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Friday, March 13, 2015

17 Things About The Movie Business Every Filmmaker Must Know

I stumbled across this great post by Ted Hope, a New-York based indie filmmaker, and president of the San Francisco Film Society. Though the article was published in May 2013, it is still pretty accurate today.

The film industry has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and many of us filmmakers are struggling to find a way to find money to produce films, make revenues out of the investment, and eventually 'make it in the business'.

  1. Filmmaking is not currently a sustainable occupation for any but the very rare.
  2. Presently speaking, artists & their supporters are rarely the primary financial beneficiaries of their work – if at all.
  3. The film industry’s economic models are not based on today’s reality.
  4. Film audience’s current consumption habits do not come close to matching the film industry’s production output.
  5. The film industry has not found a way to match audiences with the content they will most likely respond to.
  6. In order to reach the people who might respond to a film, the film industry remains dependent on telling everyone (including those who could not care less) about each new film.
  7. Digital distribution is an emerging market and will continue to evolve over the next decade.
  8. Predictive value of films is primarily currently determined by an incredibly imprecise method:“star value”, a concept that grows less predictive by the day.
  9. The “fair market value” of a feature film’s distribution rights in the US that multiple buyers want has dropped astronomically.
  10. International territorial licensing of American independent feature films has dropped by approximately 60% over the last decade.
  11. Everything that has ever been made, has also been copied.
  12. Competing options for film viewing have diminished the comparative value of theatrical exhibition.
  13. The film business lacks a long-range economic model for exhibition.
  14. The film industry foolishly rewards quantity over quality.
  15. Movies have a unique capacity to create empathy for people and actions we don’t know or have not experienced.
  16. Movies create a shared emotional response amongst all those that view it simultaneously.
  17. There has never been a better time for most creative individuals to be both a truly independent filmmaker and/or a collaborative creative person.

Read Ted's full article.

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