Friday, January 18, 2008

Bootstrap Film Subgroup

The Bootstrap Film Subgroup was kicked off at the June 2007 meeting with Tim League, owner and cofounder of The Alamo Drafthouse. He inspired bootstrappers by sharing his journey of creating a successful business and demonstrated how bootstrapping a business has its rewards. The film subgroup is led by Brandy Rainey, who provides us with a review of the year's speakers and topics. The dominant theme: technology has impacted all aspects of film making and is creating opportunities for bootstrap film makers everywhere.

Chris Hyams of B-side Entertainment gave us some insight on how the industry is changing and how alternate models for distribution will find their way to the mainstream. B-side is being very smart with their approach by matching an audience's demand with the content they are seeking, and creating a win-win for the audience, filmmaker and distributor.

Daniel Benner launched his online social community Gindie and shared his vision for creating a space where filmmakers can network to find resources, talent, and crew and promote themselves, their projects and their respective groups.

Stacy Schoolfield passed on some valuable tips that she learned first hand on how to self-distribute a film. She was very generous in providing us with contact information of several independent theaters throughout the country that were receptive to filmmakers contacting them directly. She encouraged us to be open to finding who the film's real audience is and constantly adjust the marketing plan to reach that audience.

The group discussed how the internet has opened doors for more and more filmmakers to have their content seen by an audience; however the quality of many of the films found is very bad and it is somewhat frustrating to be lumped with a group of amateurs when you are out to use the technology as a serious and viable way of connecting with your audience. Jason Cronkite offered us a solution by informing us how Kulabyte can provide ways to condense HD files to allow filmmakers to post quality work on the web. He also introduced us to NetCastHD, which offers content distribution for HD and SD works on the web with video-on-demand capabilities. Revenue streams for independent film are slowly but surely making themselves available.

Dave Evans introduced us to Snapse, a web based turnkey video sharing solution designed for marketing and promotion. They are experimenting with different applications and challenging filmmakers to provide content that is then mixed and meshed to create something new. Product placement has become another revenue stream whether integrated with the content or advertisements placed before short videos. This will continue to rise.

There are very diverse applications of people's creative energies within the film subgroup. I would like to encourage everyone to keep thinking outside the box and ask yourself these questions:

  1. How can I get my film to its audience?
  2. Who is the film's REAL audience?
  3. What marketing strategies can I use to gain notoriety for myself and my film?

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