Political and social revolutions all over the world are coming to a head, causing some pretty significant changes in the film and media world. Most of these have been brewing for a while as key issues like discrimination and diverse representation are becoming more prevalent in culture and media alike. 2017 is set to be a big year for the film industry to embody the emotions of the public and shine a light on injustices everywhere. There are tons of predictions about what will be hot in filmmaking over the next year. We’ve narrowed it down and summarised some pretty extensive lists for you (such as JWT Intelligence’s “Future 100”) so you can hop right into the important trends.
Recently, the trope of the leading role belonging to a Straight White Man has been changing. In the past, films that featured a strong leading female were praised for their bravery. These films are now becoming the norm. Baptiste Charles-Aubert from Raindance claims, “We’re in the age of female characters not necessarily being ‘liberated’ or ‘vehemently independent’: they just had to [exist], beyond the now tired trope of being a ‘strong female character.’” While the role of the classic leading man will not suddenly disappear in 2017, the move towards equality between genders where roles are concerned is rising. People are frankly getting tired of the leading man. Critic’s choice movies, such as Mad Max and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, continue to show that that gender equality doesn’t affect the quality of a film.
It’s not just gender that’s getting a shake up. There was backlash in Hollywood last year regarding representation in films and at many awards ceremonies. 2017 will hopefully see some major improvement in the ethnic diversity of casts. Many indie filmmakers are already becoming more inclusive in their films and the rest of the industry is sure to follow as consumers demand more diverse films. BAFTA has even set a new diversity standard for movies, ensuring that films have on-screen representation, industry inclusion, and even accessibility to under-represented audiences. 2017 will bring a host of diverse casts to the big screen and taking part in this effort is an important political movement.
Technology is ever present and with the introduction of Virtual and Augmented Realities, it’s no wonder that new high tech devices such as VR are seeping into the filmmaking world. This trend is less about what’s included in films and more about the process. Technology needs to be embraced in the film industry. Distribution and consumption of film and media alike have changed and filmmakers are realizing they need to get with the times in order to keep up. Even simple iPhone videos are attracting the current audience. Why not create with VR? What about interactive media? This year is the time to use your resources on cutting edge affordable technologies.