Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Indie Film Is Dead. Long Live Indie Film."

From Anne Thompson via Indiewire:

I saw one movie after another that was unreleasable in the current climate. As lovely as many of them were, they weren’t commercial enough. (Anthony Kaufman, Todd McCarthy and Karina Longworth weigh in.) It costs too much money these days to make a dent, a mark, an impression that will create enough urgency in filmgoers to make them go out and see a movie. While Ted Mundorff insists that business is up at indie-branded Landmark Cinemas around the country, and Apparition’s Bob Berney is hopeful that exec changes at Cinemark and AMC will bring a new awareness to booking the right movies in the right locations, the indie market needs help. “Movies that rise above like A Single Man or Bright Star will have a theatrical life for quite a while,” insists Berney. “For financial reasons, not enough good films were for sale for buyers. A lot of films were misses. If a film is not really special, there is no in between. It will not get a theatrical release. If it’s a half-way movie, audiences will skip it and watch it at home.”

To paraphrase the great Lee Falk regarding his creation, The Phantom:

"Indie Film is Dead, Long live Indie Film."

Yes, the days when companies bankrolled movies of $10M or more about rabid masturbators living in their mother's attic who just happen to be artistic geniuses sculpting rat feces are dead.

Yes, the days when you just make the movie and don't actually think about who's going to see it and why are dead.

Yes, the days when you put a film in a theater and pray for a good review while going into hock are dead.

Yes, the days when a distributor paid nothing upfront for a movie and took all rights are gone.

Gone. Dead. Stick-a-fork-in-them over.

We have no more time for festival "darlings" (Filmmakers, Distributors, Films) who are living a lifestyle that we can't afford.

The (R) evolution is declared. And it's time to choose a side.

And for those of you thinking that this is going to a bloodless revolution? Sorry. No. Some of you are going to lose your jobs. Many of us already have.

But if we win...

You'll live in a world that's real. A world where you can make a movie or a tv show and make money from it. Where you can make a living entertaining people in all sorts of ways and means and from anywhere in the world.

All you'll have to do is be good (and responsible).

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