Sunday Links

As I mentioned on Twitter and Facebook the other day, my laptop monitor died the other day, so I’ve been less able to blog.  I’m working on a borrowed laptop right now, but as I continue to think about my upcoming talk at the What is Film? conference in Portland, I’m still processing some of the discussions about transmedia movie distribution that have been taking place in recent weeks.  Here are some of the articles that have recently crossed my radar:

  • Scott Macauley has a “letter from the future” from an independent filmmaker who is reviewing some of the changes that are taking place with independent film and new distribution and promotion models.  Also see the post from Mike Johnston on the Filmmaker Magazine blog focusing on new models of indie music distribution.
  • Ted Hope offers a response of sorts to Macauley’s open letter, and in doing so, provides a solid overview of many of the issues connected to self-distribution.
  • Salon has a review by Andrew O’Hehir of a number of recent indie successes made in Great Britain and speculates that American indie filmmakers are suffering, in part, from being divided into narrow niches.
  • One of the biggest stories in DIY distribution is the launch of OpenIndie, a new model for financing an promoting movies conceived by Arin Crumley and Kieran Masterton.  For more about the project, you can also check out this video on YouTube.  Here is the indieWire story on OpenIndie.
  • Anne Thompson has a discussion from Chris Dorr about how Jane Campion’s Bright Star could have been marketed more effectively using social media tools.  Like many of Campion’s films, Bright Star is eloquently constructed and tells a powerful story, but Dorr imagines that the film could have reached a bigger audience by posting more frequently on Twitter and Facebook.  Also from Thompson, a thoughtful article on the implications of the FTC decision to require bloggers to disclose who paid them to review or write about films (or other products).  As Thompson surmises, it will be difficult to enforce, but Thompson does offer an enlightening picture of the practices of contemporary film bloggers.


  1. Annie Petersen Said,

    October 12, 2009 @ 9:30 am

    I’m curious how you felt about Dorr’s suggestions for *Bright Star* — as quite a few posters pointed out in the comments to the post (on Thompson’s site), most of what he suggests for Campion to do could not be performed without the assistance/consent of the distributor. It’s not, then, that Campion herself doesn’t have initiative to market the film new media…..but Apparition and the hodgepodge of international distributors.

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 12, 2009 @ 9:47 am

    Good question. I’ll admit that I didn’t read the comments, but there is a significant distinction between a film released by a collection of international distributors and a DIY film released by an individual or small collective of directors/producers. I’d recalibrate Dorr’s comments to consider a couple of possibilities, one of which might be that the director (or producer) pitches the film as a transmedia project from the very beginning so that Twitter, Facebook, etc. come before distribution and then supplement it.

    Certainly there are some difficulties when responsibility for production and distribution is so dispersed, a point that complicates Dorr’s thesis.

  3. BritBrit_78 Said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    Bright Star is one of the best dramas I’ve seen all year! The cast was amazing, and the music haunting. Here’s a great interview I found with Abbie Cornish talking about her character in the film, and how she turned to Keats’ original poetry to answer questions during filming. You can find it here:
    Jane Campion is truly one of the most influential female voices in film today, and I don’t think anyone else could have captured the essence of Keats’ story like her!

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