Can YouTube replace the movie theater?

Ben Johnson and Aparna Alluri Feb 19, 2015
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Can YouTube replace the movie theater?

Ben Johnson and Aparna Alluri Feb 19, 2015
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So far on our From the Hills to the Valley series, we’ve talked about how technology is represented by Hollywood, spoken with a producer and actor who has successful projects on both HBO and YouTube, and an MPAA executive who believes Silicon Valley isn’t doing enough to beat piracy online.

Today, we have someone from a purely tech background who is meddling with a distinctly Hollywood craft: writing a screenplay. Charles Forman always loved video games, but after selling OMGPOP, the gaming company he co-founded, he decided to try something new. The result: Storyboard Fountain. It’s an app that allows people to literally visualize screenplays and stories as they are being scripted or narrated.

“It’s a computer program that allows you to create a new frame, draw on that frame, and it’s sort of tethered to the script, so you’re sort of drawing a story,” says Forman. “I want somebody to be able to make a movie in their underwear in their apartment.”

And when he says “movie,” he doesn’t necessarily mean a movie in a theatre. It could be a project that’s distributed on YouTube or picked up by Netflix. Forman thinks that’s where the future is headed: people creating, distributing and consuming content via the internetNot a movie hall where strangers gather to watch a big screen.

Froman doesn’t think so much about Hollywood versus Silicon Valley as much as he does about the way we measure success itself. Success, he says, won’t necessarily be ruled by the box office. In the future, according to Forman, the most successful distribution model might not include releasing a movie in theaters.

“Ten years from now, if people are still going to see movies, and that’s a thing, I’ll eat my shirt,” says Forman.

 

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