Zoom could be the new language of film
Traditional film and television. Production has obviously been halted in the wake of the Kobe. Nineteen outbreak but even when production does resume. This time that we're in could have a profound impact on the way we make movies in the future. People at home are getting super creative. With video whether it's compilations sing alongs over video chat or episodes of snl filmed all at home and Hornets is the film critic for The Washington Post and she says all of this will eventually start showing up in the movies. You know one of the early examples that brought me optimism. Was this amazing video that a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Jeffrey Beecher did of members of his orchestra performing the Appalachian Spring. He very ingeniously cut out the the click track to all of his musicians and they film themselves on their iphones. But then he edited it to resemble a zoom video that found its way into this artistic language that he used that was kind of universal and also very specific to this particular time. And now we're seeing television. Episodes being filmed that way. The parks and recreation reunion was formed to resemble videoconferencing. There will be a feature movie made on Zoom. I'm just convinced of it. And it's just a matter of when and who will make. Do you think it will be made zoom because it will be the only tool available and people being quarantine or because it has now become sort of this like you said immediately recognisable visual language. I think mostly the ladder and I do think that it will be the Lingua Franca of this time. There is no doubt in my mind anybody who's telling a story about this time. That's the way you're going to have to to make it even. If you're not literally making it that way you're going to need to edit and tweak it to resemble that because it's just that's where that's literally where we are. I don't want to call it a revolution necessarily but just the aesthetic promise of that has yet to be fully fully plumbed. Yeah how long will that pipeline be? Do you think I mean? Is it going to be like in two years? All of a sudden every movie has the look of Spring. Twenty twenty movies feature films major feature films. Generally you know you're looking at a year and a half two year kind of a lag time so then you run the risk of looking kind of dated by then by that time you know. I think a half to happen sooner than that. I mean interesting kind of looking back on all the different ways. That filmmakers responded to the iphone like. They've always responded to technological innovation both in terms of just the the content of their films in their formal innovation. But Yeah I think that two year lag time does kind of run the risk of looking a little bit like you're the curve and then I guess one of the other legs of course is how and where we watch these films you've written about small art house cinemas to show films in this time and get by economically. Tell me about that. When theaters closed in March it was mostly a function of Local ordinances was. It was kind of it. They were caught unawares but they were proceeding accordingly until they couldn't anymore for the most part the big chains closed and that was it but these small independent theaters very quickly pivoted in very responsive and creative ways and They went to many of them. Went to these digital streaming options where they could direct their patrons to their websites where they could access digital links to some of the movies that they had already playing and some actually kind of brand new movies to their to their audiences and I think it was a real example of how that independent arthouse world has always been about cultivating their audience capturing their audience being able to communicate with them via email and newsletters and extra programming and Clubs and that's been the way they do their business anyway but then that turned out to be just such a crucial factor in them writing this out in a way that kept their audience with them provided them something to do and to watch during this time. When everybody's desperate for something new to watch and you know keep a little bit of revenue coming in not not millions and millions of dollars but enough to make a little bit of a difference and with a business that so the margins are so razor thin anyway. A little goes a long way. And they're very resourceful with with using those dollars so I've been really really impressed to see how those theaters and the distributors who have given them the movies. Tim Show have have really banded together to kind of forge through this moment. Yeah you you almost wonder what places like that with communities like that could be able to build when they don't have a geographic restriction in some ways exactly and I think a lot of them are discovering that very thing you know they're getting. I spoke with the Executive Director of a nonprofit theater in Baltimore where I live. And she's getting viewers from Canada Alaska. And you know. I think it'll be very interesting to watch what sticks you know. After people do feel comfortable and liberated to come back into the theaters. Some untapped audiences have been identified in this and I know for a fact that a lot of these theaters have zero intention of letting them go. You know they. They are very interested in keeping them around and learning more about them and learning more about how best to communicate with them going forward at and that's two of their local audiences too by the way.