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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Filmmaker 2.0 Gameplan -- Get Your Project To Your Audience


The beautiful and elusive aspect to the golden Hollywood exhibition model is that the work you create could actually be projected on thousands of screens across the country. How about that?

But if you're not at the helm of Just Go With It or The Green Hornet or any studio-backed production, chances are you are also amidst the undefined the landscape that is new media independent moviemaking. So where do you go? How do you begin to stake your claim in this market?

For a while now, many of the articles I have published on Cinefile.com have marched to the same beat: Today the notion of DIY is less novel and more necessary. The Do-It-Yourself mentality has (luckily) grown into more of a business mindset and less of a "renegade" or "guerilla" mentality. It was inevitable. When an industry like ours sees less opportunity for independent film to flourish--albeit through domestic sales or production capital--on a mainstream scale, doesn't it seem natural for our grassroots work ethic to evolve into a commerce survival tactic?

In an older piece I wrote called "Why Storytelling Needs To Exist Outside Of Your Script Page," I pointed out the following:

"Considering that the audience for your film is right on par with familiarizing themselves with new mobile platforms (e.g. Apple's iPad) and are looking for intuitive new ways to be engaged with movie content, it is only logical that you--the independent artist--utilize free platforms, like Cinefile.com, to share both your work and the story behind your work."

It's no joke. Those tablet devices are going to be an integral part of the moviegoing future. That's not to say that these tools will completely replace the group moviegoing experience (a la cinematheque!). Which brings us to...

Looking ahead: It appears that digital filmmakers and independent content creators who have the knack and bravado to embrace the FREE new media online tools (i.e. social media platforms!) in order to cultivate appropriate audiences, will be the ones at the front of the line once the Tinseltown suits realize that they're bone dry of engaging material. Before, only having a good product was the key to success. Yet we know that good content is being created everyday--mostly in short form and online--but not everything is getting bought. So what's there to hold on to?

Your audience!

Producer Ted Hope notes in his piece "The New Model Of Indie Film Finance":

"Clearly we are at a point in US film culture where the infrastructure is not serving either the investors, the creators, or the audiences.  Good films are getting made but not being delivered to their audience."

Now take a few steps back and see your project in early stages of fruition, whether its a concept or a viral web short. If you consider the importance of delivering your work (I know, I know--even if it's not finished!) to your targeted audience, you will only add valuation to your project in the long run. You see, Hope goes on to highlight that "as artists build communities around their projects in advance of actual production, they are developing a plan to give domestic value to their films."

And that's the goal: To get your project to its RIGHTFUL audience as soon as heavenly possible. Kickstarter. A blog. A Cinefile projectFILE page. A Myspace FILM account. Whatever the channel is--use it.

I admit the importance of such an act may not permeate as much right out of the gate but since we know that the current infrastructure is obstructive, why not in the meantime garner those eyes and ears toward your work? Because when the dust settles, and big name studios and foreign investors are rummaging the land for potent content, what better incentive can you bring to the table than a product that has its niche, devoted pool of fans who are already willing to crowdfund, willing to watch and willing to share your work?

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