The Digital Hollywood conference held another successful show this year in Santa Monica, California at the Loews Hotel. Digital Hollywood 2009 offered attendees a first-hand look at what to expect from next-generation entertainment. The conference had multiple tracks running each day, and special events and workshops, including a poolside reception at the end of the day.
Digital Hollywood speakers from the special sessions and workshops took turns opining that a shift is evident, as more advertisers seek to take their brands to the Internet digitally to connect emotionally with their audiences. Content distribution is shifting away from syndication television and turning to the Internet social networks that will digitally lead the next wave in content distribution.
“The ability for people to connect over content is very powerful,” said Charlie Koones of Rockmore Media at a Digital Hollywood session tilted, “The New Hollywood Equation.” “It’s about connecting emotionally with that audience,” he added.
The panel agreed that Hollywood and the industry is going to be in an experimental phase for the foreseeable future and will experience a lot of trial and error as advertisers move to this new digital medium for content distribution. Koones added that content needs to be unique, creative, flexible and open to new ideas. He predicted that the new technology will be vital because consumers will demand HD-quality, full-frame video online.
In a session titled, “Advertising NEXT: Social Networks, TV & Video, Broadband, Mobile and Games,” the panel discussed what advertising would look like in the next generation. “It’s about starting a conversation [and] putting value back in customers’ lives,” said Chad Stoller from Organic. He asked, “How do you control that conversation?” The panel went on to say that advertisers want to have a metric story of where their money goes. In today’s environment, sponsors want to see different business models and different business schemes. They want to know they are getting a return on their investment.
Most sessions held a large number of attendees at the event. They were free to move from room to room throughout the day, allowing them to gather information from the many scheduled sessions.
Highlights included keynotes by Jimmy Whales from Wikipedia and Wiki(anything), and Tim Kring, the creator of the hit show “Heroes.” Other sessions included everything from cable, TV and broadband to gaming, 3-D and digital workflows.
A session titled, “The Arrival of 3-D” moderated by Marty Schindler from the Schindler Perspective, looked at the 3-D platform for feature and television distribution. The panel offered excellent insight to the 3-D movement. As technology improves, more theaters will offer 3-D. “Ultimately it’s the economics on the business side,” said Greg Foster from IMAX.
As the entertainment industry enters its next phase of production and distribution, in which digital technologies will play a stronger and more significant role, it is encouraging to know that there is a conference that brings such a powerful group of professionals together to paint a picture of the future of entertainment.