According to Indiewire, Steven Speilberg continues to make no bones about his views on the theatrical experience and the at-home alternative.
“I hope all of us really continue to believe that the greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience,” Spielberg said. “I’m a firm believer that movie theaters need to be around forever.”
Is that REALLY true? It seems like a bit of a stretch to me. I think filmmakers can probably do more for the world, even just in terms of entertainment, than force people to continue to go to movie theaters, and I say this as a lover of the theatrical experience.
Like, maybe #1 on this list should be “make good movies.” People have to spend a lot of money one way or another to see most movies, maybe making the movies good is more important as a contribution than getting butts into theaters.
Last year Spielberg also held nothing back when claiming that movies from platforms such as Netflix shouldn’t be up for the same awards,
“I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for the Academy Award nominations,” Spielberg said at the time. “Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically. And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”
What’s wrong with filmmakers not having to struggle to get money or be seen? By expanding avenues available there is less oversight, more niche content, more diverse points of view.
Spielberg is also ignoring how many more opportunities are created through these new business models that make room for new voices.
Maybe Spielberg doesn’t want that many new voices heard? Maybe he’s just out of touch. Future generations are not going to be flocking to theaters, they’re already deeply plugged into YouTube.
Spielberg is showing his age, his fear of change, and his attachment to outdated business models. Does he not want to have to compete with the likes of Roma for awards?
Doesn’t he have enough money and enough accolades? Shouldn’t a man in Spielberg’s position look to expand opportunities for new voices rather than close them off or minimize their cultural impact?
It’s hard to see what positive spin one can put on Spielberg’s reasoning for going up against more content on more platforms that are available to more people for a lower cost.
That’s a win for creatives and a win for audiences.