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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hollywood: The Slowest Industry to Grasp Tech Changes?

When I was at Disney last week, tech SVP Bob Lambert shared a great quote with me. It's from an article several years ago in Broadcasting magazine... an interview with Amos Hostetter Jr., who at the time was chairman of Continental Cablevision.

    "I have been told that the movie industry is probably the slowest industry to grasp technological changes of any industry in American society. They had the ability to do talking pictures before they did it, they had the ability to do Technicolor before they did it; they are just techniphobic."

While I agree with the general sentiment, what's most interesting to me about the way Hollywood responds to new technologies is that it delays and delays and delays -- and then embraces them just in time to save the business. It's like someone about to fall into a chasm who grabs that wonderfully well-placed vine at the last possible moment.

The movie industry loves a cliffhanger.

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  • Hollywood might be too big to serve as an early adopter. Maybe it's Hollywood's role to legitimize emerging technologies. (Just in time for the next one to emerge.)

    By Blogger AVN, at 2:06 PM  

  • Actually an interesting discussion, Scott. But the question for me is; are you talking about distribution or production. I work with a lot of people on the production side and find the technology innovation quite staggering (and probably among some of the most interesting uses of technology). Now, if you're talking about the distribution side, then yes, that's another story.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 1:54 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger folkteller, at 5:48 PM  

  • Nice peice indeed. May I add something? An industry like Hollywood is bound to react slowly. Because I think it is full of non-thinkres at the top level. That means who runs the show are less equipped and they like it this way. They will follow the trend, but at the expense of others. Like they did with all kind of cinematic developments, they will do same here. At first some others will invent, some others will discovers the positive sides (in making or technological usage) and then only they will grab it. Innovation is a red-letter word to them. They just want their money safe and wish to get fat only. No love for cinema here. You have hit the bulls eye with this piece.

    By Blogger folkteller, at 5:51 PM  

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