VOD platforms, subscription streams, and quality television production are finally (after a long predicted move) realizing their potential and with this fact comes many more avenues for films to be broadcast. The recent move of CNN to acquire documentaries (Our Nixon and Blackfish and more!) & broadcast them on their cable news network simultaneously with a small theater release and the increase of simultaneous VOD & limited theater run films (like The Canyons- which I watched online immediately after it's premier) are bold steps in the way independent cinema is now distributed. Theaters are no longer the first place to see a film. After watching a lot of submissions for two indie film fests this season I think I maybe have some words of caution for young, independent filmmakers broadcasting in this new era of distribution platforms.
Indiewire for their ongoing Monday list of top ten itunes purchases & downloads! In fact, this has been the best source for knowing what films are out
3. Man, production quality sucks lately indie filmmakers...like, really bad....what is going on? I mean, I understand that cameras are in the hands of practically anyone but...really? That font? Those intertitles? Really poor quality filming that is actually distracting to the viewer? Was that an un-ironic crossfade followed by a dissolve? It's these details that separate the amateur from the auteur. A camera doesn't make you a filmmaker, it is the way you use the camera that does...right down to the opening and closing credits. I do think that small screen shooting & editing are helping in the erosion of detail oriented filmmaking (i.e. comic sans is just fucking wrong but, even moreso when blown up to a couple feet on a screen). As an audience we have become more accustomed to the "anything goes" style of youtube & vine and the increase in the cinema varite style (brought on by the digital revolution and also the reality tv booom) makes filming seem "real" or caught when, in most cases, they are more staged than your high school production of The Wiz put on by your overly emotional drama teacher! Mise-en-scene just isn't important to a lot of the casual digi-indie filmmakers because it isn't even noticeable, or even thought of as an important element of film, thanks to the small screens & odd styles we're now accustomed to.
About a week after I wrote this Netflix started sending me e-mailed updates on new releases based on things I have watched....hm.