Is this the time of the year that we are supposed to reflect? Or is it that the point when we get to dream? Is any point in time truly different in this regard -- or has the calendars and clocks once again fooled us into thinking we are supposed to do something different based on what has passed?
Well, since we can only really move forward in this game, I am going to choose Door #2. What are we reaching for? We can build anything, right? So: what do we want our film culture to be.
It probably makes sense to know what we want to build or at least build towards before we start building. We are moving on from a limited-supply, gatekeeper-controlled, impulse-decided entertainment economy into something new. The more we ask ourselves what we want this new paradigm to be, the better off we will be once we have created it. I wonder how much closer we can get this year. How would you define this new paradigm? Hmmm....
1. Diverse stories.
2. Diverse methods -- be they structures, techniques, tools,or platforms -- of telling stories.
3. Accessible when I want it.
4. Accessible where I want it.
5. Audiences able to "try on" different films for low cost. Very low costs.
6. Narrative worlds that are accessible across many different platforms, being told in different ways on these different platforms, with unique content for each of them.
7. Filmmakers accepting responsibility for accessing audiences.
8. Filmmakers devoted to maintaining relationships with their audiences.
9. FIlmmakers united in sharing their audiences with other filmmakers.
10. Filmlovers dedicated to curating for their social circle.
11. No rigidity in terms of "windows" for different platform releases.
12. Audiences initiating some projects, be it through content or financing.
13. Exhibitors working together to strengthen audiences' bond with indie/free/art film.
14. A return of critical community that helps us recognize what is artful and ambitious in a particular work, how it fits into our times, and how things might have been different.
15. A creative community knowledgeable of the vast communication tools available on the web.
16. Filmmakers knowledgeable on how to lead a long and sustainable life creating challenging work.
17. A business infrastructure that is focused more on quality and long-term sustainablity than quantity or immediate financial gain.
18. A festival apparatus that is based on a short and intense flurries of making work available to an unprepared audience but instead on year-round aggregation and enhancement of that audience.
19. Open source practices and general transparency in actions and practices is essential to a truly free film culture.
What have I forgot? What should we add to the list? And why did the answers get longer as the list itself got longer?
Oh, and Happy New Year! Thanks for reading and energizing this quest for change and growth this past year. How can we make an even bigger push this coming year?