DIGC335 is a class I’m not afraid to admit I feel a little out of my depth in. I am interested in digital media and the tech world in general, but for the most part my involvement is limited to reading the occasional Wired article and discussing how cringe-y the Twitter accounts of most politicians are. I do not know how to code. I only recently figured out what the ‘dark web’ is. Please forgive me for this. I have much to learn.
I sit in our DIGC335 seminars and marvel at the information being thrown around about Artificial Intelligence and cyborgs and for quite a while I was paralysed trying to think of a topic I could devote myself to for my research project. I was relieved to eventually settle on something that I actually do have a vested interest in. For my final research project, I’m going to examine the way cyberculture is infiltrating Hollywood. More specifically, I intend on looking at the major online Video on Demand (VoD) streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and even YouTube. Some of the areas I’ll be looking at include how VoD services are affecting:
- The creative process and production of content.
- The type of content being made.
- Distribution of content.
- Consumption of content.
- Government regulation relating to Internet access and quality of infrastructure.
From the top of my head, so many of my favourite writers, producers and actors from both television and film are not only accepting of the rise of streaming services, but are straight up benefitting from it. There’s a huge cast of diverse women on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project moving to Hulu after being dropped from major network Fox, Broad City being picked up to series by Comedy Central only because it was initially a successful web series launched on YouTube. The examples of cyberculture enabling artists and resulting in good quality content in the film and television industry are endless.
From the onset, I do not believe the rise of Netflix will see the death of Hollywood. I do, however, believe that it has, and will continue to significantly disrupt the traditional entertainment industry. I am interested in examining how streaming services came to find such major success in recent years, what that currently means for film and television, and what it might mean in the future. For now, here’s Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s take on it (8min 15sec – 8min 40sec):