Outside the System
As Seen On ...(4)
Film & Video(18)
Stats & Data(4)
Film & Video (18 Entries)
As the wave of digital change comes to bear fully on the last media (the moving image) to feel it's brunt, it will be a marvelous opportunities for independents to anticipate the D.I.Y. potentials this change unleashes.
Faux Docs as Natural Virals
Well, another film is being heralded as the next "Blair Witch" of viral web marketing. It's no surprise that it's another faux documentary (or "docu-fiction" as these filmmakers prefer to term it.) "September Tapes" is creating all the confusion that a good mixture of reality and fiction should (even though the film has been widely covered from its screenings this year at Sundance and Cannes.) Mike and I have been having some lively email discussions about the campaign, but I think the important issues relate more to the faux doc format (and why that drives filmmakers to build natural virals.)
"Net Heads" in Variety
Mike Monello of Haxan Films drew my attention to an article at Variety (subscription required) about how Hollywood is dealing with "film fan sites" like chud.com, JoBlo.com and Ain't It Cool: essentially as primative buzz marketing. Does that mean Hollywood is closing to getting the Web? Not by a longshot ...
"Undiscovered Gems" in Bay Area
I neglected last week to point out the film series indieWIRE is helping with at the California Film Institute (part of their fifth anniversery), based upon our "Best Undistributed Films of 2003" list. Still some great films to see up there if you are in the Bay area, and in indieWIRE we're using it as an excuse to check in on the status of those projects. Great screenings continue through April 15th.
Don't Bury the DVD Yet
The Tech-Web story makes it sound like an online threat to traditional DVD models, and the study the story is based on ($2,999, be my guest and let me know what the detail numbers look like, or enjoy the abstract) makes it sound more like a win for big media companies. But underneath are some more numbers pointing to a trend that I think is a real opportunity: online burn-it-yourself DVD distribution.
So the "screener ban" fiasco that started last year was always an interesting story (at least for indieWIRE) and its twists and turns ends with a sour note. Recap: MPAA bans screeners for the Oscars siting it as a source of piracy; protests emerge and the MPPA adjusts the ban; a number of indies suggest a settlement, MPAA says no fueling more debate; consortium of indies files suit and wins a preliminary injuction ... much crowing and tooting of horns ensues. But the fact that now the case has been settled and the terms are secret brings us back to the question of "who is independent"?
Even More on Ebaying Rights
Just saw another trackback appear to this article looking at the Ebay sale of the rights of "Alvarez & Cruz" and figure I should update people. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to publishing B ... the deal fell through. The filmmaker Vince Lozano reports, "We have bad news...Girl and a Gun films only could come up with part of the money. So we decided to move on. We still believe Ebay is a viable option for selling independent films if it's properly promoted. The good news is we have interest from another company. I guess the moral to the story is if you don't have the money don't make a bid."
DVD Self-Distribution, Part 1
I linked yesterday to a story Peter Broderick wrote for DGA Magazine on distribution options back in January -- it's a great primer on many of the issues related to decisions facing independent filmmakers on the business end. It also makes the argument that "filmmakers may be better off making other types of video deals [than typical industry deals]." As prep for a discussion I'm having with the guerilla film marketing class at the UCF Film School tommorrow, I wanted to start outlining some of those issues on self-distribution of DVDs as a filmmaker.
David Ball & The Fourth Wall
Speaking of SXSW, Glenn Otis Brown posted about the panel he hosted there on Creative Commons and filmmaking, especially showcasing some of the efforts of David Ball (a first time filmmaker) and his Fourthwall Films, who's decided to use CC rather than traditional distribution and why he hopes people will remix his film. Ball wants to "seed a movement" where the filmmaker and the audience are more closely linked.
The concept of "service deals" for independent filmmakers is an emerging one in the indie film space, one that generates criticism from some and talk of new paradigms from others. These service deals used be the last resort for filmmakers who couldn't find traditional acquisition, but that business model is changing, and Rania Richardson wrote a great article for us in indieWIRE looking at that in depth (after the topic was part of the buzz surrounding the Florida Film Festival and SXSW.)
BitTorrent + BitPass: Ethos & Practicalities
On the surface, the ideas of micropayments and download swarming don't seem immediately compatible -- micropayments seem most effective for small fees, and download swarming encourages a rushing to the tipping point of efficiency that micropayments seem like a barrier in achieving. From a video standpoint, though, they are both solutions to bandwidth cost issues that prevent more Internet publishing of "big media objects". The relatively trivial technical issues to deploy a BitTorrent + BitPass combo, however, belies the real puzzle underneath -- how the "ethos" of the BitTorrent community interacts with the model.
More on eBaying Film Rights
I hardly thought it was my most interesting blog entry, but the story turned out to be more interesting and more fiercely independent that I imagined. Yes, filmmakers sold the global rights to their film on eBay -- but the more interesting aspect is who bought it and why.
Berney: "Different Paradigms"
The distribution panel at the Florida Film Festival was particularly interesting this year, going well beyond the typical "how do I get my film acquired" questions & answers. Bob Berney (Newmarket Films), Tom Prassis (Sony Picture Classics), Richard Shamban (Fox Searchlight) and T.C. Rice (Manhattan Pictures) were warmed up by veteren Dick Morris' (Morris Projects) framing of the conversation on how independent distribution has changed since the '80s -- and the intimate atmosphere of Enzian encouraged tounges to wag.
Hollywood, Department of Missed Opportunities
Carl Diorio in Variety says that Newmarket "could be termed the department of missed opportunities" for failing to put more money into (and thus gaining more control over the revenues of) "The Passion of the Christ" and "Monster", criticizing them for not "raking in the bucks" the way they could have.
BitTorrent + RSS = Broadcatching
BitTorrent (a peer-to-peer download swarming system) might be primarily about music, and RSS might be primarily about text, but the combination of the two raise interesting questions for distributed video (thanks Cinema Minima for the newest developments.) Andrew Grumet (who's previous work includes an interesting RSS+Tivo hack and a RSSTV proposal) first blogged about the concept in December ("Given its strengths, BitTorrent will probably be the killer app for dealing with RSS enclosures when they catch on") but has now started to blog about practical implementation issues. Ernest Miller is calling it broadcatching. What's this got to do with video?
Ebaying Your Film Rights
"The Passion" As Indie
When Eugene writes that we had "another installment in an occasional indieWIRE office discussion about the definition of independent film" when discussing whether or not "The Passion of the Christ" should be included in our indieWIRE:BOT tracking of independent and speciality films, he's hinting at one of the more interesting "What is Indie?" discussions we've had as a staff in a long time (something that started last week, even.) When you apply the checklist of "indie film traits" against "The Passion" it meets more of them than the average Miramax or Sony Picture Classics release, even though something feels totally different about the scale.
All Charts Are Political
"All charts are political," said my friend and former Three Minute Dog conspirator (my little indie record/promotion outfit that preceeded GMD Studios) Steve Fox. He was talking, specifically, about how independent musicians (and the rag-tag independent radio promoters who serve them) game the charts in college radio through reporting outlets such as CMJ. I was thinking about the box office charts we keep over at indieWIRE and wondering why we don't see more gaming surrounding that chart: we certainly made it political enough.
Sarah Jacobson Still Kicks Ass
A week ago today, Sarah Jacobson died. I heard about her passing Sunday, and the ripples of her influence keep bouncing around the indie film community. In typical Sarah fashion, the influence she had on all of us and our definition of independence continues to be her most lasting contribution (although "I Was A Teenage Serial Killer" and "Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore" are wonderful inspirational legacy of their own.)
My Other Blog
Nothing So Strange
ReveNews (Grey Phase)
Czar of Bizarre
HD for Indies
The Importance Of ...
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Movie Marketing Blog
Viral Marketing Blog
Copyright © 2004, Brian Clark.