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All of these blogs got recommended to me as being open to reviewing unreleased film.
http://brendonbouzard.com/blog/ Brendon Bouzard
http://d2dvd.blogspot.com/ Bill Cunningham action,horror, pulp,sci-fi, thriller
http://www.hammertonail.com/ Ted Hope
http:/www.ironweedfilms.com Christophe Lepage
MyFiveYearPlan Brendon Bouzard
http://www.notcoming.com Tze Chun
In response to the LOVELY BY SURPRISE post the other day, filmmaker Ashley Meyers wrote in with this suggestion: What Indie Film Blogs will cover undistributed films? Please help us build this list. Let us know which ones you know about. Or better yet, make a whole list and send it in and get the gold star of the day!
There’s a good post today on FilmmakerMagBlog by Jake Abraham on LOVELY BY SURPRISE, a film he produced and is now distributing. The only way DIY is going to really ever become a viable model is for filmmakers to do precisely what Jake is doing, and share the experience. You should definitely read the whole post, but I definitely appreciated this nugget:
we worked with Indigenous to make sure that every possible outlet, both retail and online, would carry the film. They set up Netflix, Blockbuster Online, Amazon.com, iTunes and all those other online rental and purchase sites. Also, as they are set up as a vendor with all the wholesalers that distribute to retail rental stores and purchasers like Target, K-Mart, etc., we have orders coming in from those guys as well. This detail can’t be overlooked. Working with an approved vendor is a key step to getting your DVD in rental stores all over the U.S. (yes, they still exist). Don’t wait until your DVD is pressed to do this. It takes months to get all of this set up properly. The consequence of delaying this process is severe, as your film will not be available everywhere you want it to be when your marketing push is on and potential viewers won’t be able to access it.
I should have known Free would be the mantra of the weekend. We were going to take Hope The Younger to freeload at Vanessa’s Dad’s pad by the beach for the 4th, but before we left, we had the op to share a cab back from celebrating Strand’s 20th with Indiewire’s Eugene Hernadez; under his arm, still in it’s protective wrapper, was Chris Anderson’s “Free”. Eugene had shelled out the $27 bucks for the wisdom of the nothing economy. Meanwhile, I was still hoping that Anderson would still take me up on my offer to send copies to the 4 most influential people I know, and thus provide with a copy for the price of the title. I guess heads of Hollywood and Indiewood studios don’t rank in his book. Back from the sea, sand still between my toes, I still haven’t read the meme of the moment, and now must live vicariously.
Scott Macauley on FilmmakerMagBlog tipped me to Brian Newman’s powerpoint on moving beyond Free, and actually how to make a living with Free. Brian answers that question quite clearly & concisely.
- Immediacy: Give them something now
- Personalization: To their needs
- Interpretation: with study guide, or commentary
- Authenticity: From you directly, signed by you
- Embodiment: Speaking Fees
- Patronage: Support the artist; Radiohead model
- Accessibility: Make it easy to get
- Findability: Work with partners who make you findable
To further answer this Question-Of-The-Moment, Janet Maslin points out in her review:
Mr. Anderson sees that consumers think not only about money but also about intangibles like convenience, access, quality and time.
Maslin, in contrasting Anderson’s “Free” with Shell’s book “Cheap”, also hits upon one of the plagues that runs amok in Indie Filmland:
Ms. Shell’s intangibles are different; she argues that moral accountability and responsibility are often sacrificed for the sake of cheap pricing.
There are four strands of argument here: a technological claim (digital infrastructure is effectively Free), a psychological claim (consumers love Free), a procedural claim (Free means never having to make a judgment), and a commercial claim (the market created by the technological Free and the psychological Free can make you a lot of money). The only problem is that in the middle of laying out what he sees as the new business model of the digital age Anderson is forced to admit that one of his main case studies, YouTube, “has so far failed to make any money for Google.”
To makes matter worse, providing for Free, isn’t free to YouTube. As Gladwell points out “A recent report by Credit Suisse estimates that YouTube’s bandwidth costs in 2009 will be three hundred and sixty million dollars.” And then it gets even worse from there:
…in order to make money, YouTube has been obliged to pay for programs that aren’t crap. To recap: YouTube is a great example of Free, except that Free technology ends up not being Free because of the way consumers respond to Free, fatally compromising YouTube’s ability to make money around Free, and forcing it to retreat from the “abundance thinking” that lies at the heart of Free. Credit Suisse estimates that YouTube will lose close to half a billion dollars this year.
So where does all this leave us? Indie films been losing approximately two billion a year (guesstimate: 4000 features @ $500K avg. budget; all not distributed or recouping).Gladwell’s summation essentially comes down to that there are no easy answers — but that easy answers do sell books (or at least get you a publishing deal, and the 4th of July meme of the moment).
- A good first step is to work harder to make your film better and more distinct.
- The second step is team up and start to truly collaborate.
- Try following Kevin Kelly’s 8 Generatives for step #3.
- I think the fourth step is follow those rules via some of the methods we’ve relayed here.
- Let’s call the fifth step sharing your knowledge with each other in hopes that we will find a way.
Today’s post is a guest post from Mathew Seig of New York Foundation For The Arts. We are thankful he’s picked up on this question and hope many of you also offer up suggestions.
Assuming that we care about films playing to a live audience in a dark theater, film festivals are the most likely venue that most independent filmmakers are going to have. For that purpose, the thousand or two thousand small U.S. festivals are as important as the largest. So instead of focusing solely on the large festivals that usually dominate our attention, let’s consider the small local and regional film festivals where independent films get most of their exposure. Large or small, film festivals have an important place in the changing world of independent film discussed by Ted Hope (“The New Model For Indie Film: The Ongoing Conversation”) at New York Foundation for the Arts on May 28, 2009 and then posted on TrulyFreeFilm.
As with so many of the independent films that they show, small festivals (and community micro-cinemas and similar venues) exist thanks to the largely unpaid efforts of serious film lovers. They don’t offer premiers of star-driven films or attract distribution representatives, but we increasingly rely on small festivals to nurture artists and audiences, and to bring personal and specialized cinema of all kinds to out-of-the-way communities. Yet small festivals share with filmmakers an urgent need to adapt to the changing circumstances of the entire business. Unlike the concern we regularly hear for filmmakers, distributors and theaters, there isn’t much hand-wringing about the fate of small festivals, or their quality, or much information about how they can keep up with the times, grow and improve.
Small festivals are largely staffed by people with a strong love of film but often without much knowledge of exhibition. To survive, prosper and grow, they need information, support, encouragement and useful criticism. The people who can best help them are those who have experience managing successful festivals, and who know how to develop relationships with audiences, sponsors, distributors and filmmakers.
Large festivals are some of the most logical places to institute this process. They provide important access to films, filmmakers and distributors, so they are already attended by representatives from smaller festivals. Adding educational programs, festival labs, and networking opportunities for their smaller cousins and for people entering the business would strengthen the entire community. A thousand healthy film festivals will help many thousands of filmmakers.
New York Foundation for the Arts