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15 Reasons We Should Be Thankful for Indie Film in 2013

By Ted Hope | Indiewire November 27, 2013 at 10:59AM

Ted Hope is feeling optimistic about the film business. Here are 15 reasons we should be thankful for indie film in 2013.
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7. Direct Distribution is on course to become next year’s indie fim phenomenon.  It took crowd funding several years to go mainstream, but for the Direct Distro community that gathered around #A2E in 2013, it kinda felt you were there watching the Pistols or the V.U. play their initial gig, and you too were going to now gonna go home a start a band.  We are learning how and how to work together to get our films to the people that want them. (This is an evolution from where Direct Distribution was when included on 2012′s list).

"One of the key to reducing piracy is making sure people can get what they want when they want."

8. Sundance's #SAS aka Artist Services has helped 80 films or so to connect with audiences and generate some significant revenue.  Granted no one's gotten rich, but that never was a goal anyway.  Their support has allowed folks to consider direct distribution not just as a back up but as Plan A.  They not only have an amazing group of participating films, they have a top shelf selection of platforms to work with.  The truly impressive thing is how they have also opened up the platform to several other supplying organizations.  This is group learning and film support at it’s best.  Here's hoping it lasts forever and beyond!

9. Release windows are compressing and everyone is benefiting -- and some of the exhibitors are no longer complaining.  One of the key to reducing piracy is making sure people can get what they want when they want.  Desire is highest when the marketing is at it’s most intense, usually in the theatrical window -- so it only makes sense to have it available soon after.  And now they are. And Netflix is threatening to amp this up. And our arthouse community theaters are not afraid.

10. Platforms are for the many. Distribution was for the few. Once you had to be chosen; now the choice is yours. Giving people everywhere access to your work is a crucial first step to developing a sustainable creative practice -- well maybe, after you’ve developed a sizable community base (yeah, it's a Catch 22, I know, but…). The point is now we can reach people with our work…  and you don't have to be chosen.  The power is yours. Take it (but please be prepared).

11. Exhibitors are setting their own rules.  Perhaps the IFC Center’s refusal to enforce the NC-17 rating is just the tip of the iceberg.  Perhaps from there the arthouses can move well beyond the week long booking policy of many distributors and start to multiplex individual screens, offering specific content for specific audiences at specific times.

12. Exhibitors are getting serious about gender bias.  Maybe filmmakers and the studios will be next.  It may only be happening in Sweden now, but how great would it be if we rated films everywhere on gender bias? We can expect to see the Bechdel Test rating in other regions to appear. Of course, even as simple as it is, there are many films you’d be surprised to find can't past the Bechdel Test.

13. Movie Theaters keep getting better and better.  Whether it is the sound (have you heard Atmos?!), the seats, food, or alcoholic offerings, it just keeps getting better and better. Soon you won’t want to ever stay home.

14. Crowdsourced Theatrical Exhibition is gaining traction.  There are a whole handful of platforms to chose from. Folks are doing it.  And audiences are going. My hope is that independent theaters across the world start using these tools directly and putting the power of curation in the hands of their community.  From there, there will start to emerge small groups of local voices who become major forces in their community for curation.

15. Exhibitors are doing some excellent things to woe younger people to the theater.  Digital natives like to watch whatever whenever and however they damn well please, and that's fine, but theaters are our community centers and that is where movies truly become cinema.  Putting the social back into the experience elevates it for everyone.  The European Independent Arthouses got together this past week in Athens for the annual Europa Cinemas conference and discussed many great techniques to keep younger audiences involved.

Read Hope's full post (with all 30+ reasons) here.

This article is related to: Ted Hope, Filmmaker Toolkit: Distribution, Filmmaker Toolkit: Crowdfunding, Kickstarter , Indiegogo







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