expand upon this principle.