Power to the People: The Democratization of Film http://tinyurl.com/4d6o3wq
This is a really good read by Jeff Steele that starts with how production has been democratized through the use of less expensive tools. That ignores a whole lot of costs associated with quality production that aren’t associated with less expensive tools of production, but let’s allow the point for the moment.
His primary point is that, while production is democratized, financing and distribution are not. Again, I wouldn’t argue.
Generally speaking, if you’re not planning on spending at least $25,000,000 to market your film to national audience, then you probably shouldn’t spend anything at all. But for smaller independent films, social networks like Facebook and Twitter are giving filmmakers unparalleled access to millions of followers who can hopefully be converted to viewers and fans.
It’s only a matter of time until legitimate alternative forms of distribution rise and perhaps coincide with alternative forms of financing, thus ironing out the bumps to reveal the new, fully, and irreversibly democratized film industry, whose entire lifecycle will be comprised of ones and zeroes.
Although the article tells more of the problem than moving toward a solution I do like his conclusion:
The digitalization and democratization of the filmmaking process has the ability to bring the power to the people and cultivate new and fresh voices in film that deserve to be heard. The film producer is soon to be the everyman. No experience required. Sure, it will make it easier to make movies. But it won’t necessarily make it any easier to make good ones. It still requires drive, determination and perseverance to complete a film. And even with every tool in the toolbox, you can’t construct a quality film without vision, passion, and talent.
The Wild West is making its return not to the big screen, but to the offices and home computers of anyone shrewd enough to navigate their way into the Film Biz and come out with a high-resolution Quicktime in hand. Hollywood’s borders are stretching into the wild beyond. And in this new frontier, there are no rules. Only laws.