Culture Devices Digital Films News, angus finney, Business, cinema, film production, smartphones, tablets, viewing — October 15, 2012 10:26 — 1 Comment
‘We’ll be watching movies first on tablets and phones within months, not years,’ says film executive
Former European film financier claims tablets and smartphones will be the ‘dominant’ screens for watching movies, sooner rather than later
A top European film executive and former film financier has predicted that people will be watching movies first on tablets and mobile devices “within months”.
Angus Finney, manager of Europe’s only annual production finance market, hosted by Film London, and former managing director of Renaissance Films, made his comments during a masterclass in film production at the recent Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
Finney told delegates that the shift in viewing habits will have profound implications for the movie industry, claiming tablets and mobile phones will take over as the dominant screen “within months, not years.”
“You only have to notice the number of people who watch movies and TV shows on handheld devices,” he said. “That’s going to require a lot of thought as to the kind of content people make.”
Michael Koerbel of Majek Pictures, who makes its content available on an app and via video-sharing websites such as Vimeo, said: “In this day and age of YouTube shows and viral videos, no longer are the studios just in Hollywood. There are hundreds of millions of studios in pockets around the world – and that’s inspiring to us. That’s why we continually create iPhone 5 movies – it’s our contribution to the mobile movie making community.”
The first full-length feature film to be shot on a smartphone, the Nokia N8, was Olive, starring Oscar-nominated actor Gena Rowlands. Made at the beginning of 2011, by co-directors Hooman Khalili and Patrick Giles, and with a budget of $500,000 it had its theatrical premiere in Los Angeles on 16 December of that year.
The co-directors had hoped that after playing in cinemas in Los Angeles and San Francisco it would be followed by a wider theatre release, and a possible Oscar nomination.
But Khalili said that “a low budget, independently-produced movie made on a mobile phone with a sincere message just isn’t a good fit for Hollywood executives”, so instead they are looking to show the film in festivals and go for a video/digital release.
In a wider conversation during his film production masterclass Finney said movie stars are struggling because they mean less. They don’t dictate the market any more, and, as a result, they don’t earn so much,” film industry bible The Hollywood Reporter noted.
“When I ran a sales agency, we used to call Hollywood agents ‘film prevention officers.’ Their job seemed to be stopping movies from getting made,” said Finney.
Olive co-director Giles said: “Much like the music industry a decade ago, the film industry is shifting. What the .mp3 codec did for music, mobile devices and consumer cameras are doing for the film industry.”