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Bill Mechanic, a man that is as responsible as anyone for building Hollywood as we know it and an incredibly smart man and passionate film fan at that, has been doing a lot of public speaking lately. Whenever he speaks, I learn something; I also understand our business better. Despite making far larger films than I can even dream of, he still knows what is critical to all film’s success (and our industry’s survival).
When was the last time you heard anyone either from a studio or an independent talking about improving their product, of creating positive buzz and expanding the audience?
An independent… should make movies individualistic and compelling… that actually do stand out and succeed because of their quality and their uniqueness.
When I spoke at IFF at TIFF with Festival Darling‘s Thomas Mai, he said there were 154 websites that posted film trailers. We need that list. Maybe Thomas will share it with us, but in the meantime with Sundance around the corner and Berlin on it’s heels, we can’t afford to wait to post. Let’s build that list! What sites do you know?
I sent the following email blast out this morning. Word’s got around and others have asked to see it. So here it is, albeit with a change or two….
Well, it seems like petitions have worked to secure a low budget film a wider release. Morris: A Life With Bells On got 9000 folks to request the film and now they have 50 datesin the UK. Read about it here.
Time and time again, I get the impression that the “Film Industry” generally does not value producers. I suppose I shouldn’t deduce that The Studios’ abandonment of Producer Overhead First Look Deals means that the business doesn’t value Producers, and just that The Studios need to control costs or that they have other ways of accessing content, but…
- Producers bring new investors into the business, both in terms of sourcing them, and structuring deals that make sense from an investors’ perspective
- Producers look out for investors’ needs (substantially more than distributors do), as Producers think long term and need private equity to stay in the game.
- Producers provide development supervision to get the scripts right — and they usually get a lot more writing done without additional costs — because the authors know they are doing it to get the best movie made, and not just to justify their jobs.
- Producers inspire talent to embrace work for affordable yet just rates — because everyone knows that the producer is doing also for the love but for a whole lot longer.
- Producers counter-balance industry pressure to increase costs and keep movies’ budgets at levels that make sense — which is good for the industry.
- Producers innovate — be it in the search to deliver a better film or to control costs, innovation is in their blood.
- Producers develop talent and take the chances on emerging artists.
- Producers keep in touch with the audience, weighing where their tastes and habits are.
- Producers bring content, talent, technology, audiences, investors together.
- Producers help show the business and the culture where they might aspire to be going.
I hope to get a breath to give my thoughts on all this, but it more likely will come in the form of short subject posts, but I am really impressed with the wrap ups that greeted me this morning.
Mike Hedge pointed out to me that we now have a major distributor using Eventful to organize screenings on a local level. Back when Adventureland was released, I few fans found me to let me know that they had organized screening groups on MeetUp. Both of these are powerful tools, that the indie film community needs to make more use of.