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April 30 at 8:38am

Let’s Make It Better Together: New Site To Check Out

I am really heartened when someone decides that they are not going to just sit around and wait for someone to deliver something to them (other than take-out that is). I am even more heartened when someone takes such action, not just for themselves but for the community at large. I truly believe that we are missing out on both vibrant work and a vital community of truly free film work by those in their 20′s.

I was recently hipped to a new endeavor that, although they may not have mandated to focus on such new work, their energy, spirit, and age gives hope that it will lean such a way. Brian Geldin of The Film Panel Note Taker let me know of NYC’s new”Big Vision Empty Wallet” that launches tomorrow! Today’s guest post is by Alex Cirillo & Dani Faith Leonard, Founders and Creative Directors of Big Vision Empty Wallet who have been gracious enough to let us know what they are up to.

Recession. The signs of it are everywhere – teachers losing jobs, restaurants and stores that were once NYC staples closing, fashion labels hiring Lindsay Lohan to design for them instead of actual designers (it’s not only Ed Hardy).  The recession is always a top story on the news and is brought up in daily conversation. We can only come to one conclusion about how our industry will fare in this climate and here it is: what an exciting time to be an artist.

[...]


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April 27 at 6:54am

The Power Of Crowds And Independent Film” video

Okay, the robots are lit a bit better than us, but who’s complaining? I had fun at last night’s discussion with Chris Hyams and Sharon Waxman.

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April 26 at 7:53am

Reinventing The Wheel, Again and Again and Again

If I had to state one of the most crucial things we need to focus on in the indie film world right now, I would say that working to establish a sustainable investor class ranks right at the top.  If only it did not take a bit more than simply stating it…

I have made over sixty films in about twenty years.  Each film is a new start up with a new structure and new investors.  It is not a very efficient system.  Folks from The Business Community often express interest in trying to bring some greater reason to our world.  I hope they succeed and I am available to help, but it is not so easy a mission.

One of the reasons that each film has it’s own financial structure is that every film has its own needs.  We are not making a standardized product, but we are working with artists who have developed unique talents for getting their visions and emotion up and out there.  Filmmakers need a protected environment to work in.

At the same time, Investors need access to the process to trust their needs are being taken care of.  These needs are most often quite different from the filmmakers’.  How to provide trust, confidence, and comfort is part of what makes producing such a challenge (and pleasure).

[...]


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April 22 at 8:35am

Losing It: Reflections On The First Time

Today we are pleased to present a conversation between Keith Bearden and Jordan Horowitz, the first-time Director and first-time Producer of MEET MONICA VELOUR, starring Kim Cattrall, about what it was like to make the film, the lessons they learned, and expectations for the future. The film will premiere at the Tribeca International Film Festival on Sunday April 25th, and other screening times can be found here.–

Keith Bearden: I have to start by saying that having done well with short films and commercials, the important parts of feature filmmaking were there when I started (when I hear about writers jumping head first into feature directing I wince in sympathy pain). But of course, there were still a lot of challenges ahead.

My biggest lesson was learning what you don’t need in a screenplay. [...]


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April 21 at 7:33am

Discovery Tools: Better Internet Interfaces & Playlists

Finding what you want to watch when you want to watch SHOULD be the easiest thing in the world.  It still will always be hard to know what you want to watch, mind you — but if you do, you should be able to find it.

In terms of the knowing part of the equation, playlists are a start.  Every social media site should have an easy to use playlist function that allows you to post what you are going to watch, and for others watching those films to find you.  The film watching experience is only partially about content. It is also about social and we need to have easier tools to connect with if we are going to make it all work again,

And combining playlists with easy searches of what is available online is the start of something truly great.  Clicker helps a great deal in this regard. The ability to share playlists is a key thing when it comes to discovery and it doesn’t look like that is a possibility with Clicker unfortunately.  We want to be able to build playlists, post them, embed them, share them. [...]


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April 20 at 7:36am

Filmmakers vs. Aggregators: Distribber speaks of Win, Win!

Today’s guest post is from Distribber founder Adam Chapnick responding to the question of just what IS Distribber and how can it make the world safer for filmmakers.

Distribber was recently acquired by IndieGoGo, and in the wake of the publicity surrounding the announcement, we received a tremendous outpouring of enthusiasm and interest in Distribber’s service.  As is inevitable, there’s been some confusion around what Distribber does and doesn’t do.  

Distribber was created to help rights holders maximize the payback from their work and investment.

More specifically, Distribber was conceived as a solution to several persistent complaints from filmmakers and other creative rights holders about distributors in general and aggregators in particular.  (“Aggregator” is the term used for a company that acts as a gatekeeper between a rights holder and a retail platform, such as iTunes, Netflix, Hulu or Cable VOD operators like Comcast, Time Warner, etc.)  

The complaints surrounded 3 specific pain points: 

Complaint #1.  Eternal revenue-share for finite service
[...]


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April 19 at 7:21am

More Thoughts On The New Film Festival Model

“Blood Simple” was the first film I bought a ticket for at a film festival.  It was screening at the NYFF and I soon came to recognize that the films accepted to that fest were of a exceedingly high quality.  The curatorial taste behind that festival choices was something I had confidence in.  They gained my trust precisely because they have never tried to be all things for all people, and for that I have always been willing to pay a premium for. The NYFF was, and is, a trusted filter.

Too many festivals these days program too many films without revealing, or reveling in, their curatorial hands, diminishing the power of their brand in the process.  If festivals are going to become the new curators, that will have to change.  Festivals must emphasize their unique taste, if not overall, then within sidebars at the festival. [...]


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