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November 26 at 8:15am

Over 30 Really Good Things In The Indie Film Biz 2013

"Over 30 Really Good Things In The Indie Film Biz 2013"

“Over 30 Really Good Things In The Indie Film Biz 2013″

We have plenty to be thankful for.  Things are getting better — at least in the Indie Film Biz they are…  Or should I say Specialized Film Biz? Artist First Film Biz? Whatever this is, let’s celebrate.  We have plenty to be thankful for.

I have over 30 points to prove it to you.  Granted I have something close to an equal number on the negative side too, but I will shield you from those for the time being. Besides, those negative things are all just opportunities, right?  So what is this cornucopia of things we have to be thankful for? Well…

[...]


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November 15 at 8:30am

Is Our Film Culture Designed To Create Corporate Hucksters?

Sometimes it serves us to let our dark paranoia run rampant.  I have always had a love affair with conspiracy theories, but it is one of longing more than indulgence.  If only governments and people in general cared enough about other people to actually strategize to the extent needed to control things to the level most conspiracy theories fantasize.  But maybe instead of politics and community being the focus, the conspiracies exist in the pursuit of profit.  Sometimes looking at the result of business structures as their intent instead of their coincidental effect sheds further light on a complicated situation.

We all know that there is a substantial flaw to our film infrastructure: artists and their supporters are not rewarded for the work they generate.  I speak of this as a problem.  If the industry actually tried to make sure that the people who made the work benefited from the work, we’d have more money in the system, and it would probably be smarter money (that knew enough to let the filmmakers have creative control — or at least more of it) at that.  But all evidence points to the fact that the film industry wants to prevent creators from financially benefiting from their work.  We can change that (and I am going to try), but that’s for another post about why I have chosen to work for a not-for-profit.

Let’s let our dark side work for us for a moment:  if the model is not broken, but actually works, what is it trying to do?  Why would the film business not want creators to benefit?  Is it to give more people the opportunity to become filmmakers and investors since the current system virtually drives out all the experienced filmmakers and investors?  Ah, alas, much evidence exists to show that access and opportunity is not of interest to film business leaders (like the disproportional representation of white males — such as myself).  So what could it be?

What happens to those that survive in the film business?  If filmmakers can’t survive by making feature films, how do they survive?  There’s been one business strand that long has been there with a helping hand  to the creative class and it seems like even our greats have long had to indulge in their offerings.  Is the whole of film culture designed to create cinematic masters who then must be slaves to Madison Avenue and their international equivalents?

Fellini:

Evidently these bank commercials were the last films Fellini ever made, and they aired after he died.

I don’t think commercials kill directors, but I do think [...]


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October 13 at 8:31am

The Next Big Thing? Homage Trailers

Yesterday, I posted how Edward Burns has found inspiration in the classics, or at least in the classics’ trailers.  I get a huge kick from his “remakes”  that he has created around his new film NICE GUY JOHNNY.  ”Homages” to the greats are both funny to watch and a great discovery tool.  So if you had a jones for more after yesterday’s serving of Antonioni’s L’AVVENTURA, why stop there?  Here’s Eddie’s remake of Godard’s CONTEMPT:

[...]


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June 9 at 8:17am

The Future Is Ours If We Seize Today

Today’s guest post is from filmmaker Amos Poe.

“If you’re an American filmmaker, you’re a Hollywood filmmaker.” – Martin Scorsese

There’s been much talk lately about the current state of “independent” filmmaking which includes all aspects of fundraising, production, post-production and distribution. This is my perspective based on 40 years of experience and a modicum of hope.

In 1969 when I got my first Super 8 camera and started making films – needless to say, I had no idea there was such a thing as a “film school” -  I picked up a book called “The Moguls”. As I recall (I’ve long since misplaced the book) it had a number of chapters, each dealing with a different man responsible for inventing and building Hollywood. All were immigrants – Louis B. Mayer, Harry Cohn, Adolph Zukor, Schenck etc. One chapter, I think it was Adolph Zukor, a German immigrant, went something like this.

Zukor was in the haberdashery business on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. He sold shirts, ties, suits… to men. One day a guy walks in and looks around, sees that there’s empty space in the entryway. Zukor walks up to him, “Good morgen. Can I help you?” The guy says, “I wanna help you. Since this space is empty, how would you like to make some money from it?” “What do you have in mind?”, Zukor asks. “How would you like to put a few Nickelodeon machines here?’ “Vat’s that?” Zukor had no idea what these machines were, he’d never seen a nickelodeon machine, or a film for that matter. [...]


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