Last night, the 87th Annual Academy Awards was more than just a stage for the stars of Hollywood. It became a platform for politics, including (but not limited to) gender equality, race relations, suicide prevention, and immigrant rights.
I felt that this representation for touchy subjects demonstrated how the entertainment industry is ever-evolving.
It’s not always about the glitz and the glamour, but also about making a difference in the world.
Just take a look at one of the movie moments celebrated at the 2015 Oscars: the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music.
In a beautiful musical tribute we were able to see how the iconic film, released in 1965, transcends time from the incomparable Julie Andrews to a pop star such as Lady Gaga.
And while the songs performed are still a few of everyone’s favorite things, it led me to take a step back and imagine if this film had been produced in a different time, and were made with digital tools producers and directors have at their disposal today.
Luckily, my theory was already tested with one of the 2015 Oscar movie nominees.
Though not quite spanning 50 years, Boyhood managed to tell the story of a boy growing up over a 12-year time period. But to make the film unique, it didn’t just use different actors to represent the stages of this boy’s life; it actually shot the film over 12 years to capture the same boy’s growth from childhood to young adulthood. And with this transition, the film managed to capture the evolution of pop culture and the growth of the millennial generation’s exposure to digital technology.
As the main character was exposed to this technology, producers also experienced a digital evolution of movie-making; where shooting a movie changed from film to digital in those dozen production years.
When faced with this decision to stay analog or to go digital, the Boyhood crew chose to continue shooting the film in 35mm film (while producing the final edit in digital).
It was a bold choice when considering movies like Avatar and The Hunger Games were released during Boyhood’s production, movies which heavily relied on digital for special effects and CGI technology. Not to mention, evaluating the increasing and staggering amount of data and money which started going into digital.
In the movie industry, Coughlin Associates is quoted saying “between 2013 and 2019 [they] expect about a 5.4 X increase in the required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry and about a 3.8 X increase in storage capacity shipped per year (from 14,449 PB to 50,649 PB).”
And the world’s digital reliance doesn’t stop with entertainment. In a recent survey, we found that 63% of small business owners are using digital products as part of their overall marketing strategy; with the most common reason for digital investment is to generate more customer leads.
So if all signs point to a digital world, why did we see such resistance of this evolution from Jack Black in this year’s Oscars opening performance?
(Start play at 3:07)
If you missed what he is saying (or left your headphones at home today), the lyrics go “In a world where our brains are becoming machines, the only screens we’re watching are the screens in our jeans.”
Referring to your handy smartphones which connect to the internet and apps, Jack Black is commenting on the fact that it is becoming easier than ever to digest content on smaller and smaller screens (smartwatches, anyone?).
So for the movie-making business, this may be a bit of a disappointment when their motion pictures are meant to be consumed on “the big screen,” and not on a small device with apps like Netflix, Amazon, or on-demand cable providers. But, they must congratulate themselves on the barriers they have broken in digital technology to provide benefits in other ways.
Digital developments provide more opportunities for content marketing, advertising, and PR folks across every industry every day. Many have even originated in unlikely business sectors (like entertainment), but transpired across industries to allow for more powerful technologies to make a difference in the world.
Now, this information may not be new to you, but take it as a point of reflection for you and innovators around the nation, to acknowledge the evolution of your work and how digital was a main contributor.
So even if your small business can’t look back 50 years like The Sound of Music, or 12 years like Boyhood, just look back in the last 3-5 years and see how your website, store, or just your marketing strategy has transformed with digital developments and share your findings with us in the comments.
We are interested in seeing your digital evolution!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on the Webs Blog and Twitter.