Forget Christian Bale, Natalie Portman or Halle Berry. The real superstar in Hollywood this season is social media.
Don’t believe me? Look no further than last weekend’s Golden Globe awards, where The Social Network came away with a bevy of statues including Best Screenplay and Best Drama. And if you really wanted to know what was going on during the awards (Was Ricky Gervais really fired mid-show? Why wasn’t Laura Linney there to accept her statue? What in the world is Tilda Swinton wearing???), you wouldn’t find out by watching TV. No, you needed to be on Twitter following the #goldenglobes hashtag where thousands of people from around the world offered up commentary (And the camera cuts again to a bored looking Brangelina), gossip (James Franco and Mila Kunis seemed cozy) and more than few fashion critiques (Annette Bening and Al Pacino look like they’re hiding squirrels in their hair).
An even bigger landmark for social media and the movies is coming up on January 27, when the Sundance Film Festival kicks off with the premier of Life in a Day. Not heard about this one yet? The premise: Oscar winning documentary director Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void) asked real people from around the world to create videos documenting what they were doing on a given day (July 24, 2010) and submit those videos via YouTube. MacDonald asked people to answer a few questions in their film:
- What do you fear?
- What do you love?
- What makes you laugh?
- What’s in your pockets?
MacDonald received more than 80,000 clips (!) for consideration, and has somehow managed to edit these down into a 90-minute documentary. If that wasn’t a big enough milestone for social media and the movies, the premiere of Life in a Day will be another social media first as it will be simulcast live on YouTube from The Sundance Film Festival.
Life in a Day isn’t the only social media darling of Sundance. This week, Mashable called the premiere of Matthew Lesner’s film The Woods “a historical event” and “a bone fide game changer, because it’s the first Sundance-bound film to receive financing from Kickstarter, which crowdsources funding so filmmakers don’t need to rely on raising capital from traditional investors or studios.
Social media is definitely Hollywood’s new “it girl”, so what do you think its next role will be?