Over in California recently was an event called 'The Conversation' - about the future of digital entertainment. It may seem nerdy perhaps - but lots of film makers went, including my old laughing partner Rob from Zen Films. You can read about his experiences here. These 3 highlights however are from the blog of the main man Scott Kirsner.
John Gaeta, the visual effects designer who brought you 'The Matrix' and 'Speed Racer,' suggested that before very long, movies and games will deliver exactly the same level of visual fidelity. Some viewers might prefer the interactive gaming experience, and some might prefer the "sit back and watch" narrative experience. And some, Gaeta suggested, might choose to jump back and forth between the two experiences through portals and trap doors... watching the narrative for a while, then choosing to participate at some crucial juncture.
Great idea - and what a challenge for writers and film makers.
YouTube's George Strompolos proposed that characters from your movie (whether narrative or a doc) ought to be stars of videos on YouTube. Most successful YouTube series, he said, are driven by larger-than-life characters. That extra content, he said, should be part of your marketing campaign.
Does that mean we can expect Mr Vista the movie anytime soon? I'm not sure. But what it does mean is a lot more pilots and small pieces. It also could appear to indicate character over plot.
Ken Eklund, a developer of alternate reality games like "World Without Oil," said, "The culture war between movies and games is over... and movies lost." That provoked some good discussion and debate.
If true then some parts of our craft are gone (montage for example) while others will stay (character arc and dialogue) and we will have to learn new skills (writing for interactive situations). But so what? We are writers we can do anything.