As has happened at other junctures in film history, those across a wide spectrum of "the industry" are today facing challenges that require nothing short of drastic adaptation for survival. Like an old gaming system or computer that has slipped into obsolescence, some movie-makers and movie theaters are being left behind by new technologies and tech-driven platforms that are quickly becoming the new, even exclusive, media of the trade.
As part of our annual film issue (which starts here), we take a look at two local arenas in which we're seeing this cinematic drama unfold. One is at our local art house theater, where the costly conversion to digital projection from 35 millimeter film isn't an option, but a clear mandate. The other is on websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where area filmmakers are looking toward home rather than Hollywood to realize their movie dreams.
In a Film Journal International posting last week titled, "The crowd has spoken: Independent theatres turn to public to fund digital conversions," you can find something of a fusion of our features, as now several theater proprietors are using these same online platforms to help raise the tens of thousands of dollars per screen required to go digital.
As always, the burden appears to be on the little guy, the independent, to hang in there with the multiplex and multimillion-dollar mainstream movies. But as we've learned from Hollywood, everyone loves a good underdog story.