The Conversation Continues:
On March 27th, 2010 I was among a sold-out crowd of several hundred filmmakers, technologists, journalists and distributors who gathered at Columbia University to take part in "The Conversation." Much of the talk that Saturday concerned social media and the emerging revenue models for the distribution of independent cinema. After The Conversation there emerged a backlash, exemplified by Mike Ryan's provocative piece in Filmmaker magazine, where Mike argued against further such panels. Mike Ryan's gripe (as an indie producer) was that "[d]eveloping content and nurturing auteurs should be our top concern, not figuring out distribution models or revenue schemes."
Now there's a response to Mike Ryan, written by Gregory Bayne on his own blog where he argues: "It’s 110% irresponsible to tell filmmakers spending their own, or other peoples money, to not consider what happens after the film is made. That is the house of cards on which this industry has been built, and the reason we’re having this conversation. I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that so many folks are talking about what you disingenuous guardians of the art talk about behind closed doors, out in the open now. But that’s where we are, and it’s time for you to get out of the way."
This argument, besides being entertaining and well-argued on both sides, is central to the future of indie filmmaking. Where do you stand?