Ted’s post lamented, “It is very frustrating watching what I love crumble away. I see many people with their fingers in the leaks, but few that want to build a new city higher up on the hill.” Brian said that filmmakers need to find innovative ways to connect to their audiences before the latter start to liken Sundance to the Metropolitan Opera, “a place you go to see a wonderful artform that you know you should respect, but that no one cares about anymore and which very few can afford to make or attend.” And the HuffPo article quoted Jay and Lars saying that too many indie producers “are too busy adapting when we should be innovating.” Film may be the new theater (or Metropolitan Opera), TV the new film, online streaming the new TV, but any way you frame it, the world of content creation, distribution, and consumption is changing–dramatically.
Let’s figure out how to reconcile the artfully crafted 100-minute narrative with the public’s growing appetite for cheap and quick content. Let’s make sense of the confusing array of social media and alternative distribution tools out there. Let’s build on the examples set by folks like Louis C.K. and Ed Burns (except let’s try to remove the “be famous already” prerequisite to their success). Let’s see if we can’t operate outside Hollywood’s lottery system, outside its control, and sustain ourselves as “middle-class filmmakers” who continue to make films that speak to people.
Wow, this woman really gets it. Everyone that cites Radiohead or Louis C.K. as creative people using the internet “correctly” misses the 100-pound-gorilla that their notoriety is built on old media dollars. They can drive new media innovation because their P&A (prints and advertising) costs were paid for the old fashioned way. Those of us who haven’t been part of the system need to be a bit more creative.
Because none of us who are making films independently have the time or the talent to be full-time ad men and promote our work, the first step to developing a sustainable lifestyle is to live your craft. Talk about the process, the challenges, the art - empathize and be honest with others - be interesting and find a way to make it part of your life. When you’re creative you never punch the clock because you’re always working. We’re always thinking about and generating new ideas.
What’s the second step? That’s what we’re discovering. What a great time to be a filmmaker.