Each year the San Francisco Film Society invites a filmmaker to make the annual “State of Cinema” address at the SF International Film Festival. For this year’s event they got indie auteur/studio film savant Steven Soderberg to give the talk.
It’s a doozy.
The original plan was that this would only be for people in the room, but bootleg copies of the speech started making the rounds on the internet and now the Film Society has released both an official transcript and video.
If you care about film at all I won’t even talk to you again until you read or watch this. Bonus points: Soderberg talks Present Shock at the top.
is that these different services aren't competing with each other so much as they are offering different pathways for filmmakers to connect with audiences. Make no mistake: there's overlap amongst the services, and there's bound to be some businesses that go under or merge with their more successful counterparts down the road.
At the moment we're in the "infinite diversity in infinite combinations" stage, and it's a fun place to be. This is the stage where we get ideas like Simple Machine.
The San Francisco Film Society has developed an impressive track record over the past two years as an independent film development organization. They're not resting on the laurels they've received at Sundance–for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station (nee Fruitvale). IndieWire has the latest:
Following an announcement earlier this month about its upcoming digital distribution lab A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur, the San Francisco Film Society revealed exclusively to Indiewire that Vimeo would serve as the presenting partner of the event, which is scheduled to take place during the second weekend of the San Francisco International Film Festival early next month.
Farther down in the article is a list of their partners and sponsors for the A2E lab. It is a veritable Who's Who of the new indie frontier. So go on, click.
Indie games and indie movies are proving to have a lot more in common than the label “indie”. While game creators take a cue from filmmakers in finding their artistic voice, filmmakers can stand to learn a thing or two from how the independent video game scene operates as a business.
The Austin based video game publisher is the distributor of indie darlings Hotline Miami and Luftrausers. In Hollywood terms these games are underground, sleeper hits that build up word of mouth over weeks and months. A process which becomes supercharged thanks to social media.
Devolver Digital have turned its attention towards the mess that is online film distribution. A decision driven by cofounder Mike Wilson’s experiences with trying to release a feature by way of Video On Demand (VOD).
The first “prosumer” grade video cameras were hailed as the arrival of a filmmaking revolution. Igniting that revolution has proven to be a bit more complicated than grabbing a camera from Best Buy.
The cost of production equipment has been driven down, and the rise of digital distribution — both theatrical and on-demand — has radically reduced certain costs on the exhibition side. However, the core issues that face any filmmaker, how to fund their film and find an audience for it, feel as if they have only grown more acute.
For filmmakers, crowdfunding has been the next big part of a continuing revolution.
“I believe that it has only begun to disrupt the film funding space,” said Emily Best, founder of the crowdfunding/distribution hybrid Seed & Spark. “And that’s a big claim when Kickstarter raised over $30 million for independent film in the past three years. That’s a tremendous feat.”
At this year’s South By Southwest Festival, it became apparent that a new ecosystem that goes far beyond crowdfunding is emerging. One that could, in theory, shepherd a film through all the phases of its life apart from production: development, financing, distribution and exhibition. Perhaps the last obstacle remaining is the lack of a map to help navigate them all.
What follows is an attempt to illustrate some of these choices. A snapshot of the terrain as viewed from the vantage point coming out of SXSW.
Nearly every issue that people have with crowdfunding in general and Kickstarter in particular has come to the fore in the past twenty four hours. In the piece that follows, I’m going to attempt to take on these concerns point by point. I’ve been a booster of crowdfunding since 2010, and believe that it is a critical part of a new infrastructure model that is emerging across multiple industries.
What energizes me the most, however, is how this model can change the entertainment industry.
Rather than merely dismissing his concerns with some snark, as is the usual way of the Internet, this piece is my humble attempt to address them in a logical fashion.
I’ve also had the opportunity to debate this issue online with many people I respect who hold differing views on who Kickstarter is for. They hold that the incursion of the studio system into the crowdfunding space is an ill omen. I will address those concerns, which Mr. Lawson shares, as well. (more…)
Today on McNelly & Nelson we’re talking about breaking into movie theaters. Not with crowbars, but with Tugg, the on-demand theater booking service that is helping independent filmmakers get theatrical distribution for their films. Hangout airtime: 12:30PM PDT.
Join Lucas McNelly (@lmcnelly) and myself (@noahjnelson) as we speak with writer-director David H. Steinberg (@DavidHSteinberg) about his film Miss Dial, which is headed to select theaters thanks to Tugg ahead of its VOD release. Also joining us will be friend of the blog Gabriel Diani (@gabediani), who will talk about his own experiences with the film festival circuit and indie distribution. [More guests may be announced, watch the feeds!]