A few weeks back I was speaking to 25 Christian university film students during their visit to Hollywood. One young man asked me the all too familiar question, “How do I get into the business?” My standard answer, as recently as a dozen years ago, was get yourself to Hollywood or New York, build as many relationships as you can, then begin the arduous task of knocking on the doors of the 5 or 6 studios, the 4 TV networks, and visit as many of the production companies as will let you into their lobbies. All part of making the rounds to the Hollywood powerbrokers – the men and women who create and control what the world will and won’t see on our screens. And if there weren’t any openings, you had few alternatives. They were the only game in town!
Still a good strategy. These traditional media companies continue to yield a powerful sword of influence. But no longer are they the only game in town… not by a long shot!
The digital explosion has flung the doors of opportunity wide open. With the flood of new digital platforms, independent film festivals increasingly dotting the map and international audiences racing to the box office, the possibilities are limitless for the next talented Spielberg “wannabe.”
Supply and Demand!
What created all of these new opportunities? Innumerable channels, websites, streaming companies, digital platforms and expanded global audiences; sparked an insatiable demand for content to fill the world’s screens in our new “screen dependent” culture.
According to an Internet Analyst at Morgan Stanley, in 2015 Americans spent 7 hrs. 44 minutes a day gazing into a screen. Assuming you sleep for 6.8 hours a night (the national average), almost ½ (43%) of our waking life – we are engaged in the virtual world and disengaged (at least partially) from the real world.
Today the influence of this expanded media landscape has soared to an all time high. To apply a digital age paraphrase to Plato’s statement regarding the influence of storytellers – “Whoever controls the screens, controls culture!”
Greater opportunity, limitless possibility and increased importance reveal a crucial need! Today’s wild, media frontier often finds itself stumbling in the dark, trying to make sense of a fallen world, as they search for answers to the big questions in life… answers that can only be found in the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.