Big Data Flicks!

When ‘Life in a Day’- a crowdsourced documentary film by Ridely Scott, Kevin Macdonald and Youtube, premiered in the Sundance Film Festival 2011, it created a stir among enthusiasts. With the aim of documenting one day, July 24, as lived by people around the world, the film was a great concept that captured peoples’ imagination. The film is 94 minutes 53 seconds long and includes scenes selected from 4,500 hours of footage in 80,000 submissions from 192 nations.


This film was a precursor to the future, that of big data driven media. A revolution in the making, big data is changing the very fabric of cinema. Ranging from screens as small as your phone to the largest theaters in the nation, the analysis of Big Data, extremely large data sets detailing -- in this case -- how media is consumed, has quickly become a key to decide what media is presented to us.

Content has become the ultimate consumer product and the use of collected, aggregated data is becoming the de facto way studios select what to market, how to market it, and why they should have an interest in the first place. With mobile phones and tablets becoming the new means of viewing films, marketers are also getting innovative with their strategies.  

Big Data Can Help a Film Find and understand its Audience. This statement is self explanatory. Big data can help understand the psyche of the consumer, thus allowing filmmakers to understand the needs of the audience. On the other hand, once a film is made, big data can guide the makers in the right direction as far as advertising and other media attention is concerned. They will, through big data analysis, successfully know how to market their film to the right audience at the right time.

The remarkable box office success of the controversial film "2016: Obama's America" is a case in point. By determining markets based on political trends, a steady release in similarly inclined markets allowed the film a much larger success than could have ever been possible in an average nationwide or limited release. 

In today’s world, anyone can create content. Yesterday’s consumers are today’s content creators. They may just be filming their pet, but they are the ones creating a film, nevertheless! Whether we're talking about YouTube's 30-second clips or Netflix's all-at-one-time episode drops (like with "House of Cards" and "Hemlock Grove"), data is being collected on how people are consuming content, and it informs how it's being created and released.

With Social media becoming mainstream, it is easy to gauge popular trends and reactions. Speedy reactions to films help understand where the box office will go- towards success or failure. It is also a great data gathering point.

Google has suggested that, by crunching aggregate search queries and other datasets, movie studios can predict how well their films will perform ahead of time—perhaps with enough leeway to at least turn a few box-office bombs into moderate successes.

Another great data point is, as Google suggests, search queries. People search for reviews, star ratings, etc, online. These are great data points for filmmakers who wish to nail profits at the box office.

At IntelligenceNODE, we believe that Big Data provides the edge that will give filmmakers eyes into the future. 

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