In the age of perfect digital copies, musicians have it easy. No home entertainment system can replace live performance. But filmmakers are increasingly competing with swank home theaters featuring plush seats, lush sound, pause and rewind for bathroom breaks, and any other amenity your heart desires. Many home media rooms even offer the authentic movie experience that newer, cost-cutting chains gave up on long ago: soda fountains and popcorn poppers salvaged from old theaters.
So how do theaters offer something that can’t be had at home? At least one guy is working on the answer. Brett Gaylor stopped by last night’s CC Salon to talk about his new documentary, RiP: A Remix Manifesto. He mentioned that he recuts the film for specific audiences. Tonight’s screening at 92Y Tribeca, for example, will include shots of Times Square with New Yorkers covering up the all big brand logos on the street. Brett is hoping that offering a version of the movie that will never be seen again will give people a reason to see this screening instead of watching it at home (which they can do for free since he distributes the film as a free CC-licensed work).
I’m guessing it’s difficult (and expensive) to customize film content for audiences and locations, but if it can be done in a compelling way, I’d love to see it. I’m excited that the changing environment is pushing artists to explore new directions with their works. If they can get me to brave the sticky floors and stale popcorn at my local megaplex, they must have something pretty special up their sleeves.