Streaming Platforms: Are They Good or Bad for Cinema and Film?4 min read

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Tom Brownridge
Content Writer, Film Reviewer and Film Blogger

The two giant streaming platforms are Netflix and Amazon. Both having huge audiences all around the world. They’re known for their original TV series’ and now films.

At the end of May 2017, movie critics are geared up for the 70th Cannes Film Festival in France. This year critics and audience members were given the pleasure of viewing Amazon and Netflix original films on the big-screen. Such films like, Okja (Netflix) directed by Bong Joon-Ho’s and Amazon Studios debut by Lynne Ramsay You Were Never Really Here and Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck. However, it was stated across social media that before all three films the logo for their represented studios logo came on the big-screen, audience members booed and whistled in disagreement and anger towards the studios.

The social connection of going to the cinema will never die. However, more and more people won’t attend the cinema due to high pricing and screening times. Plus, why would you attend a screening when you’ve already subscribed to Netflix or/and Amazon. When the film will be out on streaming platforms and DVD/Blu-Ray in 3-4 months anyway.

Going to the cinema is a social thing, you meet up you grab some popcorn and enjoy the film on a huge screen with no distractions. Plus, the noise within a cinema is something that will never be replicated on a streaming platform at home. Going to the cinema makes you move from the sofa and out of the house. The only reason why people don’t go to the cinema is down to, pricing, laziness, or don’t have the time to travel to one. All perfectly good reasons on why people don’t go. However, this benefits the streaming platforms to get more money to produce more tv series’ and films.

This leads onto the films, the benefits of streaming platforms and how it helps amateur directors and screenwriters get there work to a massive audience, in other words an independent film. However, these independent films are produced with huge corporate money from Netflix and Amazon. True, however they’re helping those who don’t get a break from other organisations meaning they get the opportunity they deserve through these streaming platforms. Honestly, there is no down side to this. These platforms are helping real people get there work out there. For instance, an artist always wants there work on show to get people talking and thinking. This is exactly what it is like for anyone within film. These platforms help those less fortunate distribute their work. It other words it’s like a wider, self-efficient film festival. Some film festivals show the most incredible films once and unfortunately those films will never be seen again. However, with the help from Netflix and Amazon these films could get seen by hundreds of people each year.

Having the thought of cinema and film dying or film being produced by powerful organisations is rather upsetting. However, we know that hard copies are going to be something of the pass. We know that we are already in a period where binge watching and late night film watching is something of the time. We don’t see drive by screenings anymore, we don’t have rentals and we don’t have VHS tapes. Everything is moving to a new place and eventually, within the next 20-50 years we will be talking and complaining about something else that has taken away our streaming platforms. Cinema will not die out today or tomorrow, but eventually it might. Artists will still make films and we as an audience will keep watching them. If that is in a cinema or at home we will still have the pleasure of viewing someone’s art that they have created.

Big blockbuster films and indie films will always compete against each other. However, as film lovers will always tell you, there is always good and bad films no matter how much money has been pumped into them. Streaming platforms have created these studios to help create both sets of films. In the past 2-3 years, we have seen indie films (not produced by streaming platforms) rise to the top at the awards and with film fans, Whiplash (2014), Boyhood (2014) and Moonlight (2017) just to name a few. These are some of the world’s most exciting and brilliant indie films to be created. So, for people to argue that streaming platform studios are crushing cinema and film, they’re wrong within the aspect of that they’re ruining film. These types of studios are just helping those who need a hand.

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Tom Brownridge

Tom Brownridge

Content Writer, Film Reviewer and Film Blogger