Audiovisual input and output devices are used in abundance these days. Now more than ever, everyone is watching videos. Because of this, the film industry is arguably one of the most influential sectors of modern society. Sitcoms and comedy shows make us laugh, psychological thrillers help us see the world from new perspectives, and historical films help us understand where we’ve come from as a people. Every video and every film can reflect society and transform opinions.
The undisputed raw power of movies
The power of audiovisuals has been manifested and exploited politically, socially, and economically throughout history. Leaders such as Adolf Hitler, for example, successfully used films as propaganda tools during World War II. Unfortunate facts like these show the raw power of film — an immense power that has even caused revolutions.
As technology keeps growing, political and economic leaders have utilized cinema in changing and shaping people’s outlooks either for their own benefit or for the benefit of the people. Quality translations are also readily available and extremely affordable for everyone these days, which makes it easy for filmmakers to reach their target audiences from all corners of the world in their mother tongue.
A good movie can entertain, educate, and inspire the viewer in many ways. Think of the impact that songs have on people, for example. They can make us think. They can make us compassionate. They can inspire us to help others and to do good to and for humanity.
Romantic movies, on the other hand, can remind us why love is important and why it is worth fighting for. They make us cry and laugh at our own romantic flaws. Crime and action TV shows also warn us about the dangers of criminal activities, terrorism, and war.
In some cases, movies can even awaken a sense of empathy in people who have never experienced war firsthand. They may help us feel responsible for our brothers and sisters living in war-torn countries even as much as we’ve never been there ourselves.
Of particular note for the localization industry, movies mirror culture.
Every movie is set and developed in a particular culture. Movies are an integral part of us; they mirror what we believe and how we coexist as people. It is easier to see our concerns, attitudes, flaws and strengths in films than it is to decipher them from our daily interactions. When our prevalent beliefs and ideologies are challenged in films, we are sometimes able to interrogate ourselves and embrace change.
And thanks to audiovisual translations, people from all over the world are able to watch movies and understand the cultures of faraway communities. Take Netflix, for example. Netflix is an online streaming provider that hosts a multitude of movies and programs for viewers from all around the world. Netflix streams movies in different languages, portraying different cultures and traditions that enable viewers from any place in the world to get acquainted with other nations’ cultures. In fact, according to Netflix viewing data, nine out of every ten people who watched the German TV series Dark lived outside of Germany. Also, further studies reveal that the top shows watched by people in India include Narcos, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Riverdale, Black Mirror and Chef’s Table, among others. Because of the effective localization strategies implemented by Netflix, audiences from different parts of the world are able to stream any movie they like with subtitles in a language of their choice or they can choose a dubbed version of the show or movie.
Given the recent events with the spread of the novel coronavirus and various governmental policies for national lockdown across the world, Netflix has experienced a spike in user demand for streaming. In fact, Netflix and other major streaming channels, have cut their bandwidth usage to prevent network congestion.
Besides mirroring our diverse cultures, the film has for a long time been shaping our beliefs and values. A good example is when people copy fashion trends from movie stars and musicians. It is also common these days to find societies using figures of speech that are inspired by the film industry. At the very least, film solidifies selected cultural beliefs and renders some redundant.