We Need A Community That Respects Artists' Intent: Chesanek's Counterpoint (Part 4 of 6)

Brent's critique of the NYC DIY Dinner continues...
Still by the third video, the discussion is about filling a marketing niche or void, not telling a personal story in innovative ways. It feels like it's just making a film about a new subject in the same way, something I react very strongly against. 

Eleven minutes in to Part 3 you take on this point very nicely. Mr. Crumley especially seems to be missing the drive that many art-house filmmakers have. We're not particularly smitten with "creating content" or being web gurus or using all these marketing and advertising processes and terms (to some they're thrilling and exciting; to others, they're a necessary step but not what drives us in our work). 
And now there is an entirely new skill set to be learned, again another gatekeeping process. We no longer have to know how to expose film using an Aaton and splice film on a Moviola; the tools are simpler to use and attain, but now we have to learn additional tools. The tools are changing but they are now tools that we must master that we don't necessary enjoy using and that don't even affect the integrity of our product itself. Instead they affect the integrity of our "brand," as if we were Maxwell House or Lysol. 
The successful filmmaker is not the skilled filmmaker but the skilled marketer? Why bother reading theory or watching old films when one can take marketing classes and develop a web platform to screen something?

Unfortunately right now, when Arin Crumley and Slava Rubin make certain points, I don't feel they're talking to me or to the other people who are in independent film because they -- the filmmakers -- are  neither good at nor interested in marketing or commodities-focused careers, nor are they interested in being cool or popular--which is the image of a new-media-social-networking-guru-web-celebrity.

Further, I am not hearing a director with a distinct artistic vision when Arin talks at this dinner, and I'm unfortunately not interested in his films because of their popularity -- popularity based on Arin's new pioneering new distribution and crowd participation methods. So if I'm not his audience, then perhaps his audience isn't mine, and so my thinking then becomes one of retraction and distancing myself from the new mechanisms. Also, when Arin talks about reaching an audience, I feel like he is capitalizing on his marketing expertise to profit off them, not putting his soul on film--which is where my taste lies. I appreciate his work for filmmakers, but when he starts leaning towards telling a filmmaker how to be a filmmaker, he'll have trouble getting his message across.

Lance Hammer is clearly an artist with a distinct vision, an artist whose film I saw multiple times at Film Forum and recommended over and over to friends, posting on my website and Facebook to GO SEE THIS FILM. Same with Pleasure of Being Robbed and Wendy and Lucy. I've still not seen or heard anything from the makers of Four Eyed Monsters that makes me take interest in their work or view them as an artist. I've only heard that their distribution is what makes them impeccable. Cart before the horse?

I know Arin is very intelligent and successful in his own way, but some of what he says comes off as disrespectful of that thing so many of us fell in love with and have chosen to devote our lives to as viewers and filmmakers, and unaware of that much of the things we're told we must do to our films are things we find less than appealing and against the films' nature. 

As you've said many times, people gravitate to art-house films the more they're exposed to films. But some of the discussion seems to be saying that these art-house films are not wanted in their current form, what is wanted is a new You-Tube video game user-created content industry. But that's not the case. 
And by then using terms pilfered by the advertising world, much of this talk seems to present the idea that the idea of a 90-140 minute art film playing uninterrupted is dying along with the old distribution models. I'm sure the intent is honorable, but the first impression and unfortunately probably a lasting one is that this talk makes art-house film makers and lovers, the very ones who need these new distro models, feel outdated, unwanted, and unimportant. As if: "Be a video game and webisodes and extensions of your film or you have no place in film." This message feels very, well, George Bush. You're with us or you're against us. Join or die. Etc.... not about building a community that respects an artist's intent–especially if that intent is to run against the new media/ ADD generation trends. I know that's not the case, but only after carefully thinking through all the voices and claims being made.