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The NYU Cinema Research Institute brings together innovators in film and media finance, production, marketing, and distribution to imagine and realize a new future for artist-entrepreneurs. 


10 Big Ideas for the Future of Film


by Tiffany Shlain, April 20, 2011

Alfred Hitchcock said a film is made three times: when you write it, when you shoot it, and when you edit it. Today there's a fourth: when you distribute it. With all the new technologies and D.I.Y. opportunities available to reach people with your project in fresh and exciting ways, you get to be just as creative when you take a film out into the world.


Alfred Hitchcock

My team and I have done a lot of experiments in distribution with our film "The Tribe," which played at Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. In many ways, I felt like we were throwing spaghetti at the constantly receding wall of the Internet to see what sticks. A lot stuck. Our 18 minute film, "The Tribe," became the first documentary to ever reach #1 on iTunes.

This was thanks to an amazing community that we connected with at festivals like Tribeca. They supported us, followed us, linked to us and continued to spread the word, which ultimately made it so we raced past Pixar and Universal on that iTunes list.

That was five years ago. With all the new tools available today, we're not only able to throw pasta strands but able to have a big feast with all the people that want to engage with our films.

10 Big Ideas

In terms of the future of film, below is a list of things I want to help make happen in the future.

1. All films would be translatable to every language on Earth so everyone could experience them.

2. All video images/songs you found online could be easily negotiated with a simple rights page, or through Creative Commons.

3. There will be a true transparency on distribution sales, expenses and with aggregators.

4. The crazy time labels/constraints will be removed. No longer a world of just "shorts & features." Time is a construct and there is room for every length and every length should receive the same respect.

5. When you search a subject on Google, the results you get -- along with books and articles -- you would also see trailers of videos about the subject too (that one is not too far away)

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