DOES SIZE MATTER?
From the opening night at local film festivals to the panel discussions on cinema by major publications, one thing that remains in common seems to be the various emmerging new platforms that people are discussing to put your content out on. While the internet age is creating much opportunity to put out our stories in much more accessible and ecomonical models, a whole new story telling format is coming into play. Gone are the days when the darkness of the cinema halls were the only ways to enjoy an immersive viewing experience. Today films and serialised content can not only be enjoyed within the confines of your own four walls, but also in a park, at the beach and even in a moving bus. While this is a boon to young voices of content creators, it also begs the question, Does size matter?
Is the accessibility of the medium now a boon or the bane for the stories that we want to tell? Will film, television and internet content be differentiated on the basis of the size it is most likely consumed on?
One can argue about watching many shows available on flat screen tvs of enormous propotions to fully enjoy the experience of say a show like game of thrones, but truth be told, in a country like ours, where the average screen is not so big, we still find that most of the content being consumed is that especially created for the large format cinematic experience. So does that mean that there is no restriction basis the format we choose to consume the content in?
I would argue that while all compelling content can be enjoyed on any size of screen, those of us who are trying to be part of the more traditional format of the silver screen need to adapt at an alarming rate to try and seduce the viewer to leave the confines of their homes and step out into the darkened cinema halls and immerse themselves in the world we are trying to create for them. Looking at the biggest successes of recent years, we find that the cinematic experience is being driven both locally and internationally towards the spectaular. An experience that we cannot have played back on our television or any other gaget screen and can be only be had when projected to us in all its cinematic glory. Given the expense of going to the cinema, we seem to need an event almost, to drag us in along with our friends and family. Much more than a simple story, simply told.
And while television viewing still remains a family experience. We consume televison almost like the radio used to be, an almost reassuring presence in the home droning on and occassionally demanding our attention. This reflects then in the stories we tell here. Of values that are acceptable for the family to view collectively, about the way we should be and our past.
The internet, however, is like that seductive presence that we can enjoy all on our own. There, there is no collective experience required and the stories are about us, the deepest, truest part of us that we choose to share (or not) with others.
In conclusion I would say that while a great story is not restricted by the size of the screen, the content creators need to be aware that not one size fits all and we could optimise the viewing experience keeping in mind the most likely manner of consumption.