Most Read HopeForFilm Posts Of 2010

I wasn't sure what to call this post. "Top Posts"? "Most Popular"? They are not necessarily the most engaging, as they don't always correspond with the "most commented" -- if that qualifies for engaging that is... But I thought it would make some sense to see what was the most viewed.  I thought I would learn from it.

One of the things that I am proud of regarding this blog is the fact that it has become a community forum.  I learn from the comments people post.  I have made new friends from such comments (and identified a few I hope to avoid!).  It's been really great how much people contribute, and I love that almost half the most popular posts are from folks other than myself.

So, what were HopeForFilm/TrulyFreeFilm's most read post of the past year?  Surprisingly, they are all quite recent.

38 More Ways The Film Industry Is Failing Today - With over 10,000 views this clearly hit a nerve.  Everyone likes lists, but I like to think  so many folks went to this for a dose of preventive medicine.  We are going to conquer this right?

Ten Things To Do Before You Submit A Script - Getting your script read by the right people will always be a challenge.  As will making the best film you are capable of.  We all need advice, and I probably can come up with a few more posts like this.  You certainly want it.  I have listened.  I hope the advice was helpful!

The Hard Truth: Filmnaking Is Not A Job - I aim to be 100% truthful about what I do.  I want to demystify what producers do.  I think the readers of this blog and the community around it that you have built wants us all to say like it is.  I must confess that occasionally I let the struggle of getting movies made and seen, get me down.  Fortunately I get great support from my wife and friends, yet nonetheless sometimes I produce posts like this one!

The Good Machine No Budget Commandments- Oldies can be Goodies.  I always got a lot of demands for this list that I drew up for a NYU Grad screenwriting class.  It's nice to see people still use it!

Brave Thinkers Of Indie Film, 2010 Edition - clearly this is going to have to be an annual tradition now.   It looks like the community needed something that pointed more to ideas than just to the work at hand.

Miao Wang On The Secret Of Her Kickstarter Success-  This was the year that crowdfunding really came of age, and everyone wants to know how to do it well.  We will only learn the answers by all of us sharing, and people responded well to the lessons Miao learned.

Filmmakers vs. Aggregators: Distribber Speaks Of A Win,Win! - Adam Chapnick contributed this post on the dawn of Distribber being acquired by IndieGoGo, and outlined the problems facing all filmmakers in placing their work online.

Jon Reiss on Proper Prior Planning Prevent Perplexing Problems - The most commented post ever!  It's surprising that it remains a question how much filmmakers should focus on the distribution and marketing of their films, but it something that people love to talk about it, and Jon is one of the best at it out there.

Thoughts On The New Festival Model -  Film festivals are evolving, and when Tribeca announced their VOD initiative, people took notice.  I wasn't alone in my commenting for sure.  And there is still a lot more to say on the subject. I expect more big moves in 2011.  As a post format, I enjoy this kind of "thinking out loud" pieces, and wonder if this is a vote for more of them...

Children Of Invention: Why They Turned Down 8 Distribution Offers- Mynette & Tze were some of the Brave Thinkers of 2009 and it is precisely due to posts and actions like what they share here.

There were also a couple of old posts from the prior year that were viewed enough times in 2010 to place them in the top ten.

The 21 Brave Thinkers Of Truly Free Film 2009 - The prequel to this year's #4 hit -- all of them worth noting as much for what they did in 2010 as the year before.

38 American Independent Film Problems/Concerns - This was the prequel to this year's most popular post.  I guess I am going to have to dig up another 38 for 2011 to keep the tradition going.

Well, it is a new year.  Let me know what you want to discuss.

Looking Through The Rubble, Ending The Silence, Celebrating The Risktakers, Hoping For A Few Good Leaders

You'd think with all the collapse in the "Film Business" we'd have a whole lot more experimenting going on.  Or at the very least the encouragement for experimentation.  Why is it that everyone wants to keep doing it "business as usual".  It's broken!  Those days are over!  The sky has fallen!  Dust yourself off and let's begin something new!  Stop sniveling. It is a different business now than what it used to be.  There is no U.S. acquisition market for films, even if the movies are good.  Library value as an asset is a thing of the past (or at least libraries being something you could base easily predictable cash flow or resale on is over).  People don't want to pay to see movies -- unless they are the sort of culture (including niche culture) unifying event film.  It is truly hard to get people's attention when they are overwhelmed with the plethora of choices -- we are a world of distraction and rapid attention shift.  It is even more difficult to get people to talk about good stories, even when more are told and made than ever before. Everything requires more work and more thought than it used to.

Which is not to say that the art and industry of film is over.  Far from it.  It is just a different business. And I believe there is great work to be done and substantial money to be made.  Particularly if we all accept a little experimentation along the way.  Trying something new does not warrant a "FAIL!" stamp.  There is more value than just monetary (and some of that is actually lucrative, or potentially).

Are the only conversations about it happening behind closed doors?  What's with all the eerie silence?  Spooky....  There's certainly a lot of discussion going on in other related industries.  But what is with ours?  From what I read, it sounded that around the proclamations of demise and change at the PGA "Produced By" conference there was very little imagining of new ways forward -- particularly methods that might support the creative community.

Can we start to celebrate the experiments?  The brave thinkers?  The risk takers?  Can we at least talk more about them? Could we ever have some sort of supportive structure that actually encouraged experimentation? Could we look more to the future, than we discuss the past or present?