Hectic! Hectic! Hectic! That’s been my day so far. I have been doing interviews for the book, with fascinating film-makers, and I have got several more to go today too – between breathes, I ended up on a BBC radio show from Scotland called Movie Café – they wanted to know more about Gone Fishing and how we funded it, and the Oscars drive… Anyway, you can hear the show on BBC iPlayer (in the UK only) for the next week – click here and listen to the Dec 10th show.
OK, I also spoke at length with indie film and internet guru, Arin Crumley, who famously made the micro budget feature, ‘Four Eyed Monsters’, with his then girlfriend and partner Susan Buice. Most of their adventures has been well documented on the internet, in part by themselves by extensive video blogs, in part by other commentators (the presentation above was part of Power To The Pixel). I wanted to know about what Arin felt he had learned from the whole experience and what wisdom he could pass on to other film makers.
I called him on his cell in East Coast America, and rather entertainingly, and revealing of the path most indie film makers are forced to take, interviewed him on a bus! No Limmo or first class flight. A bus. Actually, three buses, as every half hour or so, Arin would apologize and explain he needed to switch buses and could I ring back in ten minutes?
So we had a rather visionary discussion, about where film making, in fact all forms of creative media, are headed. His focus was very much on a new model of distribution – what he had personally experienced on ‘Four Eyed Monsters’ and what he had seen in other film makers, is a kind of terrible anxiety at investing so heavily in a film, giving so much, and then when it came to selling, one is overwhelmed by fear and paranoia, and an absolute need for their film to perform. Even though ‘Four Eyed Monsters’ ended up making money, other film makers he knows still owe money on their own films, and in his words, ‘that weighs heavily on the soul of creative people…’ I couldn’t agree more. His new model, which I know we will all hear much more about in the coming year, is community based, and of course, involves audience participation before the film is produced. Nothing new here of course, it’s how I did it with ‘Gone Fishing’… But… he has figured out a way to put all of these tools, film makers and audience members into a single ‘Facebook’ style environment, so as to streamline the process and really bring film makers and film lovers together. Less like a hard sell webpage and blog, more like a chat around a campfire – that’s how it will feel he hopes.
Of all the incredibly useful points he made, perhaps the one that stuck with me the most was that of learning how to harness the power of the internet. Of course, nothing new there either. But he elevated this to the same level as say, an understanding of editing or camera work. He proposes that you would never shoot a film with out understanding how to use a camera, and if you didn’t know how to use one, you would find and expert who did – so film makers need to really engage with internet tools, and if they are not self learning, find people to do it for them. And at a level way and above Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
All good stuff.
The whole interview will be in the next Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook, when released early next year.
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author