A question for 2010: Does the audience want you to make a film?
I wonder how many filmmakers will also be thinking about those questions in 2010... and how many would rather simply continue making feature films, regardless of what the audience is doing...and sprinkle a trailer and perhaps a couple bonus clips around the Internet as "marketing."
2009 was a phenomenal year at the box office, but growing even faster than ticket sales were online video viewing, and usage of social media services like Facebook and Twitter. One more data point: in a little over a year, Apple has delivered two billion iPhone apps through its iTunes Store.
So how sure are you that the audience wants you to make a movie? That they'll show up to your premiere? That they'll buy your DVDs?
Where the audience goes, the business will follow -- we learned that when people left vaudeville theaters for nickelodeons, and when they started buying TVs, VCRs, videogame consoles, and Internet-connected PCs.
It's hard to imagine how vast the opportunities are for story skeins unspooling on Facebook pages, narratives being shaped in part by the YouTube community watching them, or hybrid games/movies that mix real-world locations with video and interactivity, and require the player/viewer to pay for the experience through the iTunes Store. Vast, yes, but scary, too -- since it is all terra incognita.
We're living through a transitional moment, when audience viewing behaviors are changing, new creative possibilities are emerging, and the business is evolving.
You can either take advantage of transitional moments and be a pioneer -- or you can be passive and simply wait to see how things play out (and potentially, miss enormous opportunities, fail to develop important new skill sets, and watch your career prospects fade.)
I'm eager to hear who you see as the leaders of this new storytelling revolution... Who will be the pioneers to watch in 2010?