The importance of film industry in the modern world

The importance of film industry in the modern world

In this exclusive interview we talk to Tom Sherak, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (best known for their Academy Awards, also referred to as “Oscars”). We look at the role of film in society and how it has grown to become such a ubiquitous art. We discuss what makes a ‘great’ movie, some history of film, the economics and future of the industry, and how the internet and other technologies such as CGI and 3D have affected the movie business.

Film has a uniquely powerful ubiquity within human culture. In 2009, across major territories, there were over 6.8 billion cinema admissions (compared against a world population of roughly the same number) creating global box office revenues of over US$30 billion. The convergent nature of film creates consumption across a number of channels. In the same year combined DVD and Blu-Ray sales in the United States, Canada and European Union alone were US$32.5 billion (amounting to over 1.1 billion units sold). When you start to then consider revenues and audience figures from those who consume digitally, via television, repeat view content they already own and view through the highly illegal but vast black-market in films, the figures become truly staggering.

The direct economic impact of film is clear, but the effect to the wider economy is also significant. The UK House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee– in a 2002 report on The British Film Industry stated, “…Of the 23 million people who visited the UK in 2001 — spending approximately £11.3billion — VisitBritain (formerly the British Tourist Authority) estimates that approximately 20% visited the UK because of the way it is portrayed in films or on television. The flow-on effect from film (i.e. the use of services and purchase of goods by the industry) is thought to be that for every £1 spent on film, there is a £1.50 benefit to the economy.”

Cinema has become a powerful vehicle for culture, education, leisure and propaganda. In a 1963 report for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization looking at Indian Cinema and Culture, the author (Baldoon Dhingra) quoted a speech by Prime Minister Nehru who stated, “…the influence in India of films is greater than newspapers and books combined.” Even at this early stage in cinema, the Indian film-market catered for over 25 million people a week- considered to be just a ‘fringe’ of the population.


Source : ThoughtEconomics 

The 17th edition of the MIFF : Marrakech Rains Stars

The 17th edition of the MIFF : Marrakech Rains Stars

Marrakech, November 29, 2018. A rain of stars is once again going to illuminate the sky of the Red City on the occasion of the 17th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, which opens this Friday, November 30. As it has every year since 2001, the red carpet of the prestigious event will witness some of the biggest names in international cinema, among them actors, directors and versatile artists from all around the world. Festival audiences will have the opportunity to see some of the most glamorous actors of international cinema. Italian star Monica Bellucci will be on the red carpet and on Jamaa El Fna Square at the public screening of the celebrated Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Egyptian film diva and muse of the great director Youssef Chahine, Yousra also confirms her presence in Marrakech, along with Italian actor, director and producer Valeria Golino, who has appeared opposite big-screen greats, among them Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. On the male side, famous international cinema figures are coming to meet the public of Marrakech. Among them are Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen, who delivers a breathtaking performance in Peter Farrelly’s Green Book; French actor, Gaspard Ulliel, who incarnated Yves Saint Laurent in Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent; Mexican international star and director Gael García Bernal, who appears in the Festival in Gonzalo Tobal’s The Accused; actor Gilles Lellouche, who directed the delightful comedy The Big Bath; and Swiss actor, director and screenwriter Vincent Perez. For the 17th edition of the MIFF, Moroccan cinema will be honoured through the presence of several talented actors and directors, such as Faouzi  Bensaïdi, actor and director of Volubilis; Narjiss Nejjar, director of for  Stateless; Meryem Ben M’Barek with her wonderful Sofia; the director of Marock and Rock the Casbah, Laïla Marrakchi; Hicham Lasri, a director of singular style; alongside actors Younès Bouab, Saïd Bey and Ayoub  Layoussifi, who will present Urgent; and Mohcine Malzi, who received the Male Performance Award at the most recent Tangier International Film Festival. Other famous figures of the big screen like Abdallah Ferkous, originating from the city, and the very popular Aziz Dadas, will meet their very large public at the Place Jamaa El Fna and on the red carpet. The red carpet will also host Egyptian stars Laila Eloui and Bassem Samra, the superb French-Italian actress Chiara Mastroianni, and Rossy de Palma, the Spanish actor and muse of Pedro Almodovar.

Nadine Labaki, the celebrated Lebanese actor, director and screenwriter, returns to Marrakech to present her latest hit film, Capernaum. Other highly anticipated figures on this year’s red carpet are Sandrine Kiberlain, the graceful actir and French singer; Sarah Perles, a young Moroccan actor noted for her role in Sofia; Maïwenn, the French director and actor who triumphed with films like Polisse and Le Bal des actrices; as well as French actor Aure Atika, who was seen last year in En attendant les hirondelles by Karim Moussaoui.

The 17th edition of the MIFF offers a warm welcome to the Mauritanian filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Abderrahmane Sissako, who won the César Award for Best Director for Timbuktu; US painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, whose most recent film At Eternity’s Gate opens the festival this year; actor, comedian, director, and stalwart of French comedy Laurent Lafitte; French actor Tahar Rahim, who delivered an unforgettable performance in Jacques Audiard’s Prophète; Laurence Fishburne, the US actor of hit films such as the Matrix trilogy; JR, the contemporary French artist known for his giant photographic installations around the world, who codirected the film Faces Places with Agnès Varda; Kevin Dillon, the US actor who has worked with Oliver Stone and is also known from the hit series “Entourage”; and French actor Mathieu Demy, who has been seen in the films of André Téchiné and Céline Sciamma.


Source : festival marrakech

Why Shooting 4K Is Becoming Less Important

Why Shooting 4K Is Becoming Less Important

4K has been a part of the filmmaking conversation since the RED ONE was first released over ten years ago . At that time, all the “experts” were certain it would take over within just a couple of years, and told us HD would be obsolete before we knew it. A decade later though, it just hasn’t happened.

In some respects 4K has come a long way – especially when considering cost and accessibility. It’s never been cheaper or easier to shoot In ultra high resolution, and there is literally no barrier to entry any more. Just about every new camera can shoot 4K now (even iPhones), which is a far cry from 2007/2008 when the elusive RED ONE was the only real option.

But from my vantage point, the 4K “movement” seems to have already peaked… At least with regards to interest from filmmakers.

I think back to 2014 when cameras like the GH4 were hitting the market and bringing 4K to the masses for the first time. There was this feeling in the air that whatever camera you bought next HAD to have the ability to shoot 4K. If it couldn’t, it would be outdated before you knew it, and you might even lose clients or freelance work as a result.

But as the years went on, most of us realized that 4K wasn’t going to be a game changer. It wasn’t going to land us work. And it certainly wasn’t going to “future-proof” our projects either.

Countless filmmakers that once lined up around the block to buy their A7S II or GH4, ended up selling their cameras within a year or two. Despite having 4K, their cameras were still susceptible to becoming outdated, and having the ability to record 4K internally didn’t change that at all…

My point isn’t that there is anything inherently wrong with shooting in 4K (or 8K for that matter!), and I will always opt to shoot at the highest resolution I can. But this obsession with 4K has largely died down over the last year or two, and I can’t help buy wonder why…

Maybe it’s because just about every camera can shoot 4K now, and it’s no longer the hottest feature to have. Or more likely, it’s that we’ve seen first hand that shooting 4K won’t in and of itself help our projects succeed, and that it’s a luxury not a necessity.

4K is not a requirement for getting into top tier film festivals or winning Oscars. Audiences, buyers, and festival screeners couldn’t care less if your film was shot in 4K. Even Netflix, who is one of the only players to require original productions to be shot in 4K, will still buy produced content that originated in HD or 2K.

Whatever the case – resolution just doesn’t matter the same way that it did a few years ago when we were in no mans land. In 2014 it was easy to convince filmmakers they needed 4K and would be irrelevant without it. And for all anyone knew – that could have been true! But in 2018, after spending years watching countless 4K videos of cats on YouTube while movies shot on iPhones are winning Sundance, we’ve finally gained some perspective.

Back in the film days, cameras were relevant for decades, and most filmmakers didn’t need to obsess over their gear or worry that their work would lose relevancy because of the technology they were using. They focused on what mattered – telling a good story with great performances and entertaining an audience. And I think we’re finally starting to get back to that place…

Cameras will certainly never have the longevity that they once did, but at least now the novelty of 4K is no longer stealing our attention away from other technical considerations – like color science and dynamic range.


Not to mention, the 4K rush drove down prices of HD/2K cameras so much, that true DIY filmmakers now have access to some of the best cinema cameras ever made on the used market.

I had a narrative filmmaker ask me recently if she should buy mid-range cinema camera like the Canon C300 II or a used Arri Alexa Classic. Her primary consideration was overall image quality, and both cameras were going for almost the exact same price.

I didn’t even have to think about the question before giving my answer – Alexa Classic.

The Arri Alexa line still offers the best image quality and color science on the market, and that includes the original EV model. The fact you can pick them up on the used market for what a high end Canon DSLR with a lens will run you, is absolutely astounding. And the going rate is purely a result of the Alexa Classic’s inability to shoot 4K.

That’s not to say everyone should run out and buy an Alexa Classic. They are still not going to be optimal for lots of productions – namely due to size and weight issues. But the fact that buying a used Alexa is a viable option in the sub $10K market is absolutely amazing.

I’ve heard from friends that work at rental houses, and owner/operators of Alexa Classics that there has been a big uptick in interest for the camera over the last year. I only imagine it’s part of the overall trend of filmmakers breaking the 4K spell that was once cast on them, and focusing more on other aspects of the craft.

This mentality has trickled down to consumer level cameras too. Right now, you can pick up a used Lumix GH2 for as little as $200 – that’s crazy! I remember when stores couldn’t even keep them on the shelves just a few years ago… It may be a couple generations old now, but for an up and coming filmmaker without any money and who doesn’t “need” 4K, it’s an incredible gift.

At the end of the day, 4K is just a resolution format. It’s a great tool to have, and one that I use on many of my own projects – but it’s almost never mandatory.

So for any filmmakers out there weighing their options with regards to camera choice, I hope this has put things in perspective for you. Color quality, low light sensitivity, stabilization, and dozens of other variables matter so much more than 4K… So don’t forget to keep an open mind next time you’re camera shopping, and see what the used market has to offer – you might be surprised what you come up with.

Let me know your thoughts on 4K in the comments below!