Technology has already disrupted the media (print and TV) and music industries. I think that not too far from now, the movie industry will also go through such a disruptive phase.
I think that the trends that could disrupt the movie industry are:
- Availability of high speed bandwidth in the developed nations and getting increasingly available in the other developing nations. This will enable the Youtube’s and the Netflixs’ of the world to bring in movies in the digital form right to your PC or TV on-demand 24x7x365. The number of people who will watch movies streaming online will see a hockey stick kind of growth. I also see a dramatic increase in the number of films being produced exclusively for online distribution. More likely that these will be short films (<20 mins long).
- Crowdsourcing as a concept can work well here as well. I expect that soon the crowdsourcing model that has enabled hundreds of music artists to release their own work will also find a footing in the film industry. The power of the production houses like Disney, Fox or WB will gradually reduce as has been the case with music producers. I am sure there will be directors with good scripts will reach out to the online community to crowdsource funds to produce a movie and use the same crowd to review the movie before finally releasing the movie and sharing the profits as well. I will not be surprised if there does not exist a specific crowdsourcing site exclusively to produce movies.
- With the technology advancing, I also foresee that global teams will be organically formed to produce and work on a movie. The physical boundaries will fade when it comes to the project.
Imagine the following:
I have a good script which I think can be made into a movie.
I approach a crowdsourcing website to assist in listing the project idea on their crowdsourcing website (exclusively for funding movies or other generic website) along with your proposal on the revenue sharing plan.
I create a project plan for the movie. I identify the team (technical and artists) who could work with me on the movie. I also create an estimation of the budget required to complete the filming of the script. I post the project plan and the plot idea on the website and appeal for funding.
People who want to invest in movies regularly visit this site and read your project proposal.
If there are people who are interested in your project, they can commit to investing in your movie whatever amount they want to. The amount is held in a paypal kind of account.
Once you have a commitment for the total amount you had budgeted, you launch the movie.
A regular project update is sent to all the investors and the funds are released to you as you move from one landmark in the project to the next as per the plan from the paypal account.
Once the movie is completed, the movie is released (online or in cinemas) and the revenue generated is split between the investors and you as the movie producer (as per the terms you have agreed with the investors).
This is currently my imagination and could very well turn into reality soon, maybe in a different form than my imagination.