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It’s nice to get people talking and thinking. Even better when you get them acting. My post this morning has been doing a bit of it all. Thanks for spreading. And joining in.
I like this thread that started by Lindy Boustedt on Facebook. I like their ideas and energy and want to help.
I like Ann Rutledge’s response to it too, and look forward to taking her up on her offer to help solve the capital problem.
I got this email from Sheri Candler and am responding with the color text below. Sheri’s numbering are hers, and don’t apply directly to my points.
I am writing this to you when I really should be working on other things. Some of those other things I get paid to do, and some I do because I hope in the future it will lead to getting paid or getting paid more money. This is kind of the way I see “opportunity,” it is something you make or something you grab, not something you are waiting to be given. We all have to work for our opportunities, but they don’t exist equally for everyone. I have benefited greatly by being white, male, middle class, english-speaking, and having had a good education. I was also fortunate to arrive in New York when I did. True, we can’t wait; we must act. But it will never improve unless we accept that we also have to work towards justice and equal access. [...]
Don’t you love it when you see something new and it all makes sense. I had the opportunity to view the new distribution platform PRESCREEN and I dug it. I was all set to tell you all about it when I learned they sponsored the book Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul , and as a result Sheri Candler spoke to them and quizzed them on what they were up to. How sweet is that: all the info you need, clear and simple, and I don’t have to write anything. Love it. Check it out. Prescreen is just one of many new exciting new tools and partners coming for indie filmmakers who want to step into Direct Distribution.
The following post first appeared on the Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul blog to spotlight Prescreen as the Presenting Sponsor of that soon to be published book.
Prescreen was recently launched and is now taking film submissions to be considered for their service. Thus far, if you visited their web page, you were asked to submit an email address to be kept informed of their activities. Prescreen curates films and distributes them via a daily email to an opt-in audience. While they have started accepting applications for films to be showcased on their site, but they will not accept every film. “Unlike some of the other services that currently exist, we will not be a sea of titles. We will do our best to try and create signal out of noise,” said founder and CEO Shawn Bercuson.
What will PreScreen mean for the indie filmmaker?
“For the indie filmmaker, Prescreen means you now have a viable alternative to distribution. That said, we do not intend to replace any of the existing channels, we are merely a tool to help make the marketing and distribution efforts much easier. Being featured on Prescreen means revenue instead of marketing spend, analyzing demographics of *your* audience instead of looking at the audience of comparable titles, and increasing the potential to go ‘viral.’ We give the filmmaker and distributor relevant information that they can use to maximize the success of each title.”
“We believe there is a lot of great content that exists that never finds a home or has a hard time reaching the right audience. As we all know, movie distribution has historically been a very arduous and risky endeavor for filmmakers, distributors, or studios alike; however, we now live in a world with exciting technology that enables us to communicate in real time with…everyone. If you use these tools correctly, the supply vs. demand curve can be shifted. Whereas, before content was created, money was spent, and hours of work were completed prior to the release of a film trying to create demand for a title; we can now gauge demand at the beginning of the process such that the entire endeavor is more efficient.”
Will the service cost anything, either for filmmakers or for audience? If so, what?
“For moviegoers, it is free to signup to receive the Prescreen daily email. If a movie catches your eye, you have the opportunity to ‘rent’ the movie to stream. Each movie we feature lives on Prescreen for 60 days. On Day 1, the movie costs $4 and you’ll have up to 60 days to view the film; while on Days 2 – 60, the movie costs $8 and you’ll have 60 – (x days) to complete the film. Though a moviegoer has up to 60 days to complete the film, ‘renting’ on Prescreen is similar to that of any other the other mainstream steaming services and you’ll have 48 hours to complete the film once you start the stream.”
“Why only 60 days? Movies live on Prescreen for 60 days for many reasons. First, to allow a film to capture (and capitalize on) the word-of-mouth exposure that organically ensues throughout the social graph. Movies are inherently social. If all my friends are talking about a specific title, I don’t like to be left out of the conversation and I’ll want to partake. 60 days allows people to join the conversation. The second reason is piracy. As iTunes has successfully proven with the music industry, people are happy to pay for content as long as they have access to it. For example, if a movie is screening in 6 cities not named Omaha, Nebraska and I live in Omaha, my only option is to illegally download that title. 60 days allows access to content that people might otherwise be forced to get through illegal means.”
“For filmmakers and distributors, there is no out of pocket charge at any point throughout the entire Prescreen process. Prescreen is only successful if the movie is successful. Prescreen will send the filmmaker a check for 50% of the revenue generated from the sales on Prescreen along with a ‘Prescreen Performance Report’ that details all of the relevant information a filmmaker or distributor would need to continue to reach the targeted audience including: a Prescreen performance summary, detailed demographic information, the size of the addressable market, and suggested continued marketing plan.”
“At any given point in time, Prescreen has up to 60 films featured on the site: 1 featured film and the 59 previous featured films. As one movie enters our library through their feature, another one leaves. After 60 days, the filmmaker should have enough data points and insight to continue to market their film effectively and reach the right audience.”
How does one sign up for an account?
“For filmmakers and distributors, visit prescreen.com/submit. Here, you can submit your film to Prescreen to be the ‘Featured Film.’ The featured film is the highlight of our daily email that goes out to all of our subscribers and will also be the only film on our homepage for 24 hours.”
On what devices is the service geared toward viewing?
“We believe that movies should live where moviegoers want to see them. Because of this, Prescreen plans to be platform agnostic and live on the web, mobile, and other connected devices like streaming TV’s, gaming consoles, and set top boxes. However, as any Prescreen engineer will tell you: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ so we’ll start on the web and prioritize platforms based on where our audience is telling us to go.”
If you are interested in having your film considered for the service, please submit it here before August 12. For more information regarding Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul, please visit the website, Like us on Facebook and follow our Twitter stream #syfnotsys.Tweet
My producing partner on SUPER, Miranda Bailey, and my former Sundance Creative Producing Mentoree — and an innovative producer in his own right — Thomas Woodrow will be joining Sheri Candler and the good folks at Film Threat, and hopefully hordes of others — like you, and you, and you — for a discussion on the role of the producer.
This is just one of the many new ways a truly free film community is joining forces to emphasize access, collaboration, and demystification. Wanna be part of it? It’s easy. All you have to do is…
Today’s guest post is Pt 2 of 2 from 2010 Brave Thinker Of Indie Film Sheri Candler.
I have investigated some artists already building their communities (and sustaining themselves) and thought you should use them as examples to follow.
Examples of artists who have built a community web
In addition to the Grateful Dead, a group most all of you are aware of, there are examples of artists from many areas who have successfully built up a community around themselves and their work.
Kevin Smith is a great example. Smith says he can spend up to 9 hours a day online and started this back in 1995. He has never put his career only in filmmaking, saying he never expected THAT to last. Instead, his community has been introduced to a variety of his activities; a SModcast, comic books, stand up comedy, regular writing contributions to various magazines. Smith isn’t tied to only one avenue of revenue and in fact can make a living off many things outside of making films. He was able to pinpoint exactly what his fans liked about him early on and he reaches out to them continually. If I had to suggest something, I would ask him to allow a community aspect on his site so that fellow fans can contact each other.
Matthew Ebel is another example. [...]
Today’s guest post (part 1 of 2) is by 2010 Brave Thinker Of Indie Film Sheri Candler.
I think I have been promising this post for a while, ever since I wrote the New Independent Filmmaker’s Business Model. If you haven’t read that post, give it a little peruse so you can see what I am on about. The key premise is that all artists should be building a tribe (a Seth Godin term as it relates to marketing) or an engaged audience for their work. One that transitions from one project to the next throughout your career and indeed your life. These supporters will be your friends, your evangelists, your patrons and if you cultivate this relationship, you will not have need to reach a mass in order to make a comfortable living. I have been thinking though that maybe the idea should be compared to a web.
In looking through some other advice on this, I can see why some can be turned off by the idea. It seems most of the advice focuses only on how to lure people in just so you can sell them something, kind of like how the spider spins her web. It’s a strategy I guess, but that isn’t what I am going to tell you to do here. I am a firm believer that self promotion is about helping other people. What I propose is offering value, sharing knowledge and genuinely wanting to connect with people and connect people you know who should know each other. Perhaps it is better described as a web, an interconnected community. One that you lead, but is dependent on everyone’s interactivity. To me that is much more palatable to an artist because it is authentic, no ulterior motive, which is refreshing in today’s society. But reciprocity does happen because it is really human nature to help someone who has helped you, in fact in this scenario, it is expected.
First elements to understand when constructing you community web: [...]
We have a bit of a redundancy in the recognition of those that create good work, but that good work does not end with what is up on the screen — which is the part that everyone seems to want to write about. I feel however that we must recognize those that focus not just on the development and production of good work, but those that commit themselves to ALL of cinema, including discovery, participation, appreciation, and presentation — what I consider the other 4 pillars of cinema.
This list, like last year’s, is not meant to be exhaustive. Okay, granted I did not get to the quantity to the 21 Brave Thinkers that I did last year, but the quality is just as deep. Regarding the lesser amount, I don’t blame the people — I blame the technology (of course). I wish I had better tools of discovery that would allow me to find more of the good work and efforts that are out there. I know I am overlooking some BTs again this year. But so be it — one of the great things about blogging is there is no need to be finished or even to be right (although I do hate it when I push publish prematurely — like I did with this — when it is still purely a draft).
I know I can depend on you, my dear brave thinkers, to extend and amend this work into the future. I do find it surprising how damn white & male & middle aged this list is. And that I only found two directors to include this year. Again, it must be the tools and not the source, right? Help me source a fuller list next year; after all, it is as Larry K tweeted to me about regarding who are the most brave these days: “Those whom you don’t know but who continue, despite the indifference of all, to create work that is authentic,challenging and real.” How true that is!
Last year I asked and stated: “What is it to be “brave”? To me, bravery requires risk, going against the status quo, being willing to do or say what few others have done. Bravery is not a one time act but a consistent practice. Most importantly, bravery is not about self interest; bravery involves the individual acting for the community. It is both the step forward and the hand that is extended.”
This year, I recognize even more fully that bravery is a generosity of spirit, as well as a generative sort of mind. It is extending the energy inside ourselves to the rest of the world. I often get asked why I blog (or why so much), and I have no answer for those folks. It can’t be stopped, for I believe if we love the creative spirit as much as the work it yields, if we believe we create for the community and not for the ego, how can we not extend ourselves and turn our labor into the bonds that keep us moving forward. In other words, no one can afford to create art and not be public (IMHO). If you want a diverse and accessible culture of ambitious work, you can not afford to simply hope it will get better — you have to do something (or get out of the business, please).
So without any further adieu, here’s my list of the nineteen folks who have done more on a worldwide basisto start to build it better together, [...]