GOING BIONIC – DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY: INDEPENDENTS DAY!

Hi everyone. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I know mine was memorable, because my twin daughters Lena and Zoe turned one. My girls enjoyed an epic birthday party, fully equipped with a big-ass cake and a face painting, balloon-making clown who also happens to offer psychic readings. Of course, Zoe and Lena were more interested in playing with the wrapping paper they tore off their gifts, rather than the gifts themselves, but hey, give them time. They’ll learn….

With Independence Day upon us tomorrow, “We The People” of our United States, will keep ourselves in a relaxed, first gear state of mind, until the last firework display lights up the darkest night sky. Since tomorrow celebrates our country’s independence, I thought today’s article should celebrate you, the independents! So, indie filmmakers, (all indie filmmakers, not just those based in the USA) take a bow, because this article is all about you. Today we’re freeing you from the worry and anguish that comes along with being a part of this crazy industry. In celebration of the Fourth of July, here are reasons why you deserve to smile about your career choice.

Cable Networks are Multiplying Like Rabbits
There are well over 300 cable stations in the United States alone, with new outlets popping up every month. This number doesn’t include satellite channels and Internet based programming. With so many distribution outlets available to independent filmmakers, the future looks blindingly bright. However, it still takes time, research, one hell of a pitch and tremendous patience to sell a project. Thus, before you blast out 300+ emails to every single cable channel in North America about your “can’t-miss” project, you should do your research. Find out what type of programming they acquire, what they are developing, and how your project would compliment their current slate. Then, only approach the channels that are most likely to be interested in you. Think of the process like asking someone to your high school prom.  You probably asked someone who you thought would say, “yes” to being your date.

Side Note: While the “prom strategy” will increase your chances of selling your project, it didn’t work for me at my high school prom. I asked Carol W. to our 1986 senior prom and she shot me down in blazing flames. Twenty-six years later, Carol has denied my friend request on Facebook two times! Some things (i.e. people) never change….

Original Web-Based Content is Getting Heavily Funded
YouTube is investing $100 million in developing and producing original web content. So, get ready indie filmmakers, a whole new landscape of funded production may need you in the not so distant future. While I assume You Tube will want established, “names” to create and produce content for them, I doubt those high-end directors can actually work within the confines of the smaller budgets that web content demands.

With YouTube diving into web production, expect other technology giants to follow. You can also expect major corporations to start investing in original web content. “Have a Coke and a movie,” anybody? Ronald MacDonald Studios presents “The Adventures of Big Mac?” It’s all possible, and most probably probable sooner than you think.

Advertisers are Spending More on the Internet than they are on Print
2012 marks a monumental shift in the world of advertising, because for the first time in history, advertisers will spend more money on Internet advertising than on print advertising. Online advertising is expected to reach $39.5 billion in 2012, which is a sharp 23.3% increase from 2011. Furthermore, the total is $5.7 billion more than this year’s projected sale of $33.8 billion for print advertising. Remember, once the advertisers arrive at the party with money in hand, the party turns into a cash-filled rave with limitless potential. So, you better start honing your chops, because the money is on its way.

Faster Internet Speeds are Just Around the Corner
With Internet giants and advertisers pushing the envelope to increase the funding for web content, there will be a heavy push to increase the Internet bandwidth in the USA, as well in all countries. The simple reason is once the powers that be start investing in web production; they need to make sure the masses are able to view their investment in optimal viewing situations. But, currently, most of the world, including the United States, does not have ultra-fast Internet speeds.

South Korea currently has the world’s fastest download speed, averaging 17.62 Mbps. Romania slides in at second place, with 15.27 Mbps, and Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia are numbers three, four and five respectively. As for the United States, we finished in an embarrassing 26th place, with an average download speed of 4.93 Mbps. But don’t fear filmmakers, once the wonderfully disgusting amounts of money get dumped into web production, an equally disgusting amount of money will be spent on making the web more “bionic.” To quote “The Six Million Dollar Man,” (the 1974-1978 ABC TV show that coined the title of this weekly “Going Bionic” column), “We can rebuild him. We have the technology….”

There is a whole new galaxy of opportunities headed our way, and you, mister and miss filmmaker, are at the forefront of the revolution. In other words, you hold the key to the future of production and distribution. All you have to do is utilize your creativity to turn that key and unlock your future.

Thank you once more for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, enjoy your holiday!

I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal




Posted on July 3, 2012 in Features, Going Bionic by
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