Think about 2020. Was it a terrible year? Or a year full of difficult challenges with exciting creative opportunities. I wrote a blog post about how filmmakers can celebrate Christmas during a Tier 4 lockdown. Whether you consider yourself “creative” or just a news-mad junkie, here are the 21 trends filmmakers will be following in 2021.
I'm not going to dig into the obvious trends in filmmaking like "more social distancing". I try to share the trends that I think are influencing and influencing a filmmaker's career and, by extension, his livelihood.
Identifying trends is an ideal way to come up with new ideas. Whatever or whoever you are enjoy my compilation.
21 trends filmmakers will be following in 2021
Eco-status used to be the norm for activists. Older eco-status projects include:
Since then, Tesla has been the leading luxury car seller in America. Adidas made 11,000,000 pairs of running shoes from recycled ocean plastic. And the Vegan Impossible Burger is now served in 7,000 American Burger Kings.
The filmmaker's dilemma:
So I think the green / eco movement will change. As you can see, there are two extremes of eco-status: the high-end and the affordable. When trends become frequent, they lose their cache and uniqueness. When eco options become as affordable as traditional ones, there is no reason not to choose them.
My prediction of the top trend for 2021? Eco shame. Movements like Extinction Rebellion, Strike for Climate and Greta. I believe we will move from eco-status to eco-disgrace. One impact is increasingly evident: a widespread shame about air travel – or Flygskam in the original Swedish – is affecting businesses everywhere.
What can you do to use this trend in your storytelling?
2. Civil media
The social media giants have destroyed so many people's relationships. They are also linked to social and political conspiracy theories. Right now, the Trump “Stop the Steal” movements and the insane anti-Vaxer movements are just two of many that thrive on social media.
Furthermore, the giants have shown us that they are only concerned about their big bucks.
The brutal fact:
That has to stop. Let's find and nurture independent journalists who can earn our trust the old-fashioned way – by telling the truth. Civil media – by and for civilians. I'll be there. The question is: will you be there too?
Can you open your own CIVIL room? A safe home where you and like-minded people can discuss your likes and dislikes. Last year, the soft drink Sprite partnered with Google to identify issues affecting teens. Forums were created on Reddit and moderated by influencers. Issues included being a virgin or coming out transgender.
This platform shows the value and role of agonizing aunts. The only difference now is that these beings live on the internet and can interact with their audience. In contrast to the agonizing aunts like Ann Landers, bound by paper and law, of the past.
Think about what your long-term goals are. Ask who you would like to meet.
Connection and self-expression are basic human needs. We will keep trying to meet these requirements online forever. If you want to create new CIVIL media, you need to figure out how to create something that the big social media companies don't. And if you manage to do this just for profit, we'll smell this and walk a mile. The challenge for us today is to create communities that are really relevant and useful.
Two new civil media initiatives:
Collab Writers – a community of creatives who hold monthly network meetings.
Paus.TV – a web platform that allows viewers to tip the films they see. It's a new way for filmmakers to monetize their short film content.
Both are well worth a visit.
3. Brand avatars
The rise and rise of digital channels are overwhelming us. For the next several years, brands big and small will turn to avatars to influence their social media.
The trick is to create avatars that respond directly to the audience. For filmmakers, it's very nerve-free to believe that they, too, could be replaced by an avatar. It is imperative that filmmakers understand where this is going and how important this trend is becoming.
Last year at the Lion Advertising Festival in Cannes, SK2 Cosmetics presented its new avatar Yumi.
Check out this avatar welcoming you to this new product.
Freaky is getting weird too: check this out:
Relationships that go way beyond Alexa order me washing powder and that include wellbeing, creativity, and even the human need for companionship. Now Amazon is working on a wearable that understands and reacts to the user's emotions. The rise of these VIRTUAL COMPANIONS is causing consumers to expect virtual brand units connected to them on a deeper level.
Since branding is so important, you should take a look at the brand (NEW) Self-Branding Filmmaker Intensive that starts on January 7th, 2021?
With the COVID crises and political turmoil hit nation after nation, escape will be a big story for 2021. And guess what? The trending Trendhunter website has highlighted a dozen or more ways the travel industry is branding escapism.
Could you invent a new escape route?
5. Femme films
Women take control of their filmmaking careers in front of and behind the camera. And they prove to be just as smart, if not smarter, than their male counterparts.
A leading woman is no longer placed in the role of the femme fatale. You take creative and commercial control.
However, if you are looking for a Femme Fatale movie, look no further for Linda Fiorentino in what many, including me, consider to be the best of the genre: The Last Seduction by John Dahl.
6. Remakes & reboots
The film industry has been fantastically successful. What other industry takes pennies worth of raw materials on a DVD and resells them for hundreds, if not thousands, of the cost of their ingredients?
The old and safe has always been the big safe money making zone of the movie industry. But could this be a signal of its downfall?
Here is a recap of a great article on The Movie Blog: Remakes, Restarts, Variations: How the Old Keeps Trending as New
Some don't like it when classics are remade for modern audiences. Even so, the practice is so widespread in the entertainment industry that reboots, remakes, and variants are categorized as separate releases, allowing the user to create trends as well as new releases.
– Elliott Hopper
And a brilliant vlog from BeKindRewind:
7. Social impact
Nothing beats the power of the film. Movies create both positive and negative changes. The copycat murders that plagued America after Natural Born Killers are an example of the negative.
Those of you who have heard me speak will remember that the movie's value is social impact. This will be a big buzzword for 2021.
Fortunately, there is some thoughtful and valuable advice out there for anyone looking to make an impactful movie: The Impact Guide. This is funded in part by Bertha and the Ford Foundation. really useful stuff here.
Money is funny. And no amount of public health crises will mitigate that! While researching this article, I found the perfectly phrased summary of where comedy is going and why it's so important.
Humor and satire are widely used as a source of expression in modern society and are used by both brands and consumers to demonstrate status and awareness of pop culture. This category highlights trends in pop culture satire, online humor, and modern parodies and highlights a much more lighthearted approach to consumer-brand interaction.
– trend hunters
This ad is based on the time Harry met Sally and shows the power of satire. At the end there are some warm words of encouragement.
Of course, Raindance responded to this new need with an offer Mastering comedy class on February 2, 2021.
9. Ancient spice
Australian advertising agency Thinkerbell launched Thrive @ 55 this summer. It is an 8-week paid internship for people aged 55 and over
There are few 50+ workers in the creative industry. As people's runway grows longer and the flexibility of working from home grows, this age group will be more and more welcome to bring their ideas, energy, and experience to the motion picture industry.
Raindance Tutor and Award Winning Director Simon Hunter believes the next generation will ponder with horror how we allowed thousands after thousands of animals to be slaughtered in the 2020s. He believes future generations will shrink back in the same way that we do now Pogroms like the massacre of Jews in the gas chambers of World War II.
Watch out for the rise and rise of plant foods. We will also see vegetable meat.
I call this section Plant-ed because another important trend will be deforestation and reforestation. Observe where your filmmaking could fuel this trend.
11. Warriors of Social Justice
Almost everyone has heard the term "warrior of social justice" by now. It got a bad rap now. How can someone who fights for justice be anything but good?
Anyone who stands up for a cause can be called a warrior. And just because you're a champion doesn't mean you believe in this. Take, for example, a mercenary who stands up for the cause his paymaster stands up for.
And now that the far right and radical left groups are all considered warriors of social justice, the moniker has taken on a negative connotation.
Take that definition of Know Your Meme
A derogatory label for bloggers, activists, and commentators who are prone to engaging in long and hostile debates against others on a range of topics involving social injustice, identity politics, and political correctness. In contrast to the blogosphere of social justice in general, the social justice warrior stereotype is characterized by the use of overzealous and self-righteous rhetoric (sic), as well as addressing emotions through logic and reason.
Semantics and politics aside, the world needs advocates of social justice. And we need films about the unjust, the oppressed and the abused. We all have to stand up for the whistleblowers who bring justice.
12. Recalibrate the standard
We heard about the "new normal" until we got sick. But the truth is – everything has changed. and if you don't jump on the new train you run the risk of being left behind.
By and large, the old methods no longer work. Do not be afraid of change. Embrace it. As filmmakers, we have three changes to consider:
- Filmmaking Techniques and Technology
- Sales and distribution
The future belongs to the fearless and brave.
13. Virtual events
The accelerated race to promote virtual events has only just begun (hint: zoom, hopin). There is plenty of space to perfect the immersiveness, accessibility and interaction and to create additional services and useful tools for participants and organizers.
We're seeing increasingly stringent regulations on diversity and employment. Companies create business plans that are based on diversity rather than just paying lip service to their “core values”.
In the film industry, too, intercultural pollination creates new films with new voices.
Prejudice and discrimination of any kind, be it cultural, ethnic, sexual or racist, have no place in our world. We need to advocate diversity and support the frontline workers who are fighting the good fight.
In 1962, To Kill A Mockingbird came out and showed us the horrors of discrimination. It did so without preaching. Once again to prove the power of cinema, to educate and inform.
15.15 minutes cities
How about a city where everything you need from accommodation, food, education and employment is just a 15-minute walk from where you live?
Enter three exciting new companies:
- Reef technology turns industrial brown locations into common spaces in America.
- Future city mediates cultural partnerships between trade and art. The UK National Ballet in London and the UK National Opera both have fabulous new homes created by commercial real estate groups.
- And now something completely different!
The Apple Tree Pub in London's trendy East End is a nonconformist and LGBTQ + friendly place where everyone is welcome. A warm welcome to everyone and a home for the LGBTQ + communities and for those who live an alternative lifestyle.
It is initiatives like this that will grow in importance.
The gaming industry is expected to bring in $ 200 billion over the next year. In addition, the role of education in gaming is immense.
You can find an excellent article on the future of gaming as well as super-intelligent thoughts on AR and AI here thoughtful article in Forbes.
This promises to get closer to the main stream.
Occulture includes astrology, alchemy, palmistry, and other spiritual activities with motifs ranging from the cosmic to the demonic.
Mixture of "occult" and "culture", shaped by Professor Christopher Partridge.
Hidden culture. A subculture within western modern culture. The appropriation of occult themes (New Age etc.) by a subculture in contrast to the prevailing culture. A culture influenced by modern and postmodern literature and art, and derived from the occult sciences – understood through pre-Christian and subsequent unorthodox interpretations of the Gospels, esoteric writings and Eastern sources.
An area of music, writing, the visual arts and para-religious practices that stem from the occult. Heavily influenced by occultists such as Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Dion Fortune, Anton LaVey, Robert Anton Wilson, Austin Osman Spare and Brion Gysin.
– Peter Pendragon
Virtual reality is still struggling to gain a foothold. This may be due to the lack of penetration by headsets. This is likely to change as manufacturers lower their prices.
The software technologies developed have found their way into cinema post production and of course into gaming. Not to mention the way VR makers push the boundaries of storytelling, as best in the Haunting Stories Gallery.
19. Gritty realism
Ken Loach is often associated with gritty realism. His films are shot entirely on site. His films often show the impact of environmental social problems on the characters in his stories like the award-winning one Me, Daniel Blake.
Given the turmoil in the film industry due to COVID restrictions, filmmakers who can use their local locations to tell powerful stories will find their stories get noticed in 2021.
20. Event cinema
The pandemic has put pressure on cinemas around the world. Pre-pandemic cinemas came under pressure, and the health crisis has likely pushed the crises caused by online streaming up to a decade forward.
This doesn't mean cinemas will be out of date. It probably means their role will change.
I see two models:
Community-based cinemas like Genesis in London offer a wide variety of film programs as well as a wide variety of community-based events and festivals. Your space also includes bars and restaurants.
Event-based cinema that can take place in non-theatrical locations such as parks, art galleries, and public spaces.
Modern Event Cinema is a London-based company that specializes in creating one-off events related to a film or filmed content shown live from a venue in cinemas across the country via satellite connection and / or post-encore will . Her projects vary from music to family, art to history, fashion to world cinema and beyond.
Traditional film chains can use their locations to host live sporting events broadcast from venues such as Wimbledon, boxing matches, and the like.
Raindance held a panel discussion on COVID safe film production. You can see it here:
The big change in 2021 is how a filmmaker's income is generated. Up until now, filmmakers have sold their film rights territory by territory. The local distributor then made amends by selling the film to theaters, home videos, and television while the film was showing through a series of windows.
Online streaming has changed the way movies are monetized by redesigning and rearranging the windows. The online model depends on the sale of the movie to viewer at a time, which means that the financial amortization depends on revenue per viewer rather than revenue per window.
How this affects the cinemas is interesting.
Small and nimble cinema chains with visionary leadership like the British Curzon Cinemas used this new model to redesign their online delivery Curzon Home Cinemas with great success. They deliver their huge catalog of art house and indie films to a discerning audience.
The sales agent Visit Films has added its film library to its own online distribution via its Monument Films sub-brand. Much like Curzon – except they partner with local art house cinemas and have their catalog of edgy indies local art house cinemas on VOD, dividing the revenue with the local theater.
There are many other interesting models too numerous to mention here.
The key point is this:
Yes, getting your movie on Netflix or Disney is great. But that will only happen if the film has a decent social media profile. and that starts, as always, with film festivals like Raindance.
Remember, trends mean nothing if you don't use them to make what you do – and the world – better. Pick up on these trends. Take them on your team, share them, argue, argue and conspire.
But above all act.
Let's make movies!