The democratization of tools by Jean-Yves Lemoine

Jean-Yves Lemoine is a pioneer of the Transmedia domain, working on the convergence between technology, content and usage, and one of the contributors to the foundation of Orange Transmedia Lab.

Today, everyone can make a feature film in their bathroom! Indeed, the digital creation tools have become simple and democratic. The other day I was at the Apple store in London, and a beautiful English woman in her forties was on the phone with her son, she was asking him, with a Final Cut Pro editing software box in her hand “this is the professional version, are you sure this is the one you want?”, the boy seemed to confirm on the other end of the line since she headed to the cash register with the box.

It’s true that the minimum tools to shoot, edit and post produce a film are not yet in everyone’s budget, but the price has certainly been divided by 20 in the last 10 years. Today, the investment to be able to produce a quality HD feature film is around 20 000 euros.

We could also think, that given the improving technology of photo cameras and mobile phones that are starting to be equipped with HD video, this cost will be reduced by half in the next three years. It’s not only the potential, but also the ergonomy of the tools that is improving. The difference between real pro tools and those of amateurs is quickly disappearing.

This democratization of the creative tools is accompanied by new uses that encourage users to become more active. Beware, not everyone will become a talented auteur or artist. But this democratization already allows some young talents who didn’t necessarily have access to these tools in the past, to get their name out there with a good quality film on YouTube or Dailymotion, a film directed and produced in close to professional conditions.

This democratization of the tools is intrinsically linked to the digital revolution, it started with music, continued with video, and is now reaching cinema. The production costs of digital cinema are also dropping, and we could imagine, in a few years, in movie theatres, the advent of a new kind of UGC*: User Generated Cinema.

This phenomenon can only be a benefit for the development of transmedia and participative culture by encouraging a global increase in quality in the transmedia universe.

* Today UGC Cinema is one of the largest film production and distribution studios in France

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