Friday, October 14, 2005

A day in the life of independent cinema's democratization

I just read today's lead story on indieWIRE, the online community of independent filmmakers and aficionados, with fascination. Here's the link: "Unique 'Four Eyed' Strategy: iTunes,, The New iPod, and a Video Podcast Series." The story discusses the progress that two filmmakers, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, have achieved in making their debut feature film, getting it into some important film festivals and then going to great lengths to try to secure a distribution deal. Marketing, science, technology and entertainment are all connected in Eugene Hernandez's story, as he explores how the pair are not only forging ahead, but also embracing new technologies (like the just-announced Video iPod) in their strategy to promote their film -- either in the support of the marketing efforts of an established distributor, or by ultimately distributing the project themselves.

The full piece itself is not-to-be-missed for understanding how the pair has wound up at this point, but I want to spotlight two of the more profound insights from the filmmakers here. Hernandez shares email correspondence in which Crumley suggests that, five years from now, the independent film world will be reshaped by digital theater networks, movie downloads, podcasting, video blogs, and new, low-budget marketing paradigms for engaging audiences. Crumley's comments at the story's end provide this interesting perspective: "We actually have to remind ourselves from time to time why we need a distributor and the answer is that we really don't...."