George Lucas & Steven Spielberg: Studios Will Implode; VOD Is the Future

Spielberg, Lucas: Internet TV is the

Moguls predict tentpole "meltdown," pricey pics and empathetic games.

Looking into their crystal ball, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicted the imminent arrival of a radically different entertainment landscape, including pricey movie tickets, a vast migration of content to video-on-demand and even programmable dreams.

Speaking on a panel at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Spielberg and Lucas took a grim view of the future of the majors and predicted theatrical motion pictures will become a niche market.

“They’re  going for the gold,” said Lucas of the studios. “But that isn’t going to work forever. And as a result they’re getting narrower and narrower in their focus. People are going to get tired of it. They’re not going to know how to do anything else.”

Spielberg noted that because so many forms of entertainment are competing for attention, they would rather spend $250 million on a single film than make several personal, quirky projects.

“There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown,” Spielberg said. “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm again.”

Lucas predicted that after that meltdown, “You’re going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things. Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks, like what Broadway costs today, or a football game. It’ll be an expensive thing. … (The movies) will sit in the theaters for a year, like a Broadway show does. That will be called the ‘movie’ business.”

“There’ll be big movies on a big screen, and it’ll cost them a lot of money. Everything else will be on a small screen. It’s almost that way now. ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Red Tails’ barely got into theaters. You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movies into theaters.”

Both see “quirky” or more personal content migrating to streaming video-on-demand, where niche audiences can be aggregated. “What used to be the movie business, in which I include television and movies … will be Internet television,” said Lucas.

“The question will be: Do you want people to see it, or do you want people to see it on a big screen?” he added.

The longtime friends appeared on a panel on the future of entertainment at the grand opening of the Interactive Media building at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, along with Don Mattrick of Microsoft. Julia Boorstin of CNBC moderated.

But Mattrick took a back seat as the two old movie pros dominated the hour-long talk, teasing each other at times and agreeing at others. When Lucas complained about how hard it was to get “Lincoln” or “Red Tails” into theaters, Spielberg quipped, “I got more people into ‘Lincoln’ than you got into ‘Red Tails,'” drawing guffaws from the crowd.

Addressing the evolution of vidgames, Spielberg said so far, games have not been able to create the same empathy with onscreen characters that narrative forms have. Though gamers might empathize with characters in the cut scenes between game play, he said, “The second you get the controller something turns off in the heart, and it becomes a sport.” Lucas was more sanguine, saying the game industry can and will create empathetic characters, but it hasn’t so far because it’s been driven by hard-core gamers who enjoy onscreen violence.

“The big game of the next five years will be a game where you empathize very strongly with the characters and it’s aimed at women and girls,” Lucas said. “They like empathetic games. That will be a huge hit and as a result that will be the ‘Titanic’ of the game industry, where suddenly you’ve done an actual love story or something and everybody will be like ‘where did that come from?’ Because you’ve got actual relationships instead of shooting people.”

But Spielberg, looking farther ahead, said he thinks the real shift will come when game controllers are obsolete and games are controlled by Kinect-like devices that completely immerse the player in the story. “I believe need to get rid of the proscenium,” Spielberg said. “We’re never going to be totally immersive as long as we’re looking at a square, whether it’s a movie screen or whether it’s a computer screen. We’ve got to get rid of that and we’ve got to put the player inside the experience, where no matter where you look you’re surrounded by a three-dimensional experience. That’s the future.”

The most out-there suggestion for the future of entertainment came from Lucas, who sees brain implants within the relatively near future. He noted such implants are already being used to control artificial limbs; they just haven’t been used for entertainment yet.

“The next step is to be able to control your dreams,” he said. “You’ll just tap into a different part of your brain. You’re just going to put a hat on or plug into the computer and create your own world. … We’ll be able to do the dream thing 10, 15 years from now. It’s not some pie-in-the-sky thing.”

Asked by Boorstin what that might mean for the Entertainment Industry, he said: “You still have to tell stories.  Some people will want to be in a game… and some people will want to have a story told to them. Those are two different things. But the content always stays the same. The content hasn’t changed in 10,000 years.”

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  1. Chuck Kopsho says:

    Has anyone here forgotten about one Mr. Irwin Allen, “The Master of Disaster”? He was the inventor of the 20th century blockbuster. Steven Spielberg only dovetailed on that with “Jaws”. Both “The Poseidon Adventure”, and, “The Towering Inferno”, were the gold standard, when it came to the blockbuster movie. That doesn’t mean I disrespect Mr. Spielberg, and Mr. Lucas. They improved upon the idea. But don’t forget the pioneer, Mr. Allen.

  2. Lucas had a great success with Star Wars, and that cannot be discounted. Joseph Campbell’s work must have really helped him. Unfortunately, his later work shows he should be the last man to discuss story telling in any art form.

    Even the digital company Lucasarts had far more failures than successes, showing the industry that they barely understood games, let alone story in games.

    Many story-focused accomplishments have occurred in smaller, independent games, including Jason Rohrer’s titles (Passage), Journey (The Hero’s Journey in silent form) and other more experimental titles. Even the original Half Life, which built story into a “rollercoaster” production style.

    But are they equal to film? No. Because it’s a different medium, and as soon as you see that the best stories befitting games will come from interactions – a feature unique to games – and base it around that, you’ll be seeing less of this kind of ignorant statement making in the press and beyond.

    • The Postman says:

      I can agree with most of that, but let’s not discount LucasArt’s 90’s golden years. Grim Fandango is easily the best game I’ve ever played.

  3. mjrydsfast says:

    It seems, there will always be a place for a writer. Infinite imagination will never be obsolete and forever priceless.

  4. IT UP says:

    Franchise slum Hollywood, delivering predictive porgramming,
    for their –next– level of ‘CON’–solidation.

    LOOK around yourself as the last of your economy disappears
    to RED CHINA —a police state is rolled out –and EUGENICS are implented.

    NONE of this would have been possible without the ‘on board’
    perception management of Lucas and Spielberg Holly—-wood.

  5. Kendra says:

    In the beginnings of the movie industry theaters would show a movie, or a double or triple feature, a serial or two or three, a bunch of newsreels, a bunch of cartoons, one or more musical shorts, local news, sports and weather, etc. All for relative change in your pocket. The industry is looking to return to those days, at a slightly higher price. The industry stopped doing that to compete with stage, radio, television, home video, cable, video games, computers and satellites, consecutively.

    Women and girls are just as into action video games as men and boys, and women and girls are also into responsible real gun ownership as men and boys. These guys have their own brains too hooked into the MSM, which could explain why their ideas are as old as the hills as is the content of their movies.

    China is a communist military empire and they don’t like American movies and other movies from outside of their sphere of influence and dominance. Slave trade manufacturing only happens in government designated areas within China or those of its claimed and disputed political slave satellite territories. There are no entrepreneurs in China, save for those created by and in the employ of the government, which is everyone in China. Their restricted access to alien movies is worse than the free downloading of ripped movies. They won’t be seeing too many outside movies anytime soon. And besides, they’re far too busy trolling the internet with influence peddler agents to watch movies.

    Spielberg and Lucas both have got to start producing small phone-sized professional productions for internet download in a big way. Microproductions with real scripts and actors and small crews. YouTube and other video sites already do it and it’s time for them to start saturating the market. Timecode, a movie released in 2000, is a movie they should take a really good long hard look at when going about doing this.

    The sensual connection into our brains from visual, audial and other input already gives us a fantastical plug right into our brains, as do dreams, imagination and daydreaming from within. It’s long already been happening.

  6. DG says:

    Actually, those two said nothing new at all.

    And I don’t buy the Broadway show model, either. Folks said that was going to happen back when VHS appeared. It didn’t. Multiplexes got better-built and dominated.

    Yes, VOD delivery on a big screen at home is the new theatrical model for non-blockbuster fare. But we all know that.

    As far as the present Hollywood model imploding, I predicted that for last year and it didn’t happen. But if ever there was a summer ripe for blockbuster failure, this may be the season.

    Fortunately, MAN OF STEEL is cleaning up domestically and globally right now. But we’ll see how all the others play out as the summer continues.

    If the Hollywood model does implode, I would pray for lower-budgeted films and cheaper ticket prices–especially after China gets tired of all the 3D-CG comic books.

    Whatever, the studios have a way of always surviving–and these guys just did nothing more than regurgitate all the present chatter.

    • DG says:

      Agreed, Kendra, except for your assessment on China.

      I’ve spent some time there in recent years and things have been changing significantly–though it has, admittedly, been slow in some areas.

      The people’s appetite for Yankee product has been significant for a long time. When you say “they”, I believe you are referring to the government (particularly SARFT).

  7. Lucas & Spielberg forgot what it’s like to scrape change together for gas money. They’ll never make a real film again unless they lose everything or wake up and realize we’re in a serious financial Depression. People have to choose between gas money & paying for groceries. Thanks for moving jobs to Singapore Lucas! Way to help Californians.

  8. mark hensley says:

    So by George and Steve’s reasoning, I guess fine dining restaurants will all go under as well.
    I mean, who wants to spend $100 on dinner, when I can get a burger for a few bucks. Or have pizza delivered, and I don’t even have to go out.

    Just because THEY don’t understand the social part of going to movies. Actually getting out of the house with friends and family.
    Just because THEY have massive media rooms, that are basically theaters. And they are on the secret list of celebrities who get all the blockbusters delivered at home, before anybody else even sees them.

    I don’t think they really have a proper frame of reference.
    I mean, how often does George ever even leave his compound?

  9. Bob says:

    I don’t know how one can say they haven’t made a decent film for DECADES. Everyone who saw ‘Lincoln’ said it was fantastic. And did you notice how many Oscars it was nominated for? And as none of Lucas’ Star Wars prequels made less than 300 million dollars, I can’t see how they’re “out of touch”.

    • Toy says:

      They’re out of touch with these *claims.* People are already upset at having to shell out $15 for a film. Do you really think we’re going to pay attention to $100-250 movie tickets? If it comes to that, it won’t be no more movies!
      Plus the ‘Titanic’ of gaming? What does George Lucas know about gaming??

      • tazzman says:

        You really didn’t read it did you? They’re point was that most people will not go to cinemas to see a movie because of the higher prices.
        As for what does Lucas know about gaming, maybe running a game company for 30+ years might have something to do with it?

  10. jithpaul says:

    Interesting perspective. We are experimenting with VOD as a distribution channel for indie films at

  11. H C Sander says:

    I’m sorry to see and say that these two dinosaurs are so out of touch with reality, they haven’t made a decent movie for decades. Some of their predictions are laughable and just show how ignorant and full of themselves they are.

  12. Paul F Davis says:

    Outstanding article. Thanks for sharing!

  13. $150 my ass. Not when we have those sweet Russians sneaking their camcorders into the theater and putting it online for free. <3 Muther Russia!

  14. harry georgatos says:

    as long as there are inventive and intelligent filmmaker’s like Christopher Nolan people will go to the movies. As for mid-range and lower budgeted films people will happily watch those films on sophisticated home entertainment which is gradually replacing the cinema experience. At the end of day it comes down to the final product and how well it’s put together. The most important part of the filmmaking process should be the script!! That should apply for the big tentpole pictures and the small budgeted films. A lot of films coming out of the industry just don’t have original and inventive scripts. Also who wants to be stuck in a cinema with out-of-control teenagers and people talking on their cell phones, all people violently coughing throughout the film. There’s just too many many distractions in a cinema nowadays coupled with excessive ticket pricing!! Cinema sized tv screens in people’s home will become the new standard of distribution instead of driving to a shopping mall, finding parking and stuck in a cinema with the patrons from hell!

  15. pfsycho says:

    Sadly, Spielberg was actually looking into his Crystal Skull.

  16. I think this article shows so much disconnect on the part of both film makers. I agree that studios have shifted to producing fewer smaller films. However, saying that the industry will have some sort of catastrophic meltdown is a bit of a stretch. The thought that it would make movie going be more of an upper class Broadway experience is down right laughable. For one, audiences these days are quickly onto the next thing. Movies these days have to make their money during a much shorter window. Plus, I’m baffled that this notion came from the man that reinvented merchandising. Studios make more from the toys, clothing, etc. then they do from a films box office. By alienating the middle class film goers, they’d be undercutting merchandise sales. Further disconnect is shown by Lucas when he mentions the difficulty he had getting Red Tails made. During the release of the film, Lucas stated over and over that studios didn’t want to take a chance on producing the film. He blamed the subject matter revolving around African American pilots as being too risky in the eyes of the studios. He took it upon himself to produce the film independently. When the film was released and bombed, he then blamed white audiences for not being broad enough to watch a film out of their comfort zone. The truth was the film wasn’t good, plain and simple. As far as Spielberg barely getting Lincoln distributed, well I guess he $300 million world wide might’ve made the studios think twice.

  17. enki09 says:

    VOD has essentially just replaced brick and mortar video rental stores. It is not going to ruin theaters anytime soon.

    What it has done is made distribution to a world wide audience possible at far lower costs. This is especially great for films that have limited or no theater run.

    It also gives indie Filmmakers opportunities to access the same market as the big studios and through the same portals.

    This access to the market will probably cut into the profits of the major players, web to TV further compounds this. But, take a lesson from the music industry. Even though everyone has equal access it is still the big names with the big marketing budgets who have 90% of the traffic.

  18. John L says:

    Um… Making (big-screen) movies about African-Americans and America’s racist past aren’t money makers. African-Americans dressing in drag, dancing, shouting, shooting, stabbing? Money.

  19. Andrew says:

    I’m really not surprised Lucas had a hard time getting Red Tails into theaters. Absolute dreck.

  20. BS says:

    They’re right about some things, but theaters are not going to $50 shows (well, maybe because of inflation). If that happens, then I’ll be the first to open a small theater charging $7 for smaller budget movies. How can the big, giant studios force the industry one direction while falling in to financial doom?

  21. Bryan says:

    For skeptics, I think it best to take these men at their word. They’ve done a very good job at seeing their audiences and taking advantage of technology. It’s coming…

  22. Alec Polsley says:

    This is why these men are legends and known by everyone from Hollywood to Russia

  23. U r 2 of the best in the business!

  24. Russell60 says:

    Who are these old men and why are we listening to what they are saying?

    • low-tech cyclist says:

      “Who are these old men and why are we listening to what they are saying?”

      Dunno. I hear they were a big deal, 30 years ago.

      • Do you know who the best film teacher in Los Angeles is? Prof. Joesph D’Accurso at Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen. Swear to God. We had to make flashcards and had to know every filmmaker from Mielies to Kurosawa to Lucas and Spielberg (Mr. D’Accurso I believe was in the same film class as Mr. Lucas).

      • Rob Stephenson says:

        Spielberg and Lucas didn’t invent the blockbuster. David Lean and Irwin Allen got there first, and before them, Tarkovsky, Fritz Lang, ..others too I suspect.

      • Indiana Solo says:

        They are filmmakers who together have made five or six of the best movies ever made according to AFI. They invented the blockbuster and their films continue to break box office records and win awards to this day. THAT’S who THEY are. Who are you?

  25. Dr. Strangelove says:

    The Last of Us, man! Beyond Two Souls?? Haven’t you heard? Beyond Two Souls was at Cannes. The ps4 is coming and it uses controllers like that you use with your hands and the games are looking pretty crazy. I’ve been pretty immersed and my television isn’t big at all. It’s just gotta be good, man. People’ll snap out of it watch. I hope so, but people like money so we lost.. Ahaha They could be right. They’ve seen it change so much already. Jurassic Park on a phone, man.

    • Not to mention The Walking Dead: The Video Game. The relationship between Lee and Clementine was as strong if not stronger than relationships developed on the television show.

  26. What’s up everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this web site, and piece of writing
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  27. Nddeagles says:

    Have either of these guys played mass effect or knights f the old republic or the walking dead game etc. There are tons of games with characters that you care about you just have to know where to look not every game is gears of war/call of duty

  28. So, will theaters become mini indoor amusement sports parks to capture brains, bodies and wallets?

  29. slogan media says:

    We are telling stories for our clients already. And we’re excited about these predictions. We want to make and watch compelling narrative in all forms. I think its quite possible a series of online marketing videos from a corporation like RED BULL can easily win an Oscar or the equivalent in the near future!

  30. “They like empathetic games. That will be a huge hit and as a result that will be the ‘Titanic’ of the game industry, where suddenly you’ve done an actual love story or something and everybody will be like ‘where did that come from?’ Because you’ve got actual relationships instead of shooting people.”

    Have they not heard of Final Fantasy? The series is full of romance. XIII and X are good examples of this.

    • Gene says:

      Atelier Totori is literally exactly what Lucas described, and it was a niche title that didn’t receive many sales, and was mostly popular for the gameplay. It’s also well-written, unlike Final Fantasy.

      • Toy says:

        However, I’m sure more women like Final Fantasy, though. We female gamers are not all fans of “empathetic games.” The ‘Titanic’ video game idea made me want to barf…

  31. Ken Clark says:

    It’s just a thrill to see these two enormous icons together. What a huge impact they have had on all of us, and the industry.

  32. Also, I’d take anything said by a guy who made “Howard The Duck” with a grain of salt. They’re just two dudes and one of them thought Jar Jar Binks was a great idea.

    Let me know when you come down to earth and live with real people. These guys are so out of touch with Americans and how we live our lives now. Most people don’t even have cable TV anymore and grow their own food.

    All this overload of crappy acting and technology has turned people off and make them turn back to simple things; like gardening and playing with their kids.

    Screw you and screw your crappy, overpriced hack films. You lost touch with the people a long time ago.

    • JD says:

      Don’t blame Howard for the mediocre, misrepresentative movie. Howard the Duck is one of the all time great reads of sequential art.

    • Thomas says:

      To be fair, Spielberg still has some greatness left in him – several of his movies of the last decade were among the best things he’s ever done. And while Sally Field may have not been great in “Lincoln,” the film was still overall quite good. To call him a hack is to overstate your case rather drastically. (Lucas on the other hand…)

      While I do agree that these two men don’t really have all that much common with us, uh, “commoners,” they probably are in a better position to see what’s coming than most of us. Mind you, there are a lot of reasons I really don’t want their vision of the future to happen – but it may well happen anyways.

      There are a lot of great movies still out there – you just have to look beyond your local multiplex to find them a lot of the time. But then again, gardening and playing with your kids are wonderful things and those definitely receive more emphasis in people’s daily lives.

      • Thank you Thomas! Hopefully of these two come to their senses & remember their salad days and their original films that had the human element & spirit in them. I’m off to grow some good summer tomatoes.

      • Thomas says:

        That last line should read “those definitely SHOULD receive more emphasis in people’s daily lives.”

    • dsematsu says:

      What an ill-informed post. I don’t even want to start dissecting this one; I’ll just say I’d be embarrassed to attach my name to it.

    • disgruntled viewer says:

      Morgan, go back to the Drudge report who specialize in inaccurate information, and enjoy with the other mouth breathers.

      • My father was the stage manager of Lincoln Center (when it was in the Village) from 1963-1966 when Elia Kazan was the house director there. My Father was a card carrying communist and my mother was a straight up anarchist. So put that in your pipe & smoke it, homie. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you defaults to a Republican and the Drudge report? Sounds like a great policy.

      • I’m pretty sure the Drudge report is a Republican viewpoint. I’m an American and Lucas moved his company to Singapore, along with jobs that people in California could have used. I’m an writer and actress. I can call bullshit with I see it. These guys used to be good and sold out. They’ve been listening to their yes men for so long and they broke my heart. And Sally Field sucked in Lincoln. So there.

    • Without particularly trying to defend either Mr. Spielberg or Mr. Lucas, two points: 1) Lucasfilm financed “Howard the Duck” for other people to write & direct. It was a disaster, and Lucas, apparently having reached the same conclusion about “Howard the Duck” that you did, stopped financing other people’s movies. That probably hurt the movie business more than it helped. 2) You say “Most people don’t even have cable TV anymore.” Even with recent cord-cutting cable penetration in the U.S. is still around 90%. (Source:‎) However Messrs. Spielberg and Lucas envision a future where streaming VOD has replaced cable. So you’re on the same page with them.

      • Thanks Mr. Cohen, I didn’t know that about Howard The Duck, because I was 11 when it came out. I just remember me and my best friend walking about of the theater after 10 minutes and we played video games. You know what’s going to happen? People are going to read books like they’ve always done. People like to be entertained, but not by crap outsourced to Singapore and crap made in China implanted in their brains. You can quote me on this.

  33. These are are showing their age. The death of the tentpole is happening – that is true – but that doesn’t mean the death of cinema or create a $50 or $100 ticket. It’s just an audience shift in taste…

    • Ian Mantgani says:

      There might be $50 tickets, but I think Lucas is insane if he thinks movies will run for a year, like Broadway shows. That’s the past, not the future. And it’s impossible in the digital landscape he helped create.

      I think holographics may well be part of the future. A more immersive experience: the immediacy of theatre, the opulence of movies. Which is a shame, imo. I like looking at a screen. I like the involvement through the distance. I like movies.

  34. Or we could just read books and let our minds be our ‘electronic devices’. Like I’d let anything made in China be implanted in my brain….

  35. In Europe it’s much different – people enjoy getting out. The most diverse films and concerts play in Europe. The adage “They band is bigger in Germany” is true. Going out to a show is a major event – people don’t have to hurry to go home… they socialize with strangers. Americans just need to relax and allow their brains to think for themselves.
    The large theaters with bigger lobbies and dinner theaters are slowly introducing the social element back into American cinemas. Now if they could just add ushers and a care in the world they would be more inviting.
    Another trend are women attending cinemas on their own without a date and without their friends, and often making the wisest choices in film selection – they’re not afraid to be surprised with something new. Trite boys with guns and shallow romantic comedies simply don’t cut it anymore.

  36. R. B. says:

    The future needs to be 3d porn!

  37. R. Paul Dhillon says:

    While they’re the two most respected men in the entertainment biz, but are they serious about the future if cinema! I don’t agree with their doom and gloom scenario as no other industry has adapted so well in the changing technological environment than Hollywood and generally the international entertainment business! When the domestic movie business began to slump, Hollywood took its game to the world where it is making huge money from both big and smaller films! In fact, the business at the medium and big budget level is so huge that it’s brought so much money into the game from India, Middle East and China so their predictions seem to be off at least for the next couple of decades! I don’t think the high prices will work either and movies cannot run for a year as that is not how the movie business works! Movie business can never be like Broadway as you can’t pirate Broadway but you can see film on the net even when it is just opening! Film business is dependent on the creative energy of its creators and technology and studios will continue to usurp both for making big bucks!

  38. jmc says:

    Lincoln – 2,293 theaters. Red Tails – 2,573 theaters. It must be so hard for them.

  39. Ricardo says:

    I research neurological immersive process and I can say I agree with Mr. Spielberg in one situation only. Actually the movies are the most induced immersive experience we have (dreams aren’t induced, they are involuntary experiences). In the future, the most immersive media will be the games. But only if they could be completely experienced as a dream. How they will do it? I don’t know, but is very probably that you couldn’t have complete control over your character. Otherwise you would be using conscience. With conscience participation, all we get is an active interaction with stimuli body, because the video game controls are interpreted by our brain as an adaptable extension of our arms. With stimuli body all the passive emotions vanish, and the state for immersive condition starts to breaks very often.

  40. JR says:

    Studios can survive, but not if they stay the course. They need to make more content for less money, that will appear on VOD.
    Going the way of the dodo are theaters, high-priced movie stars, (multi) million dollar scripts and shrinking unions.
    Technology has changed, enabling indie filmmakers across the world to make stories with action, humor, and pathos that will satisfy the masses for a few dollars, in thier own homes.
    The revolution has begun and studios need to adapt or they will become extinct.
    The “Hollywood” sign is crumbling.

  41. Maurice Martin says:

    it already costs $40 a ticket to sit in the gold lounge seating anyway (and if you are over 6 ft 3 you don’t have a choice unless you want your knees in the back of the head of the person in front of you), and once you pay for tickets for two of you, a drink and some popcorn , that alone is over a $100

  42. Spike says:

    George, Steven! You two are scaring me! Brain implants for entertainment???????!!!! Brain implants to control your dreams???? Are you two nuts, or just listening to Mr. Orwell reincarnated: Bill Gates? Do you have any idea what kind of Orwellian future you are envisioning? Letting someone else implant something in your brain for entertainment or to control your dreams???????!!!!!!!!!

    HEY, YOU TWO! ARE YOU SECRETLY WORKING FOR THE NSA? I don’t know but you’re sure helping them with THEIR Orwellian set up.

    What’s to prevent THEM from finding all your dirty laundry and forcing you two to allow them to tap into these devilish contrivances for their own Orwellian ends? NOTHING! But the scary thing is: They won’t even need to go near you two. It’s too risky, for publicity reasons. They’ll just get their hooks into your techies who have all the know-how anyway to show THEIR techies how to do all of this.

    And you’re wrong about what people will pay for in a movie theater. Very wrong. You can’t compare a film to a Broadway show. There’s a reason people pay money like that on Broadway: They get to see people in the flesh- and in the orchestra- only a few feet from them- as they perform in a musical, singing story. It is thrilling in a way that movies can never be. And movies are thrilling in a way Broadway shows can never be.

    And Steven, it is quite possible to be “immersed” and COMPLETELY emotionally involved, looking at a 60 inch wide screen, or even a 19 inch small screen– as one watches a film.

    You are right about two things:

    Except it’s not the industry which will implode. It’s the STUDIOS which are whistling past their graveyards currently. And they deserve to be IN their graves based on the mostly shallow pap they force down our throats.

    And you are right about VOD. But it doesn’t take any prescient precog to know that VOD will explode because it already is. And it will continue to do so, into numbers which, at first, rival, and then exceed, anything the studios have ever done in revenue. There are billions of cell phones. There aren’t even a million movie theaters on this planet.

    So sit back, boys, and watch us creative independents get on with the show. You two have outlived your usefulness to the culture because you’re just going along, “giving people what they want,” instead of creating higher levels of taste and awareness. Well, George, I’ll give you the Force. That was very good. Except that you externalized it. George, listen up: YOU’RE THE FORCE, AS ARE EVERYONE ONE OF US. Luke Skywalker was tapping into HIS OWN ABILITIES, not something “out there”. Hit cyberspace with that, Amigo.

    • kel vancro says:

      testify bro … this and a couple other comments got it pegged..uh , oh spiked .these to have be come a couple doppelgangers for a global guild of goons for greed ………

  43. George Valentin says:

    Who in his/her right mind is going to pay $150.00 for a movie ticket?

  44. Sue says:

    As a budding screen writer this makes me feel a bit pessimistic about the future of film and screen writers. All I can hope is that they are wrong and that maybe Independent Film makers will be still producing films for the masses.

    • Mitchell Kleinman says:

      I see a great film here: A young, ambitious writer interviews two elderly legends of a declining industry, decrying the fall of their industry, yet totally blind to the irony that they are the architects largely responsible for this decline. How about a film entitled THE SIX CENTS…”I see markets.”

    • Jason says:

      Don’t get me wrong these guys had their golden years, but like all good things, they must come to an end. so to me they are increasingly looking slightly dazed and confused about what is going on which is normal for people their age, so let me try and explain, Hollywood is a dictatorship with a huge monopoly on content, but we live in an Internet age where decentralisation democracy rules.

    • They are saying the kind of pictures you write will get made, but won’t be seen in theaters. If by “films” you mean “motion picture content shown in theaters,” then I understand the pessimism. But they are envisioning the feature in which web content need only aggregate a relatively small number of people to be viable, and therefore there many more outlets for content. I suggest you read this from Brian Lowry, published before Spielberg and Lucas made their remarks:

  45. cadavra says:

    In what universe did LINCOLN have a hard time getting into theatres?

  46. Dave says:

    Star Wars!! Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

  47. dsematsu says:

    I find it amusing that both figures claim that video games have not been able to create the same degree of empathy for their characters as film has. If anything, this statement merely portrays their lack of knowledge of the video game industry and its highlights. I’d argue that the top game studios have been hitting this high mark for over a decade. For example, Final Fantasy X made me feel more for its characters than any Spielberg project since Saving Private Ryan.

    • Thomas says:

      “Final Fantasy X” was the last good entry in that franchise (XII had its moments), but I can’t say that I’ve ever felt particularly strongly about video game characters. Square does have a knack for pathos (just mention Aeris to a veteran gamer) – but I still think even the games that are most acclaimed for their stories are pretty hackneyed compared to the best movies and books.

      But there’s no reason that can’t change. And I’ve always thought that stories are often an overrated aspect of art anyways – some of the most enjoyable, artistic games (and movies and even, occasionally, books) have little or no story.

      • Toy says:

        I agree and disagree. Though I think that films, on average, elicit more of an empathetic response than video games, video games can also elicit emotional responses.
        Where Lucas is out of touch is when he says that women/girls “like empathetic games” as if that is always our main preference. No, we vary in our preferences as individuals, many like myself value action/crime games like Grand Theft Auto, as well as creator/dollhouse games like The Sims. Even in a game like the Sims, it’s not about the ’empathy,’ but about creating. Do I feel for my characters? Yes. Is that why I play the game? No.
        I doubt George Lucas knows much about gamers, so him making assumptions like that makes no sense in my book.

    • Mike says:

      I agree with you 100% about games like Final Fantasy X. Made me feel the same way.

  48. StoryMapsDan says:

    STORY WILL ALWAYS BE KING. Reiterated by the kings of blockbuster cinema. Nice to see.

    I don’t know about many of these predictions, but whatever happens, the audience will always show up when there are great characters and great stories, no matter the format.

    • Mr. F. says:

      I would’t be so sure about it. Maybe that’s true as long as there is an educated audience.

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