How social media is changing film industry

Kadry Al-Haggar
7 Min Read

Everyone notices the great influence of social media on various aspects of social, sports, commercial, intellectual, and cultural life. Social media affects everything, whether positively or negatively. As for the film industry, social media has a very big impact. Currently, trailers of any new film go viral on social media as soon as they are released. It sometimes prompts social media users to criticize the film, often without seeing it. Then, such negative opinions would spread and become a public opinion. On the other hand, some production companies may claim that their films were praised by millions, without any evidence. The matter has become surrounded by a lot of ambiguity and a lot of resentment, and its disadvantages and advantages are not equal. Therefore, we discussed the matter with specialists from the film industry.

Freedom of speech

Actress Salwa Mohamed Ali said that every means on earth has its negative and positive sides. But I see that the positives of social media outweigh its negatives, especially for the film industry. This is because it opened new doors in terms of advertising, showing films on platforms, and intellectual and cultural movement around any artwork. This is because merely arguing about a work of art leads to artistic education. This is because the dialogue will make those who do not know learn from those who have knowledge of art, and thus the cinematic and artistic intellectuals in general will increase after that. As for the industry, it benefits a lot from the publicity that reaches many, unlike before. This is in addition to the fact that there are films that are produced to be shown on platforms before they are shown cinematically, and therefore the positive role of social media is greater than the negative one towards the cinema industry. Finally, if freedom of expression and thought is a general demand of filmmakers, then everyone should embrace freedom of expression on social media.

We should educate the public

Director Omar Abdel Aziz said that social media is considered the fourth side in evaluating an artwork, along with filmmakers, critics, and the viewers. The audience must first be educated about the artistic process in order to get rid of exaggeration towards any work of art. This is because we often see a fierce attack on a work of art that may amount to a demand to stop showing it to the public, and even to demand that it be transferred to trial and imprison those in charge of it for no substantial reason. When the awareness of this audience increases cinematically and artistically in general, these opinions will disappear. On the other hand, I see that social media has become a black market for the promotion of works of art, where we find millions of praise and admiration for one work, and also, on the contrary, we find millions of people who reject another work, and I believe that most of these phenomena are paid. And I repeat in the end that educating the public and developing its awareness of the arts is the bulwark against all negatives in general.

A dangerous phenomenon

Director Mohamed Yassin said that social media allowed people to express their opinions through their personal pages, and this is good. But the danger is that these personal opinions turn into public opinion. This is dangerous. For example, you may wake up one morning to find an ordinary artist who has become a star because of some of someone’s writings, or you may find a work of no real value described as the best. Yassin also announced his regret that the specialists ignored social media. This is because some people who understand cinema are embarrassed about announcing the truth about unworthy people or actions, but they have become a “trend”. 

He added: “I hope that the critics specialized in cinema will be active during this period to confront this phenomenon.” He finished his speech by stressing that he does not accept to falsify his point of view in order to agree with the public opinion that is driven by several things, including lack of knowledge or interest and marketing, indicating that he benefits from those published opinions in knowing how they think.”

Social media misleads the people

Screenwriter Magdy Saber said that social media affected everything positively and negatively, and I believe that its negative impact is greater, and not only on cinema. In my opinion, the bad influence of social media appears more on drama topics in general, whether they are presented in cinema or television, and even the media content of the programs. He added: “Unfortunately, some media outlets get their information from social media without investigating its accuracy and tracking its source.” Unfortunately, cinema topics are also very affected by the social media directives, which have become the main influence in guiding public opinion. In addition, social media is used to promote dramatic works that do not deserve praise and do not deserve to be at the forefront. This is what happened with some businesses last Ramadan without mentioning names. Unfortunately, people rush to follow misleadingly praised artwork without thinking. In the end, social media is not real, and its classification of works is mostly fake and does not express real value. Unfortunately, most of the artistic writings follow social media without distinction. They don’t think about whether this will benefit people and elevate them, or on the contrary. This is while it is assumed that writings, cinema and drama should take people from a wrong place to a right place and not go with them in the wrong direction. As for the advantages of social media, they are limited to promoting works of art and spreading knowledge. But in general, social media is currently being used to mislead, falsify awareness, and deceive the masses.

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