The entertainment industry is, almost by definition, full of big names. It is driven by fame, not just at an individual level but also at a business level. That said, it has always been the case that small businesses play a crucial role in the world of entertainment, providing invaluable services without which the industry would simply not be able to function.

In recent years, much of this contribution from small businesses is made possible and further enhanced thanks to technology, both in terms of the means it gives them to play their critical roles and the expertise they provide in its application.

Entertainment-focused Small Business Technology

These are a few examples of the technology that is leading small businesses, such as independent boutique creative studios, to success in the entertainment industry.

Motion Capture Software

Motion capture lab
photo credit: Josephine Dorado

This is the process by which the movements of people and objects are tracked to create a more life-like animation on screen. It is widely agreed to be one of the most significant and exciting technological developments to have taken place within the field of special effects on film. It has played a major part in some of the film industry’s biggest recent hits and thanks to technological developments has gone on to become even more effective, less expensive and therefore more accessible.

Previously associated with expensive, cumbersome and often temperamental equipment, such as motion capture suits; motion capture technology can today be employed with a minimal amount of equipment. It therefore provides some of the most impressive return on investment of any animation technology in the film, television and video games industries.

The evolution of the technology also means that smaller businesses are able to play a role in its deployment, in contrast to earlier years when expense and the need for large areas made it too prohibitive for anyone other than the largest organizations.

Data Centers

IBM Blade-powered data center
photo credit: Bob Mical

The primary focus of technology today is information, and the entertainment industry is no exception to this. The design, development and use of various forms of new technology have led to a massive increase in the amount of data generated during the production of movies, television programs and music.

That being said, the entertainment industry has therefore suddenly found itself with unprecedented amounts of data that can be extremely useful provided it is stored and managed effectively. The answer to this challenge has come in the form of off-site data centers. These facilities host servers that store and manage all the data generated during production, meaning that studios and other entertainment businesses no longer require large amounts of space and expensive real estate just to house equipment, and opening up a whole range of opportunities to small businesses as a result.

Information Analysis

Information analyst
photo credit: Kris Krug

This ability to collect and store data in more efficient and compact formats has also made it easier to search and analyze that information, providing new opportunities for insight into a whole range of areas.

One particular area that is always of interest to filmmakers, and indeed producers in any field of the entertainment industry, is that of audience reaction. This technological development is therefore enabling small businesses to play an increasingly active role in market research, putting them in a position in which they have genuine influence over the development of high profile releases.

The Future

It is difficult to predict what the future holds for any industry with a great degree of accuracy, and this is particularly true of industries like the entertainment world that are so heavily influenced by technology. That said, most commentators agree that there will be a continued focus on management of the increasing amounts of data that are now generated during film production. The technologies listed above are just a few of the ways in which this data is generated and processed.

Getting noticed in a competitive industry

Forging success in the entertainment industry can be notoriously difficult. Its high profile reputation for glamour, excitement and creativity attracts a lot of people and it has become an extremely competitive industry as a result. While this leads to a constant push for excellence, it also makes it a very challenging environment in which businesses and individuals must always work to get themselves, and their services, noticed.

For small businesses, this can be particularly daunting and the key is to make what one has to offer unique enough to stand out from the crowd. The rapid evolution of technology is increasingly allowing small, boutique creative studios to achieve exactly that.