Tribeca Film Fest Shout Out On Tax Credit Stall Out

The good folks over at Tribeca asked me to post on the NY State Film & TV Tax Credit debacle.  So I did and surprisingly I was able to come up with a few more things to say...

Read the whole post on their blog.  Let me know your thoughts.
My gist is we all have to be a hell of a lot more vigilant about the issues that may effect us if we want to be able to earn a living working in this field.  I list out a starter course, but really the question is what can we go to dinner on?  And let me know what you think I left out.
Here's the menu:
Net Neutrality—Our ability to access and distribute work and ideas, organize around it, is dependent on this core democratic principle.

Media Consolidation—The lack of an antitrust action has created an environment that is virtually impossible to compete in.

Labor Union Stability—The unrest of this year across the guilds has helped no one.

Copyright Law Revision—The rules are antiquated, protecting corporate interests over the creators, while limiting the audience's access to new art forms.

Copyright Protection—The blatant disregard for artists' rights across the Internet make a bad situation even worse.

Government Funding For The Arts (or lack thereof)—The only work artists can expect to be compensated for are the most blatantly commercial endeavors.

Social Network Rules—The Draconian control different networks exert over user content does not bode well for community hopes of sharing information and content.

Data Portability—Everyone’s right to the information their work generates is a necessary principle if artists are ever going to have a direct relationship with their audiences.

Demystification of Distribution and Exhibition Practices—The last twenty years were about demystifying the production process, but there will be no true independence unless the cycle is made complete.

Exhibition Booking Policies and Practices Revision—Distributors require exhibitors to book on full weeks, restricting their ability to become true community centers, providing their audiences with what they want, when they want it.

New Blood Recruitment for Distribution and Exhibition—Since virtually all of the specialized distribution and exhibition entities are run by people who came of age in the days of pure theatrical exhibition, they yearn for a return to those days and are resistant to new practices.  Or are they?  

Ratings Structure—The current system is not applicable to the diverse work being made today.

Loss of Film Critics’ Old Media Platforms—Our critics were our curators, letting audiences know what to see when, and now most have been fired. Where will our new curators be found? We’ve started HammerToNail to help audiences find the best in true indie American narrative work, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Filmmaker Re-education for this New Media Universe—Let’s face it, we are all a bunch of Luddites. Until we recognize what tools are available and how to use them, we are depriving both ourselves and our audiences from the quality of work we all deserve.

Creation of Indie Film Promotional Portals—How can we see good work when we don’t even know it exists?

Broadband Availability and Strength—America lags behind the rest of the developed world not just in terms of broadband penetration, but also in the quality and level of that broadband service.

Digital Film Archive—As more and more filmmakers move to a digital medium to both originate and finish that work, how will this work be preserved for future generations?

Indie Film History Archive—The history and process of how this work we are now creating will be remembered will be impossible without some joint effort to preserve it.

Data Portability, Facebook, & Filmmaker

Filmmaker has a post on Lance Weiler's upcoming article on data portability.  I have been hungering for this one for a long time now.  Data portability's a key issue for all of us.  It would have been on my list of what I want our film culture to be but I thought it was an issue or practicality more than a way of being.  Open source practices and general transparency in actions and practices is something though that is essential to a truly free film culture and it definitely should have been on my list (I have now added it).  What else did I forget?

Scott's post goes on to discuss Facebook's policy of dropping the accounts of those who have grown too large.  It's an irksome situation and something to be aware of.  Check it out.

Something To Think About: Data Portability

I posted today at InfoWantsToBeFree on what should be one of the top concerns of all Truly Free Filmmakers in this coming year.  

Data Portability (and access) is something that should be built into contracts, particularly when the license fees are as low as they are these days.  It's the same question as owning what you generate.  It's a question of what is really free in a free market.  
There's a lot more to say on the subject and this will be a big topic for discussion here and elsewhere.

Data Portability: The Free Market Should Swing Both Ways

I hear a lot of anxiety from other newcomers to social networks.  Most of the folks in the film biz I know seem to initially join a network like MyFace for the promotional possibilities and professional networking.  Some get seduced by the actual social functions.  The anxiety often comes from what will be seen and shared and by whom.  Is it good or bad to friend all those who reach out to you even when you don't know them?  Will anyone tag you in photos from the past that you would prefer to remain forgotten?  That sort of thing.

But there are things that we should be concerned about, things we should ask for, push for, fight for.  Businesses talk about their investment in the technology, but little is said about the user/consumer's investment.  You create connections.  You tag information.  You provide data, but none of it is yours.  Your life in MyFace is life in a prison cell.  If you leave the network, you leave behind all of your work you created there.  You think you have a 1000 friends but how do you take them to another planet with you when you want to travel.
If 2008 was many things (the year of change, the year of hope, the year unregulated capitalism and greed revealed its true demonic ways), 2009 may well be the year that freedom starts to go both ways, that people push for equal rights for what they create, that we move from impulse to choice.   One can hope at least.
Bill Thompson has a good post on the BBC site "The net and the real cost of free" precisely about data portability.  This issue is central to all media makers.  We need to own and or at least have unlimited access to the data we generate: our friends, our tags, who watches, what they watch, when they watch, where they watch.  Read Bill's piece and started thinking about what really is yours.