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Media & Technology Reading List 2017
The web is full of resources for filmmakers looking for tips, gadget reviews, and other tactical advice. But strategic analysis is a lot harder to come by.
To that end, I consider the writers and publications on this list indispensable.
Not everyone here is concerned primarily with filmed entertainment. But it isn’t possible to understand how the film and media business is changing without looking at wider technological and social trends. Happy reading.
Matt is one of the few thinkers who has engaged in detailed analysis on film industry business model disruptions. I came across his Future Of Film series several years ago—it’s still required reading.
Venkatesh Rao (aka VGR) defies description, but I defy anyone to ignore his work. You can start with his classic Gervais Principle. After that, move on to his Breaking Smart series which was produced in collaboration with Andreessen Horowitz.
Ted Hope is a renowned film producer and innovator of film financing techniques. Although his public writing has dropped off since he moved to Amazon Pictures, Ted’s impressive back catalog is still with us: start with his calls for the adoption of staged financing models, and for a sustainable investor class.
It would be accurate, but also a gross oversimplification, to call Stu a post production and VFX guru. A veteran of ILM and The Orphanage, he published his seminal DV Rebel call-to-arms more than a decade ago. His blog ProLost is a treasure trove of workflow advice interwoven with deeper wisdom.
Ben Thompson is a keen observer of the technology industry and how it is transforming society. He publishes weekly essays (free) and a daily newsletter (paid, and highly recommended). You can start on the free stuff here, here, and here.
I’ve sometimes described Stephen as the “Nate Silver of the film industry”. He publishes weekly articles focusing on the data and statistics surrounding the film industry. The eclectic topics range from film crew breakdowns to actors’ average ages across genres to Brexit.
Benedict Evans works for Andreessen Horowitz. I confess that I have no idea what he actually does there, but I am very grateful for his output. Start with his presentations on Mobile Eating The World and the VR Idea Maze. I am also partial to his piece on the HMS Dreadnought.
Jason Hirshhorn’s startup is best known for its daily curation newsletters, but has also published many excellent originals. Start with their The Future Of Video presentation.
Frederic Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassée are a too well-kept secret. Start with Hard Comparison: Legacy Media vs. Digital Native, then move on to Fossilized Culture.
A Microsoft employee who is obsessed with Charlie Munger, Tren might seem like an odd entry on this list. Read his pieces on Louis CK, Nassim Taleb, and The Godfather, then tell me I’m wrong.
If you’re new to this blog, you can start in two places: Why Film Has Not Been Disrupted (Yet); and The RED Camera Was Not A Disruptive Innovation.
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