Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dany Boy knocked out of Cinecoup

My film, Dany Boy, was knocked out of the Cinecoup film financing competition this weekend by not gaining enough support via social media to remain in the Top 40 projects.

It's not unexpected, (well, getting knocked out at this point was since we were always in the Top 25 until now), but it serves up a hard lesson.  Without a savvy social media team working on a film, it's difficult to get any traction in that space.

And the internet space is where independent films will be financed going forward.  Crowdfunding will be the wave of financing for films, which will no longer be a business, but closer to doing theatre or another of the fine arts, that is, a donation-based activity.  Budgets for films are dropping to the level of what a stage production would cost, or less than a half hour TV episode.  Or those budgets are ballooning beyond the point of contact for an independent film maker.  Star-driven vehicles like the new Ryan Gosling film, The Place Beyond the Pines which is in the $10-20 million range, huge megabudget films like the upcoming Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion, which is more than the GDP of many countries, or bottom feeding indies, like Beasts of the Southern Wild, in the $200,000 range max, are the 3 levels that seem to have shaken out.

As a bottom feeder, one's only support comes from dedicated fans for your work who will support it without expecting any return other than engaging with the work itself, or the occasional perk via crowdfunding.

It liberates us from being beholden to financiers, government agencies like Telefilm et al, but it means that films will be made for peanuts and film is now on par with dance, drama, concert music and other fine arts.  Nothing wrong with that, but it makes the film maker less of an artist and more of an entrepreneur in terms of seeking out and leveraging their audience in order to make their art.

I have leveraged a fairly engaged fanbase for Dany Boy, just not large enough to keep me in the Cinecoup contest.  That's fine.  Films were made without Cinecoup before and will be after and getting out from the grind of fulfilling the weekly contest requirements will at least enable me to pursue these other lines of financing.  Cinecoup was a useful experience, though not one I'd recommend, to learn what you could learn without paying an entry fee.

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