Media conference explored digital future of entertainment industry


LA MIRADA, Calif. — Disruption has become the new normal with digital devices and constant multi-tasking. Reflecting on the new entertainment economy, the Biola Media Conference sought to define success and the future of the industry within and beyond a digital perimeter. 

Co-founder of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly, addressed the more than 600 attendees at the morning keynote session of the conference on April 30. Heavily speaking of the future of the "screen," Kelly discussed the importance immediacy has become in the digital world alongside interactivity. Content creators, like filmmakers, continue to ask how one will make a profit in this new immediate economy.  

"Wherever attention flows, money will follow," said Kelly. "What we know now is that attention is moving to the screen very, very fast…if you can cultivate the attention, the [business] models will emerge."

He went on to say, "Accessing is more important than ownership."

Kelly reminded the audience of the negative reactions the world had when novels were created to replace scrolls.

"We continue to react the same way to new ideas," said Kelly.  

The event allowed for an engaging atmosphere for networking, meaningful discussions and learning.

"It was so great to see and take part in something that is so visibly influential for Christians in the industry," said attendee Paul Slemmer .

Producers, directors and other industry professionals hosted and taught workshops varying in focuses from social media campaigns and visual effects to pitching stories and how a director can help an actor.

Actor Sean Astin, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Rudy," closed the conference with an onstage interview with host Phil Cooke. Astin disclosed the uncertainty in the entertainment business as an actor he has experienced as well as the joys and triumphs he has encountered.

"There are very specific lanes of conduct that you have to understand if you want to carve out a career in the film and television business and yet there's no rules," said Astin. "You can do anything. Both those things are true simultaneously."  

Astin encouraged attendees to strive for excellence and to be aggressive in pursuing projects in the industry.

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