David Lynch’s new film ‘Inland Empire’ is re-igniting the debate about new ways to both shoot and distribute film.
Entirely shot on semi-professional digital video (Sony’s PD 150), the film runs at a seat squirming 3 hours. Lynch is also self distributing his film (in a deal he has struck with Studio Canal) in the US and Canada.
Advances in technology are allowing people to shoot and edit films on domestic equipment with decent results, so why should the same development not be applied to distribution and exhibition.
Lynch has claimed to be attempting independent distribution as a result of noticing films losing revenue streams through overly long theatrical releases. It’s safe to say the illegal trading of films starts as soon as a film premieres if not before. Film makers that do not have the backing of major studios need to be conscious of how this affects their bottom line. Every element of profit counts on smaller scale productions.
Although Lynch is in the unique position of having an expansive following, in part due to a popular web presence. This exercise does encourage independent film makers to look at setting up their own platforms for film distribution, publicity and exhibition. It begs the question why the financial side of film making is all too often left out of film school curriculums. If film makers want to live off their work the publicity, distribution and exhibition should be considered not long after a concept is realized.
Consider publicising streaming film sub indonesia websites and online communities from the early stages. Perhaps set up a blog tracking the progress of the film. Much of lynch’s success comes from the popularity of his website, which he nurtures with experimental sound, video and an animation series. I think we all remember the hype of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ which was created through a successful (and cheap) online marketing campaign. The advancement and popularity of websites like YouTube and myspace prove that publicity and exhibition is an increasingly viable option online even for backyard film makers.
Importantly film festivals and localized film communities are still vital to the success and growth of independent film. Although we are yet to see how successful Lynch’s campaign will be it shows that the facilities are there for independent film makers to consciously take control of their projects from conception to viewing.