Christian Parkes, the head of marketing at boutique film distributor NEON, says that video games, rather than streaming, is the greatest threat to the future of the independent film industry.
NEON has one of the most enviable track records of quality releases this year with celebrated docos “Apollo 11” and “Amazing Grace,” comedies like “Little Monsters” and “The Beach Bum,” and dramas such as “Monos,” “Little Woods,” “Luce” and major awards player “Parasite”.
Appearing on a panel at the American Film Market on Friday, Parkes didn’t hold back on how a generational shift is seeing the importance of films dwindling in the eyes of many young people:
“I am frankly terrified about what’s going on in the marketplace today. The competition is anything that takes you away from spending $10-15 at the movie theatre. The gaming industry is the biggest threat. It’s increasingly harder to get young audiences out to the movies.
From a generational standpoint, younger audiences would rather play video games than watch movies. When they do watch movies, they want to watch it on their device, in small slices. If they’re not captured immediately with something incredibly compelling, they dismiss it… The gaming industry is obliterating the film industry.
That’s not all though as Erik Feig, founder of production company Picturestart, cites that the competition not just includes new releases but vast libraries of past content and international fare thanks to the ubiquitous access of streaming: “You’re competing against everything in the world… everything that’s ever existed ever.”