Video is the new mainstream form. I've been saying it for a few years now, but as it's producers have gotten more savvy with technology and techniques, they can mimic, but more importantly, innovative trends and styles in the visual medium at a hyper kinetic pace. This is why individual music video directors are not as sought out as before. Because, anybody with some visual map can do it. And they are. In droves. You get the good and the bad, but, you get it all. And fast. And new, and fresh. TV anyone?
That in lies the huge challenge for Hollywood and feature films in general (especially ones that really on novelty and gimmicks). The human appetite for novelty knows no bounds. And video quenches that thirst weekly, for 1/100th of the price. Plus, for its consumers, hell, it's free.
That's why, in some weird essence, a movie like SPRING BREAKERS competes with RiFF RAFF and his once a week music videos (the man who I believe is the genesis of the film, even if it be subconscious). RiFF RAFF has been around for a few years, doing videos which are in the same spirit of the feature film. For people familiar with his work, the movie feels tedious and outdated.
Of course, I'm exaggerating to make some point. But, we cannot turn a blind eye to this phenomenon. It exists. Just today, I watched a well made, action POV music video that is buzzing the net. Comments include, "best thing I've ever seen", or "hollywood can never touch this". Of course, this happens almost weekly and is a by product of internet hyper hyperbole. And, once the surface of the video is scratched, the novelty wears off quick. But, the savvy generation has seen it, internalized it and moved on.
You can no doubt see that this is where the wellspring of ideas originate these days. And, by the time Hollywood or some indie director rips it off and places the same scene in a larger context, it's already old news for the next generation. They've seen it, experienced it, and moved on to about 20 other new things. This generation doesn't place the same importance on scale as they did before. In the game of originality, who done it first is as important as who done it better.
For feature films to keep a footing in its proper place, it must rely on it's core strengths, that of unique storytelling, expression and originality no matter how difficult. The rerun, sequel game is not a long term strategy. If it is, ruin is almost guaranteed. Once the nerds turn away because there favorite comic book video game is better than the movie, well, then what? You don't think that's going to happen?
Long form films must also adapt to a faster distribution strategy. One that keeps it fresh in a market that changes faster than a blink of an eye. Certainly not an easy task.