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Is the future for low budget film makers online


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#1 hippy

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:41 PM

I have been thinking about the possibilites of the internet when it comes to film distribution and wondered whether it will be viable for independent low budget film makers to screen their feature films exclusively online if they can't get theatrical distribution. As a traditionlist I would probably prefer my film to be released in cinemas but as a bit of a rebel I can see the appeal of sticking two fingers up at the big distributors and cinemas and doing it for yourself but having your films shown on a pc screen with the fan whizzing around in the back ground will take something away from the thrill of cinema. I would appreciate your opinions on the issue

yours faithfully hippy
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#2 Brant Collins

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

online with something like iTunes would be great to get your foot in the door and make a name for yourself. odds are if your film is good you could make more self distributing on the net. Say you make a 15 min sort film and sell it online for $2 a download. 30,000 downloads would be $60,000 for you and you alone. Then make a name for yourself and move to the big screen. I downloaded a Battle Star Galactica episode from itunes for $1.99, and watched it on my Powerbook. It was great quality, plus now I have it if I want to view it again. Most HD TVs have a input that you can hook your computer up to, and Microsoft and Apple are both working on Media centers for the home, so it could me a great deal for Indie Films
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#3 Matt Pacini

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:39 PM

I disagree.

In my opinion, there's no money for low-budget filmmakers in online distribution.

Nobody is going to pay anything to watch a film online that they've never heard of (i.e.; it's already been advertised by traditional advertising methods, or it originated in a non-online format, in other words, existing TV shows or films that have already gotten theatrical distribution).

The Battlestar Galactica example above proves my point. Notice he didn't say he paid $1.99 to download some film he'd never heard of, that had never played anywhere else first.

If you're just trying to get exposure, that's one thing. If you're trying to make money, forget it.

MP
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#4 Brant Collins

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:41 PM

I have payed for films online, not downloads but DVD copies of other indie films
http://www.whatisbroken.com/

I bought this to help support a fellow film maker, plus it had tons of extra features.

PREY ALONE
www.saintandmather.com

Got it's buzz from the internet


The web is a great place to get everyone to hear about your film(Blair Witch). Forums like this are the best place to tell people what you are up to. I rent movies all the time at Blockbuster and get movies that suck! so $2 bucks to support a fellow film maker is no problem. Bet there are other that feel the same way I do.

Marketing, marketing, marketing is how a film gets noticed no matter what the distribution channel is
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#5 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:07 PM

The World is Flat

One thing is certain. Films made for niche markets will have the ability to reach those markets without going through the traditional channels. There is only so much shelf space at your local Blockbuster and on your ?500 channel? cable hookup. Netflix has 55,000 titles and counting. As always in order for a film to be seen there has to be some buzz. The Internet has only begun to flex its muscles. Look at the music business.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:23 PM

Mainstream music has been digital for almost a quarter of a century now. Name one indy artist that made it big because of the internet. . . Mainstream file sharing has been around almost a decade. As for an MPEG on an iPod, I don't understand what purpose it serves other than making VHS tape look good. People that bitched and bitched and bitched about tapes are now accepting a format that has 1/2 the quality???

Regards.

~Karl Borowski
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#7 John King

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 08:26 PM

Folks,

In my most humble opinion, the jury is really still out, but I have faith in the future. The potential of the internet is nowhere near 'fully realised' yet. Each year more and more PCs are coming into homes, and yet unlike televisions (which were the big thang of my generation) PCs are being replaced a lot more often than I rember with TVs. What does this mean? Well it means that the general public is hungry and willing to pay for newer and newer upgraded models.

Certainly there will be a point where these trends meet stasis, and this likely will be when one of the computer manufacturing companies makes a machine that is compatible for entertainment as well as business. Brant hints at what I'm looking for in the future, a PC (one unit) that can be hooked into a wide screen TV, or maybe some sort of DV projection unit that can be sold to consumers as an add-on.

Already the internet is becoming a dominant media for advertising and I already know of one indy producer in Chicago who is attempting a marriage of internet and television infomercial to put independent films forward. His ideas at least seem interesting. As for downloading movies at a price, I think we got a lot to look forward to yet with DVD on demand.

With respect to Matt Pacini's views, I also think that independent films are beginning to generate more interest than what they used to. Back when I was a kid the words 'independent film' were almost always taken to mean 'junk'. Yet many times, having nothing better to watch, we found that even junk could be wildly entertaining and thus the 'cult film' evolved. But more and more today, younger filmmakers are honing their craft before plunging public and the results of this newfound (and surprising) discipline are some really outstanding films that can stand on their own against anything Hollywood can offer. So taking all these things into account I really have high hopes for independent filmmaking

Mainly it all hinges on this I think: When technology comes closer to catching up to our actual needs I think we may well be surprised as to the naute of cinema in the future and what all sorts of possibilities that will hold for indys like us.

Best regards,

John Mark King
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#8 Mark Allen

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 02:04 AM

Seems like with all new technology...

1. Things do change.
2. They change slower than promised or predicted.
3. There's usually something different and unexpected about the way it changes.

I absolutely think the future will have a market of internet downladed movies. I think with the incredible incrase in the number of films created each year people will be hunting down niche markets. If you're a filmmaker I wouldn't be thinking of this as a main revenue source quite yet. Make your content for technology which exists today.

Besides as Ted Turner says, "If you want to be successful at something, be the second to do it, not the first." (PARAPHRASING)
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#9 Vivian Zetetick

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:13 PM

Personally I do not think that allowing people to purchase and download a movie is a dignified choice for self-distribution, particularly for a short movie. If you have a short movie you are proud of, that has screened at a few festivals, that has perhaps won a few awards, you would better serve your material by manufacturing a handsome DVD/HDV/Blu-Ray package and selling it through your own site or online through a company like Canyon Cinema or BuyIndies. Since you are not likely to earn a lot from the sale of your short film anyway, you might at least feel good about the fact that your DVD will travel through time for a few years, and experience what magazine editors call pass-through -- your work will reach more people as a physical object sold to a single person, since they will one day give to other people, let friends borrow it, screen it for their students, etc. This is less likely, I believe, if you give people the choice to download the work, as it will most certainly live the rest of its days as a sad obscure file on someone's hard drive.
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#10 Matt Pacini

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:53 PM

Downloading and watching movies is going to be a teeny, tiny niche market as long as it's being watched on a PC, and isn't connected to the families viewing screen (whatever that may be) .

If I'm wrong, then what's stopping it? You can do it now, yet almost nobody does. Why?

Because there's no communal experience in saying "hey everyone, come into my bedroom/office and watch this movie on my computer!"

I mean, it's just ludicrous. Nobody wants to do that. All you guys saying you watch movies online, own TV's, DVD's, VCR's where you watch the other 99% of stuff you watch.
Let's be honest, it's just not happening.
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#11 Josh Bass

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:35 PM

Ah, but!

What about those with Web TV and other such services!

O hoy!

Bling bling!

(Ok, they're usually internet-challenged. Never mind.)
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#12 John King

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:59 PM

Generally I'm in agreement with Matt Pacini (refer to my earlier post) as long as the only medium for viewing is a PC monitor (even one of the bigger 17" or 22" kinds) video on demand is not viable enough to rely on as a distribution medium. Also I did not mean to imply that any sort of home viewing system would ever replace good ole cinemas either. No the cinema, for the unique experience it offers, will probably always be with us in one form or another.

By the way Mr. Pacini, how is the telecine business coming? I saw your responses on the Ultra16 thread and was hoping that you'd provide some info on how your business was coming along. Have you got everything all geared up? Hope so cause I'm still very interested in the Ultra 16 format.

Regards,

JMK
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