Over the past decade, the world has witnessed a seismic cultural shift … the digital revolution. And no business was affected more than the media industry.
As digital platforms exploded onto the scene, the world became an interactive “screened” culture – populated, in part, by a generation with a film studio in their pocket and a global megaphone gifted to them courtesy of the Internet. This democratization of the media has created countless messengers and storytellers and has transformed Hollywood from a geographical location to a global concept.
“Those who tell the stories rule society.” – Plato
Today’s media influencers are not only found behind conference tables in boardrooms, but also behind laptops in Starbucks and sitting with fingers crossed at international film festivals.
In response to this digital shift, Traditional Hollywood has given birth to what I call, Indie Hollywood (film festivals, privately funded productions), Digital Hollywood (You Tube channels, gaming, bloggers), and Global Hollywood (represented by China periodically surpassing the U.S. box office).
As “Hollywood” expands onto an omnipresent global stage, each of these conceptual Hollywood’s spawn countless new media voices. This sudden influx of cinematic creatives opens up an unprecedented opportunity to relationally invest in these newfound power brokers and to thoughtfully engage in today’s cultural conversation.
As a Christian, how do I connect with them? The answer lies in the manner in which Jesus engaged with the two men walking on the road to Emmaus:
While they were talking and discussing together,
Jesus himself drew near and went with them. Luke 24:15
These two men are walking along, deep in conversation, trying to make sense of the events of the day. Jesus joins them on their seven-mile hike and asks them a simple question, “What are you talking about?” Entering into their dialogue, Jesus brings clarity to their confusion and answers to their questions.
They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn
within us while he talked to us on the road,
while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32
In this digital world of interactivity, today’s generation is often asking the right questions and welcomes thoughtful conversation. Let our response be one of joining these new “Hollywood” communities on their journey. Then in a spirit of humility and respect, seek to engage in thoughtful, caring dialogue.