I find the current debate regarding micro-payments for print journalism fascinating. Each morning, I work to talk myself out of a panic that we will soon be deprived of all the great newspapers, writers, and journalists. A friend chimed in that after the papers fall then next up is the free internet. The line of dominos is really easy to imagine.
But maybe it shouldn't all be free. I, like all my film friends, are looking for a model of survival, no longer success. Reading Steve Brill's defense of micro-payments makes me wonder if there is anything that film fans and workers are really committed to paying for. Variety & Hollywood Reporter start to feel like real luxuries these days. Guilds and unions, like membership in IFP and Film Independent, are crucial in the same way that if you want a vaccine to work, virtually everyone has to partake -- but my son still screams with every shot (maybe if vaccines had a networking attribute like these organizations my son would respond better...).
But what will we pay for? My Netflix subscription seems like a better value with each new film that is available for streaming, even if I still prefer DVDs. As they just hit 10 Million subscribers it seems that everyone will pay for access to every film. As a devourer of new international film, I need a festival diet of projected new work from around the world every two or three months. It's one of the reasons I can never leave NY. Jaman may offer it online but I need to see it large in a room full of people. And as much as I like to see it, I like to talk about it, read about it. So what will I pay for? I honestly don't know.
Anyway, read Brill's suggestion, and ponder the applicability to our world of film. I am.