Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Not Buyin' It

O! The Internet revolutionizes everything. The Big Studios just don't understand this stuff that we Really Smart People know although can't actually prove. Jamie Wilkinson on "cutting through the myths of digital film distribution."
"Self distribution works"?
I call BS.
Notice that other than Louis CK, Josh Whedon, and Glen Beck he notes no actual numbers whatsoever for revenues. And those three artists are way outside the curve in notoriety.
The best he does is says "Aziz made six figures his first day." Them's some weasel words right there. What do you mean by "made"? What is "six figures"? Does that include the cents beyond the decimal point?
And furthermore four anecdotes are not a business model.
Seriously, everything he says in this video is simply incorrect. He doesn't bust any of his "myths" -- even using his own data.
His first "myth" is that people won't open their wallets and pay for things on the Internet. But note that he actually finishes his entire presentation begging the audience to open their wallets and buy some movies through his website. Uh. The clue meter is reading zero here.
The second "myth" is that self-distribution and traditional distribution are mutually exclusive. Of course, without the examples of Glen Beck, and Louis CK, it is most certainly mutually exclusive. DVD sales are the only place where indy pictures actually make money. Theatrical is a hole in which people pour money. If you can sell to TV, you can get a video deal.
The third "myth" is that this kind of distribution only works for people like Louis CK. But he only responds to this "myth" by uses an example of a couple filmmakers in his own company for which he gives no numbers.
This kind of grandiose crap has been parroted and regurgitated for what, 14 years now? And it ain't worked yet. Believe you me, there's micro-studios 'round these parts run by some very smart people. If "non-traditional" worked, The Asylum would be doing it. But they ain't. So it don't.
Yes, you can make money if you do a documentary about some under-served special interest group. Or if big media conglomerates have made you famous going into it. Other than that, the Internet is doing nothing for us.

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