How Cloud Computing Can Save Hollywood: Tinseltown Needs More Truffauts

How Cloud Computing Can Save Hollywood: Tinseltown Needs More Truffauts

Like Hollywood needs saving. Many of us wouldn’t mind the million dollar paydays film execs rake in each weekend from the box office. Nevertheless, Hollywood elbows Wall Street and Capitol Hill as a primary American institution of influence. Keep up with the latest in the film biz, and you improve your cultural awareness in the same shot. How movies are interacting with the cloud is one of the industry’s hottest conversations. Cloud computing, get ready for your closeup.

Living in New York City (and with Los Angeles as my hometown), I constantly hear complaints about the dearth of quality in film these days. If it’s not another sequel to the sequel, it’s a vapid book adaptation or a tired riff on an old stereotype. Christmas for weary film buffs arrives around each November, when the Oscar race starts to take full swing. Cinema’s heaviest hitters are all releasing new titles, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, and Clint Eastwood. A few inspiring months of prestige film releases helps to counter the merde of the rest of the year.

I use “merde” in the spirit of the French language and film. I’ve always been a nouvelle vague nerd, and subsequently a slave to the output of masters like François Truffaut. “The Four Hundred Blows,” “Jules and Jim,” “The Bride Wore Black:” just a few of his greatest hits during his Sixties peak. I love looking back at cinematic history. But I wonder how the next Truffauts will get their start, even if they’ll get one (in the age of Iron Man 3000 and the like.)

Cloud computing, interestingly, offers some hope for the future of cinema. The Big Cloud Three — Amazon, Google, and Apple — are all in talks to launch their own cloud services a la NetFlix, which will allow users to stream their favorite films from anywhere, at anytime.

I can picture it now: a young artist who’s exhausted her 3D popcorn flicks and who yearns for something more. Thanks to cloud streaming, she could potentially peruse through titles and artists she’s never seen before, like Steven Spielberg, “The Hurt Locker” by Kathryn Bigelow. Perhaps even a touch of Truffaut.

Easing exposure to such substantial cinema means an easier way of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers. Great film galvanizes the imagination. What does the future hold for the next great men and women of film? The answers are in the clouds.

By Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

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