Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!
Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.
(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)
I don’t intend to get down on hobbies here; I love building model rockets with my son, but I don’t harbor any fantasies about earning a living from doing it (well, I do have a plan for a BowlOfNoses Summer Camp, but…). Thing is, there once was a time when all my friends earned a living making and sharing independent features. It didn’t feel like a hobby then, but now it does. I wonder if anyone still earns a consistent living making indie films?
Okay, the sales markets of Sundance & Toronto have increased my hopes that the economic situation for filmmakers will improve and, yes, “earning a living” is a relative phrase. True, many still are paying most of their bills from working in the film biz, but I suspect that either it is at a level 50% lower than it was three years ago, or else the company that pays them is earning substantially less than they were years back and just hasn’t passed the losses on to their employees beyond staff reductions. Yes, there are still some folks who hit a vein and get a windfall, but don’t mistake that good fortune as a career. I have seen highs and lows, but I don’t see consistency any more.
It’s not all doom mind you. [...]
Yes, it is true. Good Machine is back. But in a new and improved form. Perhaps we should have done a press release, but I thought I should do it here instead. Press releases are so yesterday.
If you went to Sundance, perhaps you noticed the secret stealth return of our so-called 90′s powerhouse. Or if you were at the Golden Globes, it must have caught your eye. Hell, even if you just watched the Golden Globes. If you missed all that, certainly by perusing the Oscar noms, something should have caused a bit of stir. I’ve been waiting for some sharp newshound to break with the story, but nope. So here’s the real buzz… [...]
Today’s guest post is by Orly Ravid of The Film Collaborative(TFC), the first non-profit, full service provider dedicated to the distribution of independent film. Orly was featured as one of HFF’s Brave Thinkers Of Indie Film, 2010.
*This is Part II of the “If I Were a Filmmaker Going Sundance…”
*Part III to will be written in the aftermath of the glow of the fest.
Sundance 2011, insofar as distribution was concerned, saw a spike on both the traditional sales and the DIY front. 26 deals were done so far and more to come. One difference between this year’s Festival and those of recent years is that several acquisitions were done prior to the Festival and more deals occurred right at the beginning of the Festival rather than taken several days or weeks to materialize. In addition, some of the acquisition dollar figures were bigger than in recent times. There was a definite sense of ‘business is back’ (though mostly still for bigger films with either name directors or cast or both – and this we address below). And DIY is seeing a new dawn with directors like Kevin Smith announcing a self-distribution plan and Sundance’s solidified commitment to helping artists crowdfund (via Kickstarter) and market their films (via Facebook for example) access certain digital distribution platforms (in the works and TBA).
Starting with the deals. So far I counted 26 (one at least was a pre-buy / investment in production) and two so far are remake rights deals.
I only list the deal points that were publicized… meaning if no $$$ is listed then it was not announced. [...]
It is no longer the dawn. We are now officially in the new era of a Truly Free Film Culture.
Yes, the business of indie film is back. The rapidity, volume, and consistency of deals blossoming ($30M and counting!) at Sundance should give investors more confidence that you no longer have to rely just on foreign; the US acquisition climate seems quite robust again. Whew. But the good news does not end there.
Indie Film has been infected by a new breed that — like those that came before them — refuses to ask for permission. But unlike the earlier wave, their go-get-them attitude doesn’t stop at production, it extends into all the pillars of cinema — from discovery and participation on through production, distro, appreciation, and presentation. The content, the form, the plans of cinema are not only for re-examination, but the rules have been thrown out. Time to get out of the way, and let the fresh air disrupt the stale space. [...]
Official Press Release:
PARK CITY, UT — Sundance Institute today announced a new program to connect its artists with audiences by offering access to top-tier creative funding and marketing backed by the Institute’s promotional support. These essential services will act as building blocks for future program components which aim to provide filmmakers access to a broad and open array of third-party digital distribution platforms. Adding to the nonprofit Institute’s acclaimed programs for Screenwriters, Directors, Film Composers, Producers and Theatre artists around the world, the new services were developed based on research and input from filmmakers, industry advisors, its Technology Committee and its Board of Directors, including President Robert Redford. The creative funding component was announced today with Kickstarter, the largest platform in the world for funding creative projects.
A new way to fund and follow creative projects [...]