Today I read a great article by Steve Soffer in Vanity Fair. Its titled “Why Hollywood as we know it is already over”
Its clear that there are going to be more massive changes to the film industry. There have been many changes already, most caused by the digital revolution, but more relevant to crew is the relocation of the film business caused by the massive tax incentives offered by cities and countries wanting to attract film production.
But I think Steve is wrong when he says that the digital disruption we can expect in the next few years will affect the wardrobe assistant who provided the “raindrop moment” described in his article. (A wardrobe assistant scolded a scriptwriter, claiming it was “her job” to wipe a raindrop from an actor’s costume). I cannot see an AI or a robot taking her job.
In my department – Locations, a few years ago, we thought that some sophisticated version of green screen would mean that in future, crews would never leave the studio. What has happened is that increasingly, Locations are becoming a part of the visual effects department.
The film industry in London has never been busier (though the UK tax incentives on offer might have something to do with that). Our industry is full of High end TV and Features using sets which are CGI + reality hybrids – GoT, Harry Potter and Star Wars to name but a few. Designers augment real locations using CGI, and digital trickery as well as old fashioned set dressing.
So, content is still king, and whether it is provided by Amazon, Netflix or Apple, rather than Paramount or Universal, in my view, talented creative crews will still be required for some time yet.