Studio System’s Innovation Cycle and Video’s Hype-Cycle
By Josue Munoz
January 23, 2017
I focused Innovator’s Dilemma on the film industry and Gartner’s Hype Cycle on mobile motion picture/video cameras. Very simply, the legacy leader of the film industry has been the Studios, who since finding their home in Hollywood (1910s) after fleeing Edison’s absurdity in NYC, began to expand and flourish. As this new system began to oligopolize, independent artists formed together to create the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers; these independent players are the disruptive innovation/innovators. The two co-existed with the studio system’s unparalleled success throughout Golden Age in the 50s and early 60s. Eventually the MPAA was created to put ratings on independent films and maintain power in the studios. 1978, the Sundance Film Festival created a space to showcase the potential of independent film disrupting the industry by igniting an Indie Film boom. Although the legacy leaders still live, continuous big budget flops demonstrate the risk of the expensive studio industry. As digital technology also improved, independent filmmakers now have even cheaper “good enough” alternative solutions to propel their impact. With disruptions like Netflix and other streaming services which offer distribution alternatives outside of the studio system, independent film is bound to overpower the studio system.
As for Gartner’s Hype Cycle, the trigger of motion picture camera comes after Edison when the Lumière brothers invent the Cinématographe in 1895. The camera evolves and eventually Bell & Howell create the first lightweight camera for amateur filmmakers in 1934. The peak of inflated expectations comes about when Kodak releases its Super 8 film which offers a wider image and greater detail. At this point, film technologies slow with the introduction of digital video. Unfortunately, this Trough of Disillusionment creates a far lesser quality than film and although it allows journalists to mobilize its inferior look would never replace film. Enlightment comes about once Sony creates the Sony XDCAM, a tapeless HD camera. This invention then gave way for the Plateau of Productivity to bring about more compact cameras capable of higher resolution. This plateau could continuously be disrupted as innovations in video recording offer 360 and VR capabilities.