Streaming has changed the landscape of the film industry. From output models to algorithms and more, streaming services have changed what viewers define as cinema, including what they expect from their cinematic experience. While the shift has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of discovering new filmmakers and increasing accessibility, some in the film industry are critical of the rise of the streaming industry.
Some believe that streaming has had a negative impact on filmmaking as a whole – from short theatrical release windows to a large amount of content lacking in substance. These features have detracted from the theater experience, meaning many viewers stay home instead of going out to watch movies on the big screen. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem, which has notably resulted in Warner Bros. decision to release their 2021 movie schedule in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. As the world continues to battle the coronavirus and studios continue to release movies, it will be interesting to see the long-term effects streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple have on the movie-making process and the industry in the future.
6 Martin Scorsese thinks streaming devalues cinema
Martin Scorsese has established himself as a legend within the film industry. With that in mind, Scorsese’s thoughts (especially when it comes to filmmaking) tend to carry more weight. Scorsese has expressed his dislike of streaming services and their negative impact on the cinematic experience. So much, he even published an essay detailing his frustrations.
Despite his adamant disdain, Martin Scorsese has teamed up with Netflix to finally bring his passion project, Irishman, to bear fruit. The decision proved successful. Scorsese’s gangster epic was so well received that it was nominated for multiple Oscars, including Best Picture. Since then, Scorsese has signed a first film and television contract with Apple.
5 Steven Spielberg thinks streaming movies are all TV movies
Spielberg has been one of the most vocal critics of streaming platforms. In 2018, he criticized streaming platforms such as Netflix ahead of the Oscars, stating that “once you commit to a TV format, you’re a TV movie”. Spielberg has since admitted his feelings about Netflix are inflated, but still defends theatrical releases over a streaming model or very limited theatrical releases.
As a result, it came as a surprise when Spielberg signed a deal that meant his production company, Amblin Entertainment, would produce multiple films for Netflix for the foreseeable future. The move not only bolsters Netflix’s reputation, but also raises questions about how streaming platforms continue to shape the film industry.
4 Denis Villeneuve says streaming won’t save movies
Denis Villeneuve blasted Warner Bros. after their decision to release their 2021 slate in cinemas and streaming simultaneously. He argued that the films of Dunes“The scope and scale” of is worth experiencing in cinemas and said “streaming alone cannot sustain the film industry”. Despite Villeneuve’s reservations, Dunes proved to be as successful in theaters as it was on HBO Max.
With the promise of Dune: part 2 largely depends on Dunesstreaming success, Villeneuve made his film, albeit inadvertently, for the HBO streaming service. Denis acknowledged the benefits of streaming for the film and television industry, but remains firm in his feelings about the need for exclusive theatrical releases.
3 Patty Jenkins says streaming is fake
Jenkins is another female director who has expressed her dislike of movie streaming. During a panel discussion at CinemaCon, Jenkins said that movies shown on streaming services “look like fake movies.” (LA Times). However, she understands and supports the potential of streaming when creating television, as it’s “ideal for massive amounts of content and binge-watching.” [sic] TV shows.” (LA Times). Despite his deal with Netflix, Jenkins believes the theatrical experience and streaming should remain two separate entities.
With Wonder Woman 1984Falling into the Warner Bros. day-and-date release pattern, Patty Jenkins joined Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve in their disappointment with Warner Bros. and HBO Max. WW84even with streaming, didn’t work out as hoped, which only added to Patty Jenkins’ growing dislike.
2 Christopher Miller doesn’t like the lack of transparency
Christopher Miller, director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and 21 jump street, believes that despite streaming’s propensity for diversity of filmmakers and stories, it has some downsides. Miller’s biggest concern with streaming is their cost plus model. In this model, streaming services “pay more up-front, but limit talent’s share of long-term revenue.” Additionally, services like Netflix have been able to hide information about their movies’ ratings and demographics, which could impact some groups’ revenue share.
It should be noted that Miller made a movie for Netflix. Miller helped produce the Oscar-nominated animated feature, The Mitchells vs. the Machines. The film was a success (as evidenced by its award nominations) and was Mike Riandas’ feature directorial debut. Miller has since gone on to create and direct the after party for Apple’s streaming service.
1 The Coen Brothers: Streaming puts quantity over quality
Joel and Ethan Coen (known collectively as the Coen Brothers) have blended genres to create some of the most memorable films. With cult classics such as Fargo and The Great Lebowski, the Coen brothers have established themselves as essentials in the film industry. Joel Coen thinks streaming is a place of abundance and the majority of “streaming services just want to buy by the meter”. However, Coen recognizes the benefits of streaming when it comes to movies increasing their longevity.
This could very well be the reason for the Coen brothers’ decision to make The Ballad of Buster Scruggs for Netflix. As Joel Coen notes on the Team Deakins podcast, “Our whole career, really, was made possible by the fact that there was a television market.” movies like The great Lebowskiunderperformed at the box office but found success once they were released on VHS and DVD. With streaming services increasing accessibility, many viewers will naturally prefer to see a movie from the comfort of their own home rather than heading to the theater.
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