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The Top Terms

Sep 18, 2012

On 13 September we kicked off our two week-long celebration of Film 3.0. Here are some terms you might hear along the way:

Making movies in a squeezed economy has become even more trying. Crowd-funding is the collaborative effort, boosted by the use of social media platforms on the internet, to pool resources to make a film.

Usually, many, many people offer small amounts of money to get the camera rolling. It’s not a one-sided way to receive funds though; filmmakers often offer incentives to the contributing community from a signed Blu-ray to credits, depending on the level of support. Forty-year old British documentary maker Franny Armstrong is hailed as a crowd-funding pioneer. Over several years, she raised £1.5m (QAR8,556,190) for “The Age of Stupid” (starring the late Pete Postlethwaite), a 2009 film about climate change.

Crowd-sourcing is the process of using enthusiastic community members to complete tasks that will enable filmmaking. “Iron Sky” director Timo Vuorensola, spoke to us about this earlier this year.

“The process is simple: filmmaker comes in with a film and starts using the community…community finds interesting tasks and – through a legal agreement – takes part in the production of the film by sharing their creativity or knowledge in order to help filmmaker get the film made,” he said. “The community can rate and comment other’s work, and at best it works when there’s an iterative process behind every community entry – that it’s not just something one person does, but something a bunch of people have collaborated on.”

Digital cinematography
The capturing of motion pictures as digital images began in the late 1980s. As technology improves, filmmakers are increasingly moving away from film. “Slumdog Millionaire”, mainly shot in digital, is recognised as the industry’s first most important film after winning the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 2009 – the same year that millions flocked to see “Avatar” – another breakthrough picture in its use of technology.

Who’s on board and who’s not? Steven Spielberg said last year although celluloid’s “years are numbered…I will remain loyal to this analogue artform until the last lab closes.”

Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese in the documentary "Side by Side".

In contrast, David Lynch told Keanu Reeves that he thinks he’s “done with film” in an excellent documentary on the impact of digital cinematography produced by the actor, “Side by Side”.

Transmedia is the extension of a narrative across multiple platforms, such as social media, traditional film, gaming and websites. It allows multiple entry points for the audience into the story and can allow viewers to add to it. This is different from cross-media where the same story is re-told for different platforms. The aim with transmedia is often to engage with audiences (before and after the premiere) using this variety of platforms. Think of “The Dark Knight Rises”, “District 9” and “Paranormal Activity”. Transmedia can even spread offline such as in 2007, “The Dark Knight” campaign saw a fictional newspaper produced and mobile phones baked inside cakes where fans participated in deducing clues for this part of the story.

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