The Reinvention of Hollywood

A series of online roundtable discussions that look to imagine the best of all possible film worlds in the new creative climate.

Fandor, the wondrous streaming film platform that I got to know before it even had a name, has teamed with the Reinventors project, a community of thinkers and doers looking to have widespread discussions regarding rapidly changing industries. The result is a series of online talks- like an open source think tank of sorts- lead by a group of innovators who take additional questions & comments from the audience following the conversation on their electronic devices at home, or work... or even in bed with coffee (what? I was wearing pants at least!). Actually, I missed most of the inaugural talk thanks to a scheduling conflict but today (June 10th) is the second installment in this series that was sparked, and is hosted, by the legendary Ted Hope. Hope was recently named the CEO of Fandor, a bold and interesting move for a classic indie film producer (The Ice Storm, Happiness, Cindy Sherman's Office Killer + and many, many more), a move that is in itself a mark of the film industry sea change and the need for this dialogue.

The first lecture focused around "Form," the fluctuating shapes that visual storytellers are currently presented with, creating, and are looking to create to tell their tales. I caught the tail end of the conversation and it seems that Form slowly melted into a larger issue, that of story. The discussion naturally seemed to turn away from seeing technology or new media platforms as a form to stuff ideas into but as a way to expand, augment, or relate a particular idea: the stories are dictating the form. A truth that I think is at the core of a lot of the failures of burgeoning filmmakers who need to simply ask themselves why they are telling a story and what the best way to do so is: form should follow function in nearly any creative endeavor.



There was also a brief tangent regarding Joseph Beuys' concept of "social sculpture," the notion that art can transform society in huge ways, physically and maybe even spiritually, an idea that seems extremely relevant in a digitized, globalized society where all kinds of movements can now instantly take shape to reach far outside of themselves and in turn shape their surroundings. The responsibility in making a film, in making a social sculpture, is an underutilized fact that has massive, unlimited potential. It was extremely refreshing to hear someone within the industry recognize this awesome possibility that I personally thrive on! There was also a mention of a new Sundance endeavor that I hadn't heard of too, the Sundance Transparency Project (which I cannot seem to find info on? Does it have some other name?). As it was described in the roundtable, this project is a forum where people from different sectors of the film industry make the results of their particular projects open information to help others learn, an idea that makes me hopeful about a film world where community is valued in conjunction with profit.



I just noticed that the Reinvent Hollywood lectures are recorded and available to stream after the fact! So I will be sure to catch up at some point during this rainy summer week. The full schedule for the entire six part series can be found here, the second installation takes place today, June 10th 2014 at 11am PT (2pm ET?) and will focus on The Artists: How do we enable the most diverse range of artists and creative work in a globalized marketplace? The Reinventors seems like the kind of creative, digital utopia that I tend to dream about on this blog. A truly open place of learning through listening and sharing where a wide variety of people with vastly different experiences are all working toward the same creative goal, with the same impassioned love. These explorations are invaluable and joining this conversation can only make our shared cinematic hope, and the resulting beauty, stronger! I will save you a seat in the cloud audience!

 

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