Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hard At Work (How the Indie Film Biz Must Change)

Courtesy of Screen Daily:

Kevin Loader, the producer of IN THE LOOP has a guest editorial in today's email version of SCREEN INTERNATIONAL.

"Despite what’s happened to the music industry over the past 15 years, the leaders of the global entertainment business seem unwilling to create a new model for distribution; like their predecessors in the 1950s, they are relying on 3D and Imax to save their short-term balance sheets.
Most of us at the film-making coal-face know this isn’t going to work for long. Founding an entire global distribution system on the profitability of a couple of dozen tentpole movies per year is insanity. It’s also bad for the health of cinema. The canary in the independent film cage has all but stopped singing already."
Of course, this is what we discuss all the time here at Pulp 2.0 - the changing face of media and what it means to those of us toiling away watching that little canary fall over in its cage.
I am excited by what Loader has to say about the Indie film business and how ITL's deal with IFC includes not only a theatrical release (isn't that the kind that usually takes place in a back alley somewhere?) but Video-on-Demand. That speaks to someone listening to the public and looking at their viewing habits and acting accordingly. This is the future. Going to the customer and providing entertainment (books, movies, TeeVee, games, comics). Yes, there will always be communal event programming/experiences - but creators need a gut check when it comes to the possibilities for their media.
Or as Loader puts it...
Here are some pointers for screenwriters: don’t tailor your story for the US market - maybe the days of the transatlantic mash-up are thankfully over; don’t write big period pieces unless you have stars or an A-list director already attached; write stories than engage your audience and can be succinctly marketed; know who your audience might be before you start, and assume it’s bigger than you and your friends; and above all, ask whether you would want to leave the house on a Friday night to see your film - or if not, whether you’ll be happy to stay in and pay £7 -or $12 - to watch it in your home cinema the week it opens, when the distribution system permits!

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