According to this article, Netflix is planning to allow the contracts for some of the movies that it currently streams expire. Why, you ask, would Netflix do such a thing? They claim that they are not renewing the contracts for these movies to focus their funds on something else...making their own movies. This is awesome! As long as I can remember, Netflix has always had the reputation for having some good movies available for streaming, but there are also countless bad movies that are just not entertaining to watch that are available on Netflix, and it has caused them to get a bad reputation as far as streaming movies goes. Now here they are, allowing Transformers: Age of Extinction (An awful movie by the way) to drop out of their service along with other movies from the company Epix, which also has control over movies such as World War Z and Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Although the loss of these movies is unfortunate, Netflix is clearly doing something that is much better. For quite awhile now, Netflix has been creating their own TV Series' in which they themselves fund and produce their own original television shows then proceed to release them a whole season at a time on their online streaming service. People LOVE this format, and they love the original content that Netflix produces. They have actually garnered such a large audience that it's about time to ask, "What if they made a feature film?" Well, Netflix has decided that they are going to do exactly that. They will be putting a significant amount of their funds into making several of these feature films. I assume that they will all have similar tones to the TV shows that have had great success on Netflix so far, since they are sure that their audiences enjoy those types of stories. This is a great idea for Netflix because they have so many customers that are paying a monthly fee that they have a large audience for whatever content they produce, and a movie would perfectly fit that mold of something that people would love to see, and this could really help Netflix gain an edge over their other newer competition such as Amazon Instant Video or even Hulu. These companies/services are currently stealing some of Netflix's business, but with this new addition to Netflix's lineup, this will give them a much needed edge. This will also greatly affect US, the filmmakers. As far as feature films go nowadays, they are all separated into pretty much two categories, studio films and independent films. Studio films are known to be all over the place, these types of movies are more generic, and contain themes that most people would enjoy all in all because those are the types of movies that would do the best in theaters and they are what get the studios the most money. The problem with these films however, is that many are completely unoriginal or just plain awful. These films can sometimes feel like a VERY clear money grab (I'm looking at you, Transformers) or they can just have poor character development or story in general. Independent films are feature length movies that are completely funded without the help of a studio, and instead by any means necessary. Usually, these films take great chances, and many of them are much more personal than a studio film can ever be. This is because these films are all intended for different audiences completely.
Now here Netflix is, with a completely new idea that could change the landscape forever. They could now provide the funds to filmmakers who want to make a movie who couldn't get the studios to believe that their idea would work well, or in other words, that people wouldn't watch it. Not in Netflix's case. They have a fixed audience to pull from, and one way or another, people will watch the original movies that they will be putting up there. This is an extremely encouraging thing for future filmmakers such as myself in general, because Netflix is doing something that gives many more filmmakers of our generation a voice. Finally, more people will have something to say.