Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence

Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence

Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence

Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence

Synopsis

For over a century, movies have played an important role in our lives, entertaining us, often provoking conversation and debate. Now, with the rise of digital cinema, audiences often encounter movies outside the theater and even outside the home. Traditional distribution models are challenged by new media entrepreneurs and independent film makers, usergenerated video, film blogs, mashups, downloads, and other expanding networks.

Reinventing Cinema examines film culture at the turn of this century, at the precise moment when digital media are altering our historical relationship with the movies. Spanning multiple disciplines, Chuck Tryon addresses the interaction between production, distribution, and reception of films, television, and other new and emerging media.Through close readings of trade publications, DVD extras, public lectures by new media leaders, movie blogs, and YouTube videos, Tryon navigates the shift to digital cinema and examines how it is altering film and popular culture.

Excerpt

In June 2007, two stories in the entertainment press underscored the ways in which film culture has been redefined by digital cinema. First, Lionsgate and the Weinstein Company made the decision to release documentary raconteur Michael Moore’s exposé of the health care industry, Sicko, one week earlier than planned because of the threat of rampant internet piracy. A pirated version of Sicko had been leaked briefly to the video sharing site YouTube, and eager bloggers were weighing in with their readings of the film several days before movie critics and political pundits were slated to see and review the movie. While many bloggers enthusiastically endorsed or challenged Moore’s political views, the decision to move forward the film’s release date suggested that studio accountants were perhaps less concerned about changing people’s minds about the U.S. health care system than they were about protecting their opening week box office. The renewed focus on piracy prompted a diversity of responses, with at least one critic arguing that leaking Moore’s film would actually help it financially by providing it with additional exposure. Significantly, Moore’s complaints about the film being pirated emphasized not only the potential for lost profits but also the concern that audiences would be unable to get the optimum experience of seeing the movie in a theater, with the filmmaker telling the Hollywood Reporter, “Every filmmaker intends for his film to be seen on the big screen.” While any real impact on Sicko’s box office and critical reception would be difficult to . . .

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