Saturday, February 16, 2008

The New Medium: One Perspective


In the March, 2008 edition of Vanity Fair magazine, Michael Wolff addresses the decline of the film and television industries as a result of the wholesale shift away from plot-driven narratives. I'll pull one quote from the article that summarizes his point:

"...nobody, writers or executives, remotely has an idea about how to do what they do, how to apply their trade—creating these elaborate, hoary, three-act or four-act divided-at-the-midpoint stories—in a new form with a new means of distribution for an audience that seems more and more to want some radically different thing."

Wolff isn't quite sure what that "radically different thing" is, and neither am I. He lumps together reality television, user-generated content and videogames, when those are different forms (although one can argue that that reality TV and UGC are often more alike than different.) Writers aren't going away, but what they write is changing dramatically. Will the three-act form finally go the way of the dodo?

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