Steven Spielberg on Netflix, VR, and Escapism

Steven Spielberg is a legend. He’s directed of the most iconic blockbusters of the past few decades. In this video he talks about the threat of Netflix and how Hollywood is weathering the storm, how escapism is nothing new, and how he’s excited about VR. 

Netflix surely has a massive impact on the movie going public’s willingness to go to the cinema. It’s before my time, but according to Spielberg, they had the same issue in the 50s where people rather chose to stay at home and watch television than go to the theater. The need or want to escape using media as tool to do so has been around for the past eighty years. From radio to tv to cable to 3D to streaming to VR. It’s all there for us to experience, but he believes that these new tools won’t affect the narrative form of film, which should put you to rest if you ever thought it could. 

Movies made for television are the best quality they’ve ever been, and releasing series rather than one film is a new dynamic change to the idea of storytelling. Just look at the influence and following of Game Of Thrones has and we can agree that it’s a force to be reckoned with. 

But, recently, Netflix films is now barred from receiving the acclaimed Palme d'Or awards at Cannes Film Festival because the films don't have theater releases and go to TV directly. They can showcase their films at Cannes, but not win any awards. This is also the reason Netflix productions can win Emmys but not Oscars. 

What I thought was quite funny in the interview is that the woman interviewing him was asking questions about technology and the influence thereof on her children in almost a negative, fearful tone while he’s trying to introduce his latest film, Ready Player One. His way of handling the questions made me feel relaxed about the video and film production industry, where yes, it will evolve, but it’s also not going anywhere. 

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3 Comments

Mark Holtze's picture

It’s not going anywhere. Films will always be what every other medium aspires to be. I am seeing kids say that some YouTubers 120p graded footage looks better than a feature film they have seen which concerns me somewhat but overall it’s the pinnacle of the craft, collaboration and art.

There are exceptions absolutely and films are made for different reasons but at its core it’s pretty safe I would say.

But that of course is speculation in itself.

Nice share mate, thanks!

Spielberg seems like a really neat dude.

If Hollywood would do something besides sad remakes and sequels, and recycled plots and stories... there would be no problem getting people to go to the movies.