On this past Wednesday night I was privileged enough to witness what I feel is going to be the evolution of movie watching in America. If you who have an HD television and get the HDNet Movies channel, then you had a chance to catch a sneak previewing of Brian De Palma’s new film Redacted before it hit theatres. The movie played twice, back to back, and was a great way to see the film, as opposed to in the theatre. Once everyone has HD televisions, studios might begin showing films traditionally slated for theatres, first on TV.
Redacted has an advantage over other films because HDNet Films produced the movie and therefore was able to distribute and show the film on their cable channel. HDNet is not alone in having a channel and film production capabilities, Universal has an HD channel also, called (obviously) Universal HD. Universal’s channel broadcasts TV shows as well as Universal’s archive of past films.
I have a question, why not a Paramount TV or Miramax TV? I would think that movie studios would see this as their future being laid out in front of them. The HD television landscape is wide open, much like an undeveloped area of property. The companies who begin to participate now are the ones who will structure the future format of television as we know it.
As with films, TV should start thinking of ways to separate the two mediums of reality and traditional narrative. The two structures have nothing in common with one another other than the device in which people use to watch them. Since television’s inception, shows simply followed other shows, but with the Tivo and HD age people are essentially able to do their own programming.
There is literally an unlimited amount of air space in which companies could simply create a new channel and dedicate it to what a certain section of the public wants or allow an individual to decide what shows come on and at what times. Recording programs are steps in the right direction but it’s only the beginning of what’s possible. Creative entertainment should extend passed its common boundaries and blaze a new trail, being able to satisfy the most basic pallet as well as complicated tastes.
The common belief is that “Less is More” when it comes to programming but in our “All Access” society that is simply no longer the case. People want to have a plethora of options, to a studio exec what must seem like an inconceivable amount of options, to choose from. On YouTube a person can choose from all formats and all genres of media. Their thing might be 80’s music videos or another person’s might be an indie Anime show made in Wyoming, from some kids basement. The powers that be are just not getting it. Someday YouTube is going to be a channel just like FOX or NBC, you’ll just switch over and see what’s on, no laptop or desktop, just your old fashioned HD TV.
Perhaps the Internet will eventually be a channel on your TV altogether. It seems like the Web is in desperate need of visual enhancement, the traditionally low quality of the images is main the thing keeping the medium from completely destroying TV entirely. Lets all hope that we’re on the brink of another entertainment renaissance.