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in Filmmaking
on Oct 24, 2008

I wasn’t able to make it out to The Conversation in Berkeley last weekend, but I heard great things from people who did attend. In a post on his CinemaTech blog, organizer Scott Kirsner gives a quick run-through of some of the highlights. Here, for example, is one of the 15 or so brief bullet points he includes in the post — from Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, a discussion of the “90-minute-plus chunk of viewing time” that he says is on the decline.

Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix, participated in a great on-stage interview with filmmaker (and Conversation co-host) Tiffany Shlain. He mentioned that Crash is the #1 most-rented DVD in the service’s history. He said that the TV is turning into a Web browser, capable of displaying any content that can be published online. He suggested that a remote like the one that comes with the Nintendo Wii might be what we use to navigate this new world. Generating audience demand for your content is the new problem — not producing or distributing it. Most provocatively, Hastings said that “the 90-minute-plus chunk of time is on the decline, as far as social relevance.” Are we all still talking about films, and suggesting that our friends go see them — or are we talking about the latest viral video we’ve seen? (I totally believe that people who insist on continuing to make only 90-minute features are missing the biggest opportunities of our era.)

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