2015 is the start of a new era for Independent Film! (Part 2)
By Benjamin Oberman
February 1, 2015
Thanks to advances in technology, access to equipment, and education, DIY (Do It Yourself) Filmmaking is a reality. However, DIY Distribution is not as clear cut. Assisted distribution and hybrid distribution strategies are a more accurate description. From my experience as a filmmaker and CEO of Film Festival Flix, here are a few points you should know and understand to give your film the best opportunity for success…
INTERNET VOD PLATFORMS:
For the past 10 years the indie community mistakenly believed digital platforms were the Holy Grail, able to save Independent Film. What we failed to realize was they were stocking the shelves with the most plentiful and cost efficient content available while building their audience base to critical mass. The shelves are now more than stacked, these platforms serve and must satisfy tens to hundreds of millions of customers, as public companies are focused on films that move the bottom line for multi-billion dollar corporations, and as of December 2014, the release of THE INTERVIEW proved they can get studio films, “day-and-date”. Indie films, barely able to recoup the cost of the intern hired to onboard the film and metadata, are lost in the digital ocean.
SMART TV, WEB, AND MOBILE APPS:
The proliferation of the Smart TV, Mobile and Web Apps and the TV /Internet connectivity devices (Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, etc.) has made the internet accessible to everyone, not just kids and tech geeks. As new digital platforms emerge daily, filmmakers and many distributors falsely believe they need to be everywhere. All marketing dollars are your burden to bear! People don’t accidently discover your film. [...]
THINK INDEPENDENTLY and satisfy your craving for quality films at the Film Festival Flix Farmer’s Market.
2014 has been a year of massive change within the Independent Film Industry on the marketing and distribution front. DIY Filmmaking has been a reality for the past 10 plus years. However, we’ve been lulled into a false belief that distribution via the emerging Internet and Digital platforms for Indies is the Holy Grail. In the early stages of growth, these platforms had to stock the shelves, yet didn’t have the critical mass to garner studio level titles. Thus, they turned to the least expensive and easiest to acquire content… Indie Film.
However, they must now satisfy audiences in the tens to hundreds of millions and support multi-billion dollar bottom lines. Films that appeal to tens of thousands don’t warrant the space on their servers much less support marketing. The platforms are declining new acquisitions, slashing thousands of titles from their servers, ending output deals as they’re up for renewal, and moving more and more to TV content, specifically originally produced, exclusive content. Aggregators are exiting the business in droves no longer to even earn back their onboarding costs. Social Networks, which were thought to be the marketing savior for the Independent Filmmaker have also become Studio domain. The day the social networks went public and had to start generating revenue, Algorithms were re-written, positioning the companies with the deepest pocketbooks as the favored competitors. These networks are now little more than digital billboards.
There’s more content being produced than ever before in history, but proportionately not more quality content. We’ve gone from approximately 12,000 films a year being produced to more than 50,000 [...]