Film stocks are vanishing, but the iconic images of the silver
screen remain -- albeit in new, sleeker formats. Today, viewers can
instantly stream movies on televisions, computers, and smartphones.
Gone are the days when films could only be seen in theaters or
rented at video stores: movies are now accessible at the click of a
button, and there are no reels, tapes, or discs to store. Any film
or show worth keeping may be collected in the virtual cloud and
accessed at will through services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon
The movies have changed, and we are changing with them. The ways
we communicate, receive information, travel, and socialize have all
been revolutionized. In Streaming, Wheeler Winston Dixon reveals
the positive and negative consequences of the transition to digital
formatting and distribution, exploring the ways in which digital
cinema has altered contemporary filmmaking and our culture. Many
industry professionals and audience members feel that the new
format fundamentally alters the art, while others laud the
liberation of the moving image from the "imperfect" medium of film,
asserting that it is both inevitable and desirable. Dixon argues
that the change is neither good nor bad; it's simply a fact.
Hollywood has embraced digital production and distribution
because it is easier, faster, and cheaper, but the displacement of
older technology will not come without controversy. This
groundbreaking book illuminates the challenges of preserving media
in the digital age and explores what stands to be lost, from the
rich hues of traditional film stocks to the classic movies that are
not profitable enough to offer in streaming formats. Dixon also
investigates the financial challenges of the new distribution
model, the incorporation of new content such as webisodes, and the
issue of ownership in an age when companies have the power to pull
purchased items from consumer devices at their own discretion.
Streaming touches on every aspect of the shift to digital
production and distribution. It explains not only how the new
technology is affecting movies, music, books, and games, but also
how instant access is permanently changing the habits of viewers
and influencing our culture.
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