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June 26 at 8:15am

A Total Disruption

By Ted Hope

“How is the film industry going to learn to support the artists who are willing to take risks, are committed to their own audience and advancing the language of cinema?

But now, through technology, we can change that equation. Barriers to entry have dropped. Barriers to distribution have dropped. Because I definitely believe that there are titles that have value that draw people (to them). What Hollywood and the film industry have never done well is match people to titles that they will respond to.

The film industry have never empowered the artist in that equation or said “You have to think through the life cycle of your film, how you keep it relevant in this day and age.” As we start to get hip to that, we see that we are free from the mass market dictates.

We don’t have to make our work for everybody. We can go into the niche audiences — but on a grand scale. We can unite people around their common values. And we can reward them for the activity they care most about.

It’s a double anchor because the audience has to say “this IS the culture that I want and I am voting for it with my dollars. I expect you to deliver something that is more than a product. I expect you to deliver an experience to me.”

And that’s where I see our business going: we stop making products and we deliver relationships and experiences.

Yes, yes, yes. I know I posted this video once before. But now it is with the full transcript!


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74 Comments

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  1. David W. King / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    LIKE us

  2. Craig Abell-Champion / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    “Niche audiences on a grand scale…” Love this knowledge. Especially knowing what I’m about to take out.

    Great post.

  3. Robert Maier / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    I’ve gone from being an indie filmmaker to an indie film exhibitor. Getting people to get away from their personal screens to a theater is a challenge too. We’re doing OK, but it would be sad if every indie theater disappeared. There’s something about sitting in a like-minded group for 100 mins. sharing the same experience that may be lost on the new generation. There’s gotta be more to life than instagram.

  4. Michael Umansky / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    Yes, absolutely. I’m currently in pre-prod on a very unique film project that’s never been done before. Marrying new technology and new film techniques (unique methods of footage acquisition, editing, and subsequent display/distribution). After I file a patent for the process I’ll release the project on kickstarter. Major disrupt!

  5. James / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    Was just talking to a marketing firm about this in the midst of releasing our latest feature. Good read!

    Thanks!

    Brake lights Film

  6. Jon / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    Barriers to quality haven’t dropped. You actually have to make something people want to see.

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  33. John Silverstone / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    Hello, perhaps you have some knowledge on this:

    I recently completed a small children’s shortish film and packaged it in nice complete DVD printed cases and all. Beeyootiful. Kids love it.

    Some friends of mine who are shopowners or know privately owned stores have gladly taken a handful on board and are selling them successfully.

    Another friend however was hesitant because he’s heard that a shop can only trade in what they’re licenced to and would need a special licence to sell films on DVD.

    At the time I didn’t know what he was even talking about, so I later tried to search online for special licenses shops need to sell DVD’s but found nothing other than film and publications board things which seem unbelievably obtrusive and self-appointing in what may not be their business, and the initial and continually recurring fees for licences would kill any small shop’s interest in selling any DVD’s ever. This “film and publciations board” does however seem to demand that “any person” selling films must get their licence or else.

    Bottom line is my question is can a small privately owned shop sell my DVD? Can I offer it to them in good conscience? Without causing them to be shut down or shot on site or anything.

    Best regards,
    John Silverstone

  34. grace / Jun 26 at 8:15am

    I think this is an interesting idea–making the selective consumer’s dollars count by keeping the artist just as accountable in the delivery of their work.
    It’s like the niche audience is becoming the producers themselves–at least that is my takeaway from this video.

    But if the niche consumer is making his/her dollar count by keeping the artist accountable in the delivery of their work, and the consumer’s preferred type of work at that, isn’t that in essence control of the artist? Didn’t the niche consumer come to this artist initially because this particular artist–the independent filmmaker or the auteur who went against the mainstream grain–come up with the alternative?

    I’m just not sure how long such a relationship could last when suddenly the consumer/artist relationship has become so intimate. If what Hope is saying is that the consumer now has access to a specific kind of content based on his/her taste trends, then, yes, I would agree completely. But, again, I wonder how long this could last.

    From my own experience, after listening to the same great song on repeat for too long, I start longing for something completely different to bust me out of the previous experience I was steeped in. But how could I gain access to a diversity of experiences when the same few sites I’ve been visiting are now catering to my previous preferences? And for the ones who are in dire need of expanding their cultural palate for diversity, how do they access other worlds when their feeds are persistently feeding them with the same few limited ideas? Just some counter thoughts that came to me. Overall, though, I do acknowledge the benefits of the times’ open field for film release and distribution, especially for independent filmmakers. But this, too, speaking from experience, is not without its challenges…

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  43. Suzanne Borders / Jun 26 at 8:15am

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    What a time to be alive! :)

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