MovieBob - Intermission
Five Entertainment Reforms Millenials Should Be Fighting For

Bob Chipman | 10 Jan 2014 12:00
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I can't remember the last time Rolling Stone Magazine was considered culturally or politically relevant in the real-deal sense. Yes, they employ some terrific writers and yes, they frequently publish some interesting actual journalism; but their importance is based almost wholly on legacy - it's a proud still-standing relic of its own glory days as the music magazine in the era when popular music was the vehicle of social-progress messaging. Let's get real: It's been a long time since a western rock or hip-hop act inspired a "movement" instead of a YouTube dance fad, and today's activists rally around Social Media: Cutesie-poo hashtags for The Left, feverishly-Facebook'd conspiracy theories for The Right.

But in the early days of this New Year, a Rolling Stone piece has suddenly made headlines (outside of Rolling Stone, I mean) and real cultural waves: Jesse A. Myerson's "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For" blew up online (though, ironically, it seemed to explode with detractors prior to being a blip on the radar for its apparent target audience), prompting tweets, texts, actual news headlines and challenges. For the moment, short lists of what these mythical beasts called "Millennials" should be fighting for are "it" until the media finds some new shiny ball to chase.

Well! Let it never be said that MovieBob can't also chase SEO with all the tenacity of The One Weird Trick You Won't Believe The New York Times Fears And Drug Companies Hate to Pay For Free Forever Erectile Dysfunction Gold Conspiracy Something Bitcoin. The fact is, it's more than just the economy that's weighted against the needs, abilities and interests of the rising generation of young people we're counting on to save the future since my generation... basically dropped the ball in a grumpy, nihilistic, self-centered huff ; the entertainment industry is also largely ignoring or misunderstanding you, and in doing so they're digging their own graves by turning a blind eye to the way technology and taste are reshaping "their" world. So, then, here are five things you rascally whippersnappers ought to be demanding Hollywood etc. do now that you are the demographic masters of their destiny.

1. Day And Date Releasing

I'm a recent convert to this particular school of thought, but then there's no zealot like a convert. The way we release movies (and TV shows, music and games, but mostly movies) is broken. The current model is still largely built around the framework of "theaters first for the primary money, then rental outlets for Mr. Second-Viewing & Mrs. Wait-And-See's money, finally direct-sale for The Collectors" - and that market has been splintered into irrelevance for a decade or more. Hell, even theatrical as first-go is designed to maximize profits in a world where everyone had the weekend off (HA!) and movies could be people's Big Friday Night Thing; and that world is going-going-gone.

Right now, people (especially young "Millennial"-aged people) increasingly work multiple jobs, often with erratic hours. The rise of streaming, on-demand and "Netflix Binge-Watching" reflects this, in that more and more people either prefer or simply have to watch their movies and shows on their own time, on their own terms, on their own schedules. And y'know what? There's absolutely no reason why they shouldn't. The "window" between theatrical sales and direct-release was always artificially-inflated to one degree or another, but at least in the analog days it (somewhat) reflected the time needed to produce and ship for-sale copies of the product. But today? When a movie is shot, cut, "printed," projected and sold as a digital file? There is no good reason (economic or otherwise) to not release movies at least to streaming and on-demand services (DVDs, with their later-produced extra content and alternate cuts? Different conversation) at the same time they come out in theaters other than a financial helping-hand to the Multiplex Cartel.

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