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October 2 at 11:11am

Say Goodbye To Bizarro World: Time To Make Business Of Art

This is my recent FERA Keynote speech (London, UK  BFI South Bank,September 27, 2013 145PM):

Our strength is now our weakness

Children love playing “The Opposite Game” where “yes” means “no”, and “no” means “yes”.  Politicians seem to love to play that game too…

This backwards world has infected many of our cultural fields,taking hold as an everyday concept reflected in our every action.  In comics, it is known as the “Bizarro” World, a common plot scenario where our strength becomes our weakness.  That is of course a fictional conceit, but in the world of cinema, we all now too truly inhabit a similar land of opposites, where what we say we love to do is not what we do at all.

[...]


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September 27 at 8:30am

Five Years Left To Determine If The Phoenix WILL Rise Or Did The Sky In Fact Fall

Today marks the fifth year anniversary of the talk I did for Film Independent that got me blogging and spreading the Truly Free Film gospel.

Do you know where we are headed?  The following speech is not so much the road map I had five years ago, but my plea to build the team that can then build the highways.  It remains a public works project.  Thanks to all those who are part of the road gang; you know who you are.  

Today (09.27.13) I am delivering a keynote in London for FERA, the EU Directors’ Federation.  It has a similar tone and mission as this one did five years ago. I look forward to sharing it with you soon.  We have made progress, but there still is a long way to go.  We have to understand the past though if we want to see the future.

I can’t talk about the “crisis” of the indie film industry. There is no crisis. The country is in crisis. The economy is in crisis. We, the filmmakers, aren’t in crisis.

The business is changing, but for us –us who are called Indie Filmmakers — that’s good that the business is changing. Filmmaking is an incredible privilege and we need to accept it as such – and accept the full responsibility that comes with that privilege.

The proclamations of Indie Film’s demise are grossly exaggerated. How can there be a “Death Of Indie” when Indie — real Indie, True Indie — has yet to even live?

Yes, there’s a profound paradigm shift, and that shift is the coming of true independence. The hope of this new independence is [...]


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January 17 at 6:00pm

SF Film Society (& 5 Others) Partner With Sundance #Artist Services

Sundance Institute Artist Services Program Expands Self-Distribution Opportunities
to Filmmakers Supported by Six Additional Organizations

The Bertha Foundation │ BRITDOC │ Cinereach │ Film Independent Independent Filmmaker Project │ San Francisco Film Society

Artist Services Announces Collaboration with REELHOUSE, VHX, VIMEO and TUGG, Offering Filmmakers Additional Platforms and Tools

Los Angeles, CA — Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, today announced that the Institute’s Artist Services program – which provides Institute artists with exclusive opportunities for creative self-distribution, marketing and financing solutions for their work – has expanded to include selected films supported by one foundation and five nonprofit organizations. Additionally, these organizations will join with Sundance Institute in continuing to shape the program and the services it offers. [...]


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November 7 at 8:30am

Don’t Hide. Declare You Are Here & Plan To F*ck Sh*t Up

And I mean that with all the love I have for the world.

Let’s be frank:

  • You want to get your movie made.  
  • You want to live a creative life.  
  • You want to give voice to the unspoken and the underheard.  
  • You know you can do it — if only you get a chance.

What are you waiting for?  Don’t ask for permission. Don’t wait to be discovered.  And don’t expect to get any help.  Who needs it? [...]


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June 24 at 2:18pm

Coping With Symposium/Workshop Brain Fry

Today’s guest post is once again courtesy of Jon Reiss.  Back before Jon wrote the book on DIY distro in the digi age (literally), he and I started brainstorming on the need for a marketing & distribution lab for filmmakers, somewhat modeled on the existing screenwriting & directing labs that many organizations run.  We had some real specific goals on this and pitched it to several key entities.  Everyone wanted to do it, and I believe everyone still wants to do it.  Money and time still are limited supply though, and our dreams have been deferred.  Yet, the initial steps have been taken by a couple of organizations, and most recently Film Independent put together: Seize The Power last weekend.  Jon’s post below, is a bit of  an extension from that remarkable collection of speakers and participants and information.

I heard a number of comments after this weekend’s LAFF Seize the Power Symposium that people where overwhelmed – that their brain’s had been fried by so many ideas and so much information.  To me that’s a sign that we succeeded.  When Film Independent and the Los Angeles Film Festival asked me to help them devise the Symposium (and accompanying Distribution Boot Camp for competition filmmakers) we were in immediate agreement that the event would focus on: 1. Nuts and bolts practical information for filmmakers.  2.  Forward thinking thought leaders indicating what the future might be.  3. Practical case studies of filmmakers who were using the new tools of distribution and marketing.  We wanted to avoid people sitting on a panel rehashing how we got here.   I also get the same brain-fry feedback when I give my weekend workshops – and I’m delighted.  This is what I suggest to people:

1. Focus on the Inspiration and Creative Potential [...]


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June 17 at 12:01pm

Seize the Power – Why You Should Pay Attention to the LAFF Symposium this Weekend

We are now treated to another Jon Reiss guest post.  Jon holds the world record for the most comments on a single TrulyFreeFilm post, but he is one of our New Model Gurus, helping to pave the path to the emergence of a sustainable Artist/Creator Middle Class.   We he speaks, I listen.

Two weeks ago I wrote a guest post here about the need to educate filmmakers on distribution and marketing their films.  This weekend the Los Angeles Film Festival is hosting a truly wonderful event which I am proud to have developed in collaboration with LAFF and Film Independent (with strong push and support from Ted):  Seize the Power: A Marketing and (DIY)stribution Symposium.

The Symposium is designed to focus on the nuts and bolts solutions to the current distribution and marketing malaise plaguing our industry.  The intention is to provide an introduction to a wealth of new tools for filmmakers (and all artists/media content creators) as well as strategic guidance from many of the key practitioners and thought leaders in our field.  It is an antidote to the concerns of too much talk talk talk on this subject with little true education.

In addition there is a non-public component that you can participate in via twitter.  I will be giving a distribution and marketing boot camp to the LAFF competition filmmakers Friday June 18th 9am – 12:30pm and 2:30pm – 5pm and Saturday June 19th from 9am-11:30am.  All times PST.   We will be tweeting bullet points on #totbo  We have done this in the workshops I have given in the past month – and we have found that people around the world start to participate and chime in – creating a global discussion around these topics.

The Symposium: Starting Saturday afternoon at 1pm – Ted kicks it off with a presentation on the need for the artist entrepreneur to encourage filmmakers to think expansively about their creative output in order to create sustainable careers.   [...]


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June 12 at 8:20am

Seize The Power: LAFF’s Film Financing Conf Now TWO-DAY DIY MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION SYMPOSIUM

Film Independent sent out the following email:

We have spent the last ten years making the Film Financing Conference an invaluable experience for filmmakers, and as the industry is swept by very significant changes, we want to rise up to meet those changes with programs that meet filmmaker needs at this moment.  With that in mind, the Los Angeles Film Festival has created Seize the Power: A Marketing and (DIY)stribution Symposium, a new program specifically designed to help filmmakers navigate marketing and distribution in the growing age of new media and to promote an open dialogue on the impact and exciting possibilities the changes in our industry bring. [...]


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