Jimmy Wales to Hollywood: You’re Doomed

Jimmy Wales to Hollywood: You’re Doomed (And Not Because of Piracy) http://t.co/HjtRsVrW

Now anyone who predicts the imminent doom of “Hollywood” is probably going to be wrong, but that doesn’t mean the long term trend isn’t in that direction.

The Wikipedia founder, delivering a keynote address at the Internet Society’s INET convention in Geneva, predicted that Hollywood will likely share the same fate as Encyclopedia Britannica, which shut down its print operation this year after selling just 3,000 copies last year.

“Hollywood will be destroyed and no one will notice,” Wales said. But it won’t be Wikipedia (or Encarta) that kills the moviemaking industry: ”Collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia Britannica,” he said.

Wales hedged by saying predictions are easy — and he’s usually wrong. But he looks at a generation of kids growing up in a world of video and mastering editing software at a young age. His own 12-year-old daughter, Wales said, is already adept at iMovie and won a local award for a short film she made.

But that’s not like making a feature film or TV series. Not at all.

But telling a story and building a feature-length film collaboratively is much different and much harder than collectively adding verifiable facts to a Wikipedia entry. So it’s unlikely that Hollywood’s going to pay much attention to Wales’ prognostication. Which means if the next generation turns out to find away to creating the next Titanic on a $5,000 budget, Hollywood won’t even see the blow coming.

While it’s still an outlier, Star Wreck: In the Perkinning points to what can be done: full length feature film made by two people, with hundreds contributing remotely, in a 10×12′ room. CG and green screen, and lots of time, created a movie worth watching.

Iron Sky, the next project, is a mix of traditional and fan funding.

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