The year 2020 has not just changed the lifestyle pattern of millions of people but also the way they consume entertainment, thanks to the emergence of Over The Top (OTT) platforms. Hollywood star George Clooney says that this change has opened new employment avenues, which is a good thing but it will not impact the importance of theatrical release of the film in days to come.
In an authored piece for Variety.com, Clooney said, “We shot a movie (“The Midnight Sky”) that was designed to be shown in theaters. The first thing I said to the Netflix guys was ‘I don’t want anybody to ever say, ‘Stay home from school, don’t go out for dinner, but definitely come to see my movie.’” There’s no reality in it. So the movie is going to come out on Netflix.
“We told them we’d shoot it in 65mm because it’s night and day when you see it on a giant screen. This particular film is made for that. But if you can’t, you can’t. There are a lot bigger issues in the world right now than that.”
Clooney, who is married to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, further said, “And let’s be clear that in 1950 everybody panicked that the movie industry would be done because of television, and then it was VHS, and then it was DVDs. The truth of the matter is there’s always going to be a great space for cinema. People have to get out of the house. I can’t keep saying to my wife, ‘Let’s watch TV tonight.’ What (streaming) has done is provide thousands and thousands of new jobs for actors, writers, directors and producers who are making some really interesting content. It’s given new filmmakers, young people and minorities opportunities to work, so there’s nothing but good that comes out of this.”
He says that “the movie industry is going to continue to carry on.”
“Has it created some different viewing habits? A little bit. But you know the film industry survives these things; it always does. And part of it is because we need a collective experience and it’s still a great date night. Dinner and a movie is still pretty great. And kids still like to get in the dark with whoever they’re seeing. They want to get away from their parents. So young people are still going to go to the movies.
“We should be giving federal aid to the theaters. The movie industry, Hollywood, which everybody loves to crap all over, is one of the largest exporters of original product in the United States. I would make the argument that they should be subsidizing the theaters and keeping everybody afloat,” he said.