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Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, two of the biggest filmmakers of all time, expect some massive upheaval in Hollywood as the division between TV and film content disappears. Spielberg even forecast that the film industry would "implode."
Both see changes in the way movies are made, the way content is distributed and to the business itself, they said during a panel discussion at University of Southern California's School for Cinematic Arts, where they are board members.
But Spielberg also said that it's like 2008 in the business again, with the market bottomed and on the way up. There has never been more exciting potential, he added.
Spielberg and Lucas expect consumers to watch more content, including movies and TV shows, on giant screens at home, as the separation between TV and film content disappears and theatrical releases are limited to fewer, big-budget films.
"There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm again," Spielberg said.
Lucas predicted that the movie-going experience would become more of a luxury.
"You're going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things," he said. "Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks—like what Broadway costs today, or a football game."
He forecast that the movies that do make it to theaters will stay for a year, similar to the run of a Broadway show.
The two joked that they barely got their films "Lincoln" or "Red Tails" into theaters. Spielberg ribbed his friend that more people saw "Lincoln" than saw Lucas' "Red Tails" but admitted that it was a close call, adding that the presidential biopic almost ended up on Time Warner's HBO.
In the future environment, neither of those films would have made it into theaters but would have been available instead on the big screen in people's living rooms, in a new video-on-demand paradigm, they said.
In a building full of high-tech tools to help the next generation of filmmakers tell stories, Spielberg and Lucas had warnings for students.
First, technology should never be in the driver's seat, because the narrative is always the most important thing, they said.
"There is going to be a day when the experience is going to be the price of admission," Spielberg said. "What I fear about that day coming is that the experience will trump the story or the ability to compel people through a narrative. And it's going to be more of a ride, a theme park, than it is going to be a story, and that's what I hope doesn't happen."
Embracing easier search and public conversations, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it was adding clickable hashtags. As with Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest, when you click on a hashtag you'll see what other people and pages are saying about the same topic.
In a blog post on its website, Facebook said that until now, there "has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about." The launch today aims to "surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics."
(Read More: Kids Turn to Twitter, Shun Facebook 'Drama')
Users will also now be able to search for a specific hashtag from the search bar. Users can also compose posts from the hashtag feed and search results. And to integrate its Instagram acquisition, Facebook is allowing users to click on hashtags that originate from other services.
The threat of cord cutting is finally a reality, says industry analyst Craig Moffett. He says the first quarter saw the largest-ever decline in cable subscribers, and projects that the percentage of Americans who pay for TV will drop from 88 percent this year to 82 percent in 2020.
Moffett says cable distributors "have very little ability to push back on the escalation in their costs. But they're hearing from their end users that prices are increasing too fast; they're between a rock and a hard place."
Addressing those concerns, at the National Cable Show in Washington DC, the cable distributors are showcasing all sorts of new technologies to give their subscribers greater value for that monthly cable bill, and keep them hooked.
At the National Cable Show in Washington, DC this week, the cable content giants are embracing the idea of "TV everywhere" — giving people who pay for cable TV, access to more content, on-demand.
The idea is that the more added-value consumers get, the more they'll think it's worth paying those bills. It's clear that consumers are spending more time streaming content on their mobile devices-- and want more flexibility.
The question is how cable content companies want to handle their digital distribution strategy.
Comcast's new cable operating system, voice controlled remotes and increasingly robust user interaction will be 'game changers' for the television industry, said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. He spoke with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Tuesday from the NCTA "The Cable Show" in Washington, DC.
"It starts with our goal which is to take all of the intelligence out of the cable box and put it in the cloud. That allows us to innovate faster," he said. "It's smarter, it's personalized, it's easy, it's fun and it's beautiful... at the same time, it gets you to your content faster, it learns about your behaviors and your preferences."
"If you look at all the technological advances and all the great content that exists today and the ability of people to watch that content on multiple screens, there's never been a better time for television," the Viacom executive said.
He said that consumers want more content that they can watch on multiple devices whenever they want. "We're already doing some of that," Dauman said. "We need to do more."