When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced stay-at-home orders for the state of New York, it looked like Saturday Night Live’s season was certain to end early. How would a show that depended on the collaboration of more than two dozen writers, a cast of 17 and a crew of hundreds, manage to continue production with bans on large gatherings and social distancing in place?
The April 11 premiere of Saturday Night Live at Home showed us that in entertainment, anything is possible. Despite glitches in technology, difficulties in filming from cellphones and laptops and what must have been an on-the-fly editing nightmare, the show millions of Americans look forward to for satirical commentary on current events and culture managed to pull off one of its most-viewed episodes of the season.
Just as at-home live productions are becoming the norm, studios are looking at what it will take to open up operations again. It is vital to keep everyone involved safe, but productions often include hundreds of people working in close quarters and on-location filming. This will likely shift to crews being grouped together to minimize exposure, and digital manipulation for studio filming and incorporation of large crowds of people.
Of course, those who can work from home will be asked to do so. Editing and distribution will have to take place online, increasing the need for high-security, high-capacity platforms on which to function. Adapting to this new system requires rapid development of software and technology to support a changing infrastructure; but it also opens the door for exciting shifts in the entertainment industry that can only come out of a necessity that pushes our creative limits.
A Changing Market
The lockdowns announced as a result of the current pandemic may have hastened the changes necessary to keep film and television afloat, but it is not where the story begins. Recent years have seen a movement from theater attendance for major blockbuster releases, to an audience preference for streaming services that are less expensive and allow fans to experience new releases from the comfort of their homes.
This creates a market for smaller, more independent projects to flourish. Now that they are the safer, more viable option for the foreseeable future, the entertainment industry will have to move from a centralized big studio system, to teams and productions that can keep people separated and utilize digital technology like never before.
Rising to the Challenge
The pressure is on to innovate and create new content because consumption has vastly increased. Numbers are up across the board, but on-demand content viewing has increased by 50 percent since the onset of the coronavirus. The situation clears the path for new creatives to enter the scene, with some of the biggest opportunities for those who have digital and virtual skills.
We have seen glimpses of what is possible with movies like Avatar creating entire worlds virtually. Recently, Gemini Man and The Irishman both made use of similar technological concepts, allowing the stars of these movies to play both their older selves and their younger selves with astonishing realism.
Studios will be looking to utilize these capabilities to overcome the real-world challenges of travel restrictions and social distance requirements as we move forward, but current production processes are going to have to change in order to make the best use of available talent. Finding that talent in the first place is step one, and the barriers are difficult to overcome from the start.
The entertainment industry has been notorious for its prohibitive blackboxing and gatekeepers, preventing anyone who doesn’t already know someone from breaking in. Most independent creators are relegated to trying to get discovered through platforms—like YouTube—that make it nearly impossible to protect and monetize content, and laborious to fine-tune a project to build the intended audience. This conundrum hurts both the creators trying to get their start, and an industry that desperately needs fresh ideas.
The Ecosystem That Blockchain Creates
Independent creators require a platform where they are able to load their best content, knowing their intellectual property is safe and that it has an equal opportunity for exposure. Investors need a secure way of finding talent with verified audiences and metrics that indicate potential success. The blockchain technology used by the Filmio Decentralized Platform (FDP) solves these problems and more.
Blockchain is not just for cryptocurrency anymore, and it is already being used in the music industry to protect IP rights and manage contracts. The technology facilitates secure, indisputable transactions, by distributing data storage across a network of servers, or nodes. Any edits made to the data must be verified across a majority of the nodes, and nothing ever gets deleted. Everything that is entered is timestamped, and changes are simply added onto the chain, rather than altering the original content.
Filmio’s platform creates a secure ecosystem for the entertainment industry that facilitates collaboration, sharing and innovative production. Its secure and transparent technology allows creators to interact with fans, using feedback to make their content shine. Investors have access to fresh content that is backed up by accurate metrics based on fan engagement and feedback. Fans have the opportunity to shape their entertainment by interacting directly with projects and creators.
To complete the circle, independent creators can interact directly with investors, building contracts and relationships that would not be possible in a traditional big-studio setting. Filmio makes production and distribution of entertainment accessible, which is a necessity for the growth of the industry right now.
Growth on the Horizon
Blockchain platforms like the one Filmio has developed are the future of the entertainment industry. Continuing to create new and interesting content while keeping everyone involved safe and healthy is going to require a massive new infrastructure, and Filmio is here to provide it. To find out what is next in entertainment, click here and sign up for early access.