By Geoffrey Maingart
Santa Monica, CA(Hollywood Today)10/30/12/—As stated, the world is watching Global Silicon Valley and moreimportantly the new relationship with traditional Hollywood entertainment. This is the 6th annual OnHollywood taking place on the 29th and 30th at the Museum of Flying across from the Santa Monica Airport and the best and the brightestare here to discuss the latest innovations and advancements bringing venture capitalists, application developers, content creators and the newmobile world together. It is a merging of people, ideas and investment.
The even is also being broadcast live at: www.aonetwork.com. There are now at least 157 million YouTube viewers and 50% of all music is purchased digitally. Even Apple is now building a state of the art flat-screen plant. Traditional media outlets and public relation companies are giving way to the new world of social media. It is media on steroids and it is now global. The reality is that this is the greatest time ever to be an entrepreneur.
Much of Hollywood and entertainment is stuck in the old model and just like the change from silent movies to talkies, the industry now is moving to mobile, interactive entertainment in giant leaps. Tony Perkins, the founder of AlwaysOn, has put together two extraordinary days with the cream of the industry. His opening keynote address: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” gave us a view of the future of the industry. With the possibility of providing high-quality video and images at a fraction of the bandwidth to an amazing array of platforms and mobile audiences, the world will now see the next generation of companies driving the future of technology.
The setting at the Museum of Flying is a delight and even the chance to see a replica of the original Wright Brothers plane among the many is a treat. Sony is there with it’s new 84 inch 4K technology screen with a clarity that is really mind-blowing and a realism that is seamless. The 100 top private companies are represented and meeting to plan the next technological revolution chosen by the top venture capital groups and industry experts. The end of the personal computer may come sooner than later and tablets and mobile devices will have the world living in the “cloud.” The companies were chosen based on a set of 5 criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value and media buzz.
“The entire entertainment world has broken free of the establishment and is bringing quality fun and enjoyment to a global audience that’s on the move and hungry for the next innovation.” The world wants on demand entertainment instantly and the interactivity of 2nd screen technology. The smartphone is the new IPod. The traditional movie theater is more for the blockbuster experience with special effects and animation dominating. The main subject of the conference is “disruption” in the industry and the major players guiding the tidal wave and now independent filmmakers on the rise. The old model of promotion with a 30-day advance campaign is now changed with social media that can advance the story of a project a year in advance through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites and unlike websites the conversation is two ways. It is a world that demands content everywhere.
The first day of incredible speakers told us about this new world. Venture Capital & Investor Outlook for Digital Entertainment in 2012 included a top panel of VC executives from KPMG, Greycroft, Frontier, Shamrock Capital and Anthem Partners. These groups have delivered funding for Disney, Buzz Media, Hulu, and many new distributor outlets. They mentioned that they are less into content than innovation, but have funded comic books and 2nd screen companies. Time management versus risk is a parameter. Companies that are further along stand out and those with a track record and client base have an advantage. Companies can be made now easily and the cost of tools today is very low. One does not need to have servers or authoring software created. Companies that get it right grow. Traditionally the VC investors take a minority ownership. Mobile infrastructure ventures are hot and the LA environment is a great place to be an entrepreneur.
The 2nd subject was dedicated to Visual Effects: Audience Expectation Meets Business Reality. The CEO’s of Reelhouse, Vera Novus, Scayl (e-mail without limit), Givit (video editing software for mobile), Vela (music search app), WeVideo (another video app) and Eventful made their pitch’s to the VC’s and investors present. Later discussion spoke of the disruption in the marketplace and shakeups in the industry. The 1970’s brought us the blockbuster with “Jaws”, “Close Encounters” and “Star Wars.” The 1980’s opened the global marketplace and the later world changed with DVD & Blueray with a smarter audience and revenue stream. Visual effects and animation begin to dominate with Jurassic Park. Harry Potter goes viral. Now it is content everywhere for the under 20 year olds. Education and training has now gone digital. Security becomes tantamount in the production process. Hollywood is now about artists and scientists. There are now new ways of telling a story in the digital sandbox.
Next was a presentation from Microsoft about Windows 8 just released and the new Microsoft tablet made out of poured magnesium and thin and nearly indestructible. We then arrived at the discussions of “Meet the Next Generation in Social Media Entertainment.” Tony Perkins hosted this the top executives of SodaHead, Bamm.TV, Phunware, ooVoo and Monkeybars discussed the new mobile platforms and 2nd screen applications. Brands win getting on media and everything is going mobile with the new anytime, anywhere audience. The smart phone is the device. Invest smart, follow trends that people throw money at and try to be exceptional. Traction is everything. Remember to fail quickly, build more for less and show that people care about the product.
Last was “How Social Media & Digital & Research From Start to Finish of Production to DVD,” a keynote address by David Herrin from United Talent Agency. He discussed tracking information before and now and using keywords for more searches. Today you need a tracking score, know the size of conversation, press impact and positive conversation. Traditionally things are done 30 days before the release of a film. Now, with social media promotion is started as early as one year in advance. It is about information and the lion’s share of this buzz come over Twitter. Social media is less costly than old traditional tracking and more effective. Tumblr is now replacing FaceBook and even Fandango sells tickets with an incredible feedback system. People feel a connection now with crowd sourcing.
The evening’s last speaker was for me one of the best. Michael Moe, Co-founder & CEO of GSV Asset Management, (www.gsvcap.com/) gave us his view of a very scary world as it exists today because of the failing of education. A 30% dropout rate (LA with a 55% rate) results with an economic loss of 325 billion dollars every year. Today 30% graduate college and 80% of jobs require a college degree. The US is now 32nd in the world in math and science, a pathetic number. Technology is replacing many jobs. Children are now less educated than their parents and it is a real civil rights issue. Education can transform our society but the nature of education has to now change with the times when you understand that knowledge is only a click away. 50 million people use FaceBook for rapid education and sharing sites such as Dropbox can be the catalyst for this new world. Venture Capital only dedicates 1% to educational enterprises or education technology and the future is social learning. Companies like Greylock, KPCB and other incubators are the future. Higher education is already responsible for 53% of learning online.
The new thinking is going to be knowledge as currency and not college. The new classroom will now be in your hand. Look at BrainHoney, Clever, Dimension and Coursera as examples. There will be a new world of knowledge communities. Michael spoke of Kaizen Edu and left us with the prophecy:
“Never Bet Against the United States.”
The evening ended with a Cocktail & Social Networking Reception where one could meet with all of the amazing and interesting people from this first day of OnHollywood 2012 presented by AlwaysOn.
http://www.aonetwork.com/ (to watch the event live)