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?

1 comment:

Tom Hurter said...

Interesting. I agree with Mr. Bayne. It IS irresponsible to not consider future revenue streams when working with an investor's funds. I suppose Investors for indie films come in a variety of shapes and sizes but I have never met one that didnt want a return. Thats why part of gathering funds to produce your film, especialy an indie or STUDENT film, may include soliciting DONATIONS. Donors do not ask for a return on their investment. 

I wonder if the film industry, big and small players alike, was not founded on the ability of artists, and buisness men to work together. Like Christine Vachon said, "I wanted to make enough money off one film to insure I could make another".  

Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.