22 November 2005



One author who I constantly refer to (for inspiration if nothing else) is Rick Schmidt. His books Feature Filmmaking at Used-Car Prices and Extreme DV at Used-Car Prices are both textbooks and manifestoes written by a doer, not a talker.

In Extreme DV there is a chapter entitled "Guerilla Promotion: A Quicktime Movie Player at Every Web Site." Although this chapter is more about launching an independent film into festivals and ancillary markets (video stores, cable TV, etc.) it got me thinking about the posibillity of skipping all that nonsense and just taking your production straight to the audience.

There's a subheading in that chapter: "Your Own Internet Six-Plex Movie Theater." Imagine that! If, like I pointed out in part one of this mini-manifesto, The experience of going to the movies is getting smaller, and the experience of watching television is getting smaller, then why not? Why not become the Loews or AMC of the internet? What's required? Is it even doable? What do you need - a powerful enough server, a PayPal account, and content.

The very same technology that the "Hollywood Establishment" and the MPAA fears -- the same technology that makes video piracy possible -- is going to make some smart entrepreneur very very wealthy when he realizes one very simple thing: There is no end of content out there. I forget the exact figure but the order of magnitude of short and feature-length films that get made in Los Angeles alone numbers well into the thousands each year. It's a buyer's market.

For me and my scrappy little puppet show, all this means one thing: I don't need to ask anyone's permission. I can bootstrap this thing, shoot it, edit it, and distribute it. There are no external stops anymore!

I can have my own television network!

(So can you!)

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