I have been rambling/ranting the last two days about Indie Film's missed opportunity over the last decade. Where are we headed now? If we missed an opportunity over the last ten years, do you know what it was? We missed the opportunity to make indie film a sustainable culture and business. I earned a good living for over fifteen years, but I don't expect to do that now or even going forward -- if I am even going to stay in Indie Film, that is. It is going to take an awful lot of work from a great number of people to bring that squandered opportunity back. Are the people out there, who are willing to do that work?
Do you know why we missed that opportunity to make Indie Film a sustainable enterprise? Because we all were/are selfish, focused on own short-term success, chasing a hit, not devoted to the long term or the community. The filmmakers, the performers, the artists and the craftspeople all feel as if we've behaved as selfishly and as greedilyy as the bankers who have virtually destroyed this country. Yes, a great number of people give a great deal back, but that is not enough. Instead of building a system that works for a wide and diverse populace, we all went out and just got ours. We squandered a great opportunity.
7,000 films a year are purportedly made in this country annually -- and generally all are made with the same lack of rigor or controls that the financial sector enjoyed and used to deliver us into this toilet of an economy. We don't really try to make better films, just to make our films. We don't try to communicate to audiences, we just try to get their butts into the seats. The film business does not know their audience, let alone try to nurture it into a community. We continue to do business based on anachronistic concepts of content scarcity and control instead of realities of surplus and access.
But perhaps that can be the old way, right? There still can be a new way. It is not too late for a real change. Isn't that why you are reading now?
Does every new decade begin with the huge surge of hope that I now feel as this one's second year dawns? Everyone once was wondering what the 00's were going to be about. There seems to be no doubt now that digital connection & disruption were -- and still are -- the defining qualities of that decade gone by, but in terms of the art, the infrastructure, the individuals I am still wondering what, who & where it all was. What happened to that opportunity we had?
Am I bummed? Yes, but I am also again filled with hope as to the opportunity we have if we work together to make it better. I can see some Brave Thinkers, and I know there is tremendous room and opportunity for a hell of a lot more. I want to see the castle walls over run even if there are more doors open now than ever before.
This is your time. This is every one's time. There is a brand new good machine (even better machine?) to be built that will deliver an exhilarating ride. Let's not have the engine stall out for another ten years, please.