Show Blindness

I attended a panel discussion not so long ago that featured a number of film distribution executives. I expected to hear a lot of new ideas about how these middlemen moguls were going to exploit the new media to ring in a new era of digital distribution. Video on demand, mobile content, convergence… Instead they proclaimed DVD sales are still their top earners with no signs of letting up and that what we really need in this country are more cinemas.

It was weird.

The most that was said about anything remotely digital was that we have to continue to fight piracy.

I’m not sure whether or not this should be terrifying or encouraging. With the biggest distributors afflicted by some kind of collective denial of reality does this open up the floor for some new blood to make some new moves? Or is the film business seriously not going to do anything to help save itself (the way television is at least attempting to do) and wind up in the same calamitous straights as the music industry? I don’t have any answers here, I just write stories. All I’m saying is it was a little weird—

More cinemas?! Are you serious? Yeah, sure, to accommodate all that extra 3D traffic which is bound to be our savior, right?!? Because we never tried that before! Maybe vibrating seats - no wait, tried that too! Maybe, like, a cinema only you can drive your car into it and park there… No wait… Unless these new cinemas that we need so badly to save the current distribution model are 3D equipped, smell like a Honda and have seats that tickle your prostate while you’re watching the movie I just don’t see it happening. Call me a skeptic!

Sorry… Sorry, I let that get away from me for a second.

(Now, digital distributors! Now is the time to strike! Coup d’├ętat! Coup d’├ętat! Converge!)

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