Today's guest post is from Diary Of A Bad Lad producer, Jon Williams. This news was pretty shocking to me. It is sure to evolve as the year goes on, but Dylan Martin's ordeal should concern anyone that is striving to produce a Truly Free Film model. BE SURE TO CLICK IN TO DYLAN's ARTICLE. What Jon describes as Dylan's Kafka-esque nightmare with Google is nothing short of a grand tragedy of a hero learning how it can all work and being profoundly penalized for the knowledge. This is sure to get a lot of people buzzing.
I want to draw your attention to a recent article, “Adsense, no sense at all -
what it’s like being sacked by a computer...” by Dylan Martin (http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/11/columns/guest/winter/index.htm).
I think it’s particularly relevant when it comes to ‘new distribution models’ (NDMs).
Over the past couple of years or so there’s been a whole slew of books published, and seminars organised, promoting internet-based film marketing and distribution models. Often the author is someone who makes a living as an internet marketing consultant, or someone who made a DIY-distributed documentary with a clear niche-market target who’s found that writing internet marketing manuals and doing speaking engagements is a much better and more reliable way of making a living. But little of this is of any use to indie feature filmmakers.
Often the disconnection results in bafflement. How can you, as the advice goes, build an audience for a film which you haven’t even got into development? If it’s a feature you can’t, unless you happen to be an established auteur, that is.
“Give us a concrete example - just one – of a feature filmmaker who’s making this work”, but the replies point at best to a niche documentary, and mostly they’re taken from the music business. And nobody talks about the actual bottom line.
This is where Dylan’s article comes in. His whole business is internet-based. He makes little films about things for which large audiences already exist – big trucks for example. You’d hardly call them ‘documentaries’, but more the equivalent of coffee table books, or calendars, about popular breeds of dogs, cute cats, sports cars, fishing, that sort of thing. And Dylan’s pretty good at it. In fact so good that he’s the 97th most popular content provider on youtube, getting 1.5million hits per month. Not surprisingly he has a web-site devoted to all things nautical with plenty of subscribers as well.
Dylan enjoys the sort of internet success that us feature producers can only dream of. What’s more he’s been generous enough in his article to publish details of all his bottom lines. And what they show is that one person with a camera can, if they work pretty hard at it, make an average living from producing material which does not involve either cast, or crew, or even a personal assistant.
Oh yes, it also demonstrates that this level of success also alerts Google to your existence and you find yourself in a Kafka-esque nightmare with your account frozen, royalties and fees confiscated, whilst Google continues to pocket all of the revenue from the ads with which they surround your 1.5million per month hit generating content.
Dylan deserves our gratitude for being so generously informative, and our support in his attempts at getting justice.
I hope you are well, Ted, and I wish you all the best for the New Year.
Writer/producer, Diary of a Bad Lad (UK - 90mins), Pleased Sheep Films.
Pleased Sheep also have two more features: Tash Force and Bar Stewards, scheduled for released in 2011.