These Trends Are Re-Shaping The Film Industry

The film industry is constantly evolving and growing, incorporating new techniques, disposing of outdated fads, and revisiting trends to bring older techniques back to life. So what are the newest trends today? Check out these top 5 emerging trends in the film industry to find out which filming trends are making a comeback, which new trends are surfacing in recent years, and what trends we can expect to continue in the coming years throughout the film industry, including high- and low-budget films and TV shows.
Top 5 Emerging Trends in the Film Industry

1. Practical Effects Over (and with) CGI

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Up until the last two years or so, you – and many in the film industry – might have thought that CGI would be replacing practical effects in the special effects arena. Little did anyone imagine that practical effects would make a major comeback, especially in some of today’s major blockbuster motion pictures. Some of the most recent titles using practical effects include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Mad Max: Fury Road, and perhaps surprisingly much of the 2010 film Inception.
Check out this article on the comeback of practical effects to learn more about how the film industry is being reshaped by the use of practical effects in place of and alongside CGI technology.

2. Smaller-Budget Films Are Being Debuted Online

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If you’re someone who utilizes streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, you may have noticed that these outlets are seeing a drastic increase in the films being produced explicitly – or initially – on these platforms. Not only are there “Netflix Original” and “Amazon Original” TV shows, there have been feature films featured on the websites as well. Most recently, lower-budget films like What Happened Miss Simone and the documentary 13th in addition to popular TV shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

3. Increased Social Commentary in Film

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The social-political arena has seen an increased presence across several media, including satirical comedy shows, traditional news outlets, social media and more, and the film industry is no exception. Recently, social commentary has made a breakthrough into the traditional film industry, leading to blockbuster hits and well-known, award winning films that focus on relevant social issues, including diversity acceptance and celebration, highlighting political unrest, and fostering unity across populations. Some of the most celebrated films featuring social commentary include:
• Moonlight, which addresses LGBTQ and race issues. The film was awarded with three Oscars, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and several other awards.
• Get Out, a commentary on race relations
• 13th, the Netflix Original documentary focusing on the “intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States.”
• Loving, named one of the “best films of 2016” and nominated for several awards, including an Oscar, Golden Globe, and more. The film explores the story of an interracial married couple who is arrested and forges a subsequent legal battle, leading to a historical U.S. Supreme Court decision.

4. Celebrating and Incorporating Diversity


More and more, perhaps because of the increase in social commentary in the film industry, we see an increase in diversity in film. From casting female leads in typically male roles to incorporating more racial diversity into films that may have included a primarily white cast in previous years, the film industry is becoming more diverse all the time, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity in how films are made. Such diversity can be seen in films like Moonlight, as evidenced by the main character, a young, homosexual Black man; the 2016 Ghostbusters remake, which boasted a cast full of women; and the 2018 film-to-be Ocean’s Eight, another film that will feature an entirely female leading cast in a franchise that was historically dominated by male actors.

5. Handheld Shots

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Handheld footage, also known as found footage, has become common in indie films and horror flicks that aim to give a slightly off-kilter feel for their audiences, evoking the eerie feelings typical of thrillers. Films with iconic handheld camerawork include Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, and the Sci-Fi, thriller Chronicle. However, the film industry has welcomed handheld camerawork into other genres, giving directors and cinematographers new ways to look at filming traditional movies in an unusual way. The 2012 comedy Project X utilized handheld shots to accent the movie’s themes, and TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation have created a new way of watching TV simply by utilizing handheld shots to add a note of reality to their stories and characters.

Keep up with the latest film industry trends at The Los Angeles Film School, where we expose our Film Production and Digital Filmmaking students to the latest industry trends, preparing them for whatever they meet in their careers.

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