[Filmmaking A to Z by Vic Alexander]

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signed by the filmmaker.

Selling yourself Short as a filmmaker

All I read in this thread and elsewhere has been said -- and more importantly comes from the experience of filmmakers who lived it. But it doesn't help us today, because distribution is changing as we speak. The curve is accelerating and nothing makes sense anymore; all advice is good, but what's the use: no one can use it to make a living. Still sharing is good. At least we can soften the blows and take the fall rolling instead of crashing and burning.

The main obstacle is human nature; it's us. We all want the same thing: make a movie, get rich, get recognition and move on to bigger films and more success -- and finally become recognized by the whole world (egomania takes over here.)

But we don't trust each other and find ourselves at odds (be practical, find a niche, etc.) We drive ourselves into a frenzy and pull in different directions.

Over the last 40 years, I've been fortunate to work for a few successful companies making movies and releasing them theatrically. And I've also been unfortunate to work for unsuccessful companies of individuals (they never became companies) who fell apart because of personal greed and egoism. It's human nature.

I've called for independent filmmakers coming together to form distribution companies to serve independent filmmakers, but nothing has happened. I've been trying for 20 years. I guess I'm the eternal optimist. Oh, I've gotten a few emails from people, but it all fizzled out. I hope that this will change someday, but who knows.

The problem, as I said, is human nature. It's everyone for himself. However, filmmaking cannot become a business if filmmakers don't control distribution.

I saw a documentary about the South African diamond mine company deBeers. They owned and still own the biggest diamond mines in the world, but they didn't become successful until they controlled distribution.

And that was diamonds!

If all filmmakers want is to become recognized and get picked up by a major distributor, the independent distribution company for indie filmmakers idea will never work.

Aug. 29, 2011

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