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Monday, October 29, 2007



The DGA Quarterly, Fall 2007 edition just came out. There's an article entitled "The New School" which is about the digital, new media think tank our DGA Independent Directors Committee created awhile back. I am sort of the outspoken maverick of the group. I believe it is really important for old school directors to embrace the new technology, to learn how to tell stories in multi-platform, multi-tasking, inter-active new media. If we don't evolve, future generations won't get the past generations' classic story telling ability. They will get a lot more of the "it's safer to hide behind the avatar than to deal with our fellow man" form of entertainment, which just adds to our Human Spirit disconnect. I also believe that the new media opens doors for everybody and we should all seize the day and respect the gift. Old School Hollywood tends to make you feel inferior if you don't have a theatrical, if you aren't a somebody, it is very exclusive...the DGA is no exception to this. Frankly, I get very tired of the stuffiness in some of these meetings and prefer being on the road talking to "everyday people" about their lives and helping them share their stories with the rest of the world in a meaningful, more focused Youtube kind of way...hence PAH: PROJECT ACCESSIBLE HOLLYWOOD, instead of continuing the more standard PEH: Project Exclusive Hollywood. Anyhow, I found in this article that I sort of came off as the "Moonbeam" member of the IDC think tank. I don't mind, I like Jerry Brown.


The question of how new media could help bring dollars to filmmakers was raised repeatedly. "The idea that indie filmmakers are to put their movies up on a Web site and have people download them, and that's going to be a viable business--I just don't see it," opined Stephen Soderbergh. "That's not true for the youth," countered Christopher Coppola. "They're used to downloading things and they will eventually be the largest market out there. iTunes has been very successful. My 11-year old son goes on it to download short movies, and you're going to see that evolve." Soderbergh held fast to a harsher view."But are they out there in sizable numbers? It's brutal out there," he said. "And if we're talking about Apple Mac as a format, that's just 7 percent of the market. The kind of numbers we need to generate a career are not going to be there."

Okay, here's my problem. iTunes is an incredibly viable business model, it put Apple back on the map in a big way and the stock is still rising. And, it is not just an AppleMac format--it is available for PC which means it is available to everyone who has a computer and access to the internet. That's a helluva lot more than 7 percent of the market, is it not? And remember, I am talking about Independent films here (it is the IDC for crying out loud), not big Hollywood Studio films like "Oceans 13."


I just pulled this out of the Daily Variety-- Ed Burns movie going direct to iTunes
Ed Burns' new dramedy, Purple Violets, will be the first feature to release
directly to iTunes--bypassing the theater, video store, or TV options for its premiere.

Burns is exploring the new iTunes release option because of the challenge he
has faced in getting audiences into the theater, saying "My style of
filmmaking is dying on the vine."

Purple Violets, which stars Burns, Selma Blair, Debra Messing, and Patrick
Wilson, will be available for iTunes download on Nov. 20 for $14.99, and
will move to other platforms later.


And, so it begins.

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