In a post entitled "Issues Of Sustainability" on the Filmmaker Mag Blog, Lance Weiler talks about how we as filmmakers can produce for today's evolving audiences. In talking to filmmakers, I still find they often don't yet fully conceive what it means to adopt a "transmedia" approach to storytelling and marketing. On the other side of the spectrum though is what made Wired's recent post on "Why Hollywood Needs a New Model For Storytelling" such a gas -- they've got it and got it good. Check it out. We may not need to build the ARGs and seed the story so heavily on blogs and elsewhere as Scott Brown writes about, but we do need to give serious thought about how the hell to build audiences for our stories.
Let's face it: it just is not enough to have a good story well told anymore. Sure I still believe in the basics first and building out you narrative on a cross-platform basis is simply not enough to cut it. And yes, the first step towards better filmmaking is to have good material that you have given serious thought to.
I might harp a bit on the new approaches and filmmakers' lack of thought there, but to be frank that's because there still is a great deal of nothing going on in the old school department. As good as I found this year's Sundance batch, and as hopeful as I am for SxSW's crop, how do we drill down to the basics and make sure we have our pants riding high? I mean: what makes a good film good? Some folks may know how to tell their story nine ways to Sunday, but it still won't sing, if ain't got that swing.
I've have started a new series over on Hammer To Nail on "Qualities Of Better Film" and promise to go into over twenty such qualities that at the very least makes my motor run. It may be basic stuff, but I still find these qualities in short supply. Check it out over the next few weeks. Let me know what I've missed. I know that if everyone adopted the approach that I outline, I'd find more films I would want to give prizes to. On the other hand, since I find it hard even to do that even with my films, maybe we all just need to wake up to how damn hard it is to make good films (let alone better ones), and slow the heck down.
But while I am on the self-promotion tip: make a trip over to Filmcatcher where Christine Vachon and I hosted a couple of conversations with filmmakers and actors during Sundance (okay so only the teaser's up now, but it tells you what you can anticipate). But that ain't all.... there's more to come on that front, or at least one similar to it, too. Stay tuned.