Todd Sklar tipped me to the video of the panel I participated on at Sundance, and now you can decide: push or ponder?
IndieWire has covered it and condensed it, if you prefer your news in print and not to take an hour to digest -- but me I like the whole story, warts and all.
The panel was supposed to be on the future of film, but it was a bunch of old white guys -- and that's not going to be the future. Christine Vachon and I, with some help from IndieWire, had lunch with a much different group, that was 100% filmmakers, which IndieWire filmed and will be posted soon (so stay tuned).
As the sole filmmaker on the Panic Button panel, I found it particularly frustrating that there was so little concern expressed about how quality film will be generated, let alone exhibited. It is all so connected: the big films to the little films, the financing to the distribution, the exhibition to the criticism. The dots are connected but people want only to look at their domain. That's not self-interest, that's short-sightedness. And that's got to change, and I'm sure it will.
I get a kick out of watching/listening to these videos. Among other things, it shows I have to work on my public speaking compared to these pros (and the control of my hair). And it's impressive how skilled they all are about promoting themselves and their films -- and their way of doing business. The distribs get the word out on their accomplishments, but I neglected to mention ADVENTURELAND (and did I tell you how it just killed at the festival?). Granted, I hope to keep making films in the top indie budget range, but watching this panel, and despite some clear articulation of the contrary, it is still easy to walk away thinking there is only one way of doing business.
The important part of part one, which has gotten NO PRESS, is that Peter Broderick speaks of a number of filmmakers who have made over $1 Million on a single film on a single website. How exciting is that? Get your investors to talk to Peter now! There's hope out there for a new way.
It's funny to notice as I post this that part one has about 20,000 views but Part Two is still under 1,000! That said, I don't think I got my points across until that second half. I guess the next time, I have to write some notes down like Mark Gill did and deliver a whopper right out of the gate...
There are some simple things that could really change things. Around 11:45 or so, on Part 2, I raise the possibility of the distribs giving the exhibs back Monday night for community screenings. This simple idea would move mountains in terms of specialized production and is doable now. Jonathon Sehring follows this by stating that IFC will provide filmmakers with the data their film generates. If this becomes the dominant position, filmmakers can really start to be in control.
And if you are just looking for the John Sloss bashing part of the program, that begins around 15:35 in Part 2.