Why New Media?

By Michelle Patterson, Nova Filmhouse staff

This week I watched a film called “Anatomy of a Murder.” It was made in 1959 and is a whopping 160 minutes long. It was undoubtedly a wonderful experience, but it also took serious commitment to clear out enough time in my schedule to watch this almost 3-hour long film.

Nowadays I’ve noticed films typically run around 75% of Anatomy’s runtime, and I absolutely believe that this evolution has a lot to do with the changing lifestyles of the audience members. I mean, today I barely had time to eat — much less watch a 3-hour-long movie.

kids_around_computerHere’s the thing: in these busy times, sometimes even an hour and twenty minutes is too long. And another thing yet: I don’t want to waste my precious and limited entertainment time on anything but the highest quality content. I need great content and content that I can squeeze into a lunch break.

However, in the spirit of being innovative, let’s take this thinking a step further.

Of course all of us busy folks want to squeeze in a feature when we can, and perhaps an episode of TV on our lunch break; but what about our 10 minute mini-break? Then, what about on the drive home? How about while you’re making dinner or going on a run? If you added up the time it took to do all of these mundane tasks a day, there’s almost certainly enough time to pack in a feature-amount of content, but just in more petite chunks.

Perhaps you could pop in a podcast and discover a bit more about one character’s life on your drive home. Maybe you could read a graphic novel about him/her while you wait in line at the post office. And then occasionally, when you actually do have the time, you could even sit down and watch your favorite character on the big screen.

And that’s why I’m sure that multi-platform content is the future of Hollywood. In these times, everyone is getting busier and busier – and our entertainment needs to adapt. Multi-platform content offers you the opportunity to customize your experience to your lifestyle.

Great stories are magical. They envelope you in a universe that makes fiction feel as familiar to you as your own life. I love stories so much, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality storytelling because of my hectic schedule.  Multi-platform content does not simply satisfy the audience’s need for story, it gives them avenues to personalize their experience through interactivity. Multi-platform content not only allows us to immerse ourselves in any universe, but, unlike traditional media, gives us the control to resurface when and where it is convenient for us.