Draft:Fs10 intro 23jan2010

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[Time = 10:48 MST]

[10:40] Lance: OK, I'd like to welcome everybody to the film maker summit, thanks so much for joining us today and thanks to all of those people out there watching on that wild thing called the internet. Today's event is made possible by Slamdance (obviously—thanks for hosting us) and to the Open Video Alliance (which is a great organization, I encourage you all to check it out), and also special thanks to our sponsors: IndieFlix, which is a great destination site for those looking for distribution options for their work, XMission, which is providing bandwidth to us today, and Flumotion, who is actually helping us with all the streaming. A big thanks to those guys.

[11:35] So I think today is kind of a lofty goal. When I was initially talking to Peter and some of the other folks about doing a Filmmaker Summit the idea was to kind of look forward a bit. What I hope we can do today—I think everybody is pretty familiar with the woes of the industry, where the problems [lie]—I think what would be really great today was if we were just to look at today and say "what do we want it to be, or how can we potentially shape it? What's that new infrastructure that we could use? What still exists from the previous system thats of value? What needs to be changed, and how can we effectively work together not just here domestically, but also internationally?" We have a number of people who will be Skyping in from various parts of the world, and the idea will be to hopefully have some transparency and see what the process is like in their parts of the world and what they're doing. Some of it will be kind of practical, some of it will be blue-sky thinking, but overall it's meant to be -- I guess it you could parley it to the idea of an incubator, or brainstorm, or whatever you want to call it. Hopefully this is just one of many, there are a lot of different events that are happening all over the place and there are a lot of people talking about these subjects. We encourage you guys to participate in the discussion if you like. There is a just with a hashtag, which is #fs10, then there's the streaming site which at slamdance.com/summit. Now obviously for the people in the room you don't need to go to that site (because you're sitting here), and in addition to that for the people that are out there there's a Q&A site that we have setup that has a voting system to it, so we'll be using that throughout the discussion as well. We have one little scheduling change that I wanted Peter to fill us in on, so I'm going to pass it to him and I'll be right back.

[13:44] Peter: Thank you Lance, that's a great introduction. Steven Soderbergh hopefully will be joining us later, but he won't be able to join us for the scheduled time; he's in Dublin at the moment on a film shoot. He's going to try and join us at some point, so we'll be looking out for him.

Lance: Thanks Peter for taking the bullet for me. <laughter> Peter: You're welcome.

So first, we're going to have a little change in the schedule and go with what is called the new festival. One of the ideas with this particular grouping of Brian Newman, Peter Baxter, and Paul Rachman is to look at and analyze and in some ways put Peter on the hotspot in terms of what's going on with festivals, but look at the opportunity they afford and how they can have more value in terms of filmmakers and in terms of audiences. With that being said, I'm going to turn the floor over to to Brian Newman, who's going to be moderating this, thanks for coming Brian, and if Peter and Paul want to come up and join him.

Brian: And you thought you were getting Soderbergh first thing in the morning, but 'ya got me. Sorry. Thanks Slamdance, and thanks IndieFlix and all the other sponsors for today. We'll get into the heated discussion of the future of film festivals in a second, but I think the big news, as everyone knows in this festival, is both at Sundance and Slamdance, this new model of day-and-date with your festival premiere. You guys are doing an innovating new thing with Microsoft, so I thought if you could talk a little about that, and your thoughts about this whole new notion of premiering your film at a film festival and then releasing it to the audience right away, what your thoughts are about that.

Peter: For those that maybe don't know, we announced a deal with Microsoft this week where we're going to take films that have been submitted to Slamdance, and in fact could play at Slamdance, four of which actually are here for this festival, and show them in a year-round programming on the Zune and the Xbox platforms. We're really excited about that because we think that's it part of Slamdance's job now to help support the filmmaker by finding audiences outside of the festival, outside of Park City, and really take Slamdance to the next level, but most importantly for the filmmakers help to find popular and worldwide audiences for these independent films that we believe can be successful. Some people may know the success of Paranormal Activity, which showed at Slamdance two years ago, it's a very low-budget film made for around $10,000. It has no star names in it at all, and we believe that this type of film, a well-crafted story made for very little money, by an emerging filmmaker can really find international success. What we find most exciting is with a company like Microsoft, they're really behind that. They have a platform now which we believe can increase our audiences in the future and it's just a very straightforward approach for us, it was very easy for us to say yes. Basically that's it.

[17:19] Paul: Actually, I think that one of the really important aspects of that deal, Microsoft is going to be sharing all the data with the filmmakers too, so that everyone who buys or watches that film in terms of e-mail address or location, Microsoft is openly giving it back to the filmmaker. In essence, I think that launching the film day-and-date at the film festival, it's about constantly following-up with that after the launch. That data is really valuable for that. That's one of the really important aspects of this deal, too.

Let's get a little more transparent, if we can here for a second, because I've talked to you guys before, so I know this is what I think is a pretty good thing for filmmakers. Talk a little bit about what you can about the other benefits, how it works for a filmmaker. In the discussion forum in the Filmmaker Summit—in-advance—there was a lot of discussion around what money comes back to a filmmaker from a festival or for anything else going on. We'll dive more into the festival part of it latter on, but in terms of this can you tell us anything about how the filmmaker makes out from this deal?

Peter: The deal was made in mind for the filmmaker, first and foremost. There is a very good revenue model I think for it, but before I just go into that I think also there's a great delivery system also for the independent filmmaker. I think a lot of independent filmmakers, when they do find success, and they do want someone to acquire their picture, they're given a minimum guarantee to help complete the delivery system; maybe they already have it in-place. But traditionally it's been very expensive in comparison with your budget. I think that one of the great assets here with the Microsoft deal is that they've made it very straightforward for the filmmaker and for Slamdance, and also it's cut down the amount of time it takes to deliver your independent film to them. I wanted to make sure that with this deal that we put the filmmaker first and foremost and the filmmaker will do the best out of this deal. It's a royalty-based deal, they're very few costs involved, and reporting is done on a daily basis, which is fantastic and should be the case in this day-and-age with the type of technology that we have that can give those daily reports instead of maybe something that we get three years down-the-line in traditional way of how we've been doing business. It it a very transparent process and also what's great for Slamdance and the filmmaker is a direct one -- they are no third-parties involved. As we know that with some of our films which have been sold, that they get tangled up with third-parties and we don't know whatever happened to the profit, wherever the revenues went to. So accountability, transparency is incredibly important in this deal and it should be for independent filmmakers and we believe that we should try and improve the standard in order to support the filmmaker.

[20:20] Brian: I think what's really interesting over the next year is as people are figuring out this model of what's going to work for filmmakers in distributing their films and exhibiting their films and getting to the audience is: while anyone who's run a film festival or has been to many film festivals knows this isn't necessarily the case, there's been a general perception that you finish your film, go to a film festival (like Slamdance), and you try to sell your film to a distributor. It's been very much about getting to those gatekeepers or whatever to sell your film, and it's becoming much more apparent that filmmakers are realizing that they need to go to a festival to find their audience and not think necessarily about finding a distributor, but getting directly to their audience. How is Slamdance looking at that situation, and how are you guys trying to respond to this new paradigm of how people are taking their content out and how will that change how Slamdance thinks about itself as a festival?

Paul: A tiny little piece of history is that Slamdance was really founded on a very, very basic, raw DIY approach. I mean sixteen filmmakers came here in '95, basically with projectors on our backs looking for an audience. We set them up in offices, hotel ballrooms, anywhere we could and we found audiences by helping each other. In a way, that's part of our DNA. Over the years, I think filmmakers have come to Slamdance and we need to reinforce in all festivals is that film-festival--filmmaker relationship that it goes beyond just the film festival. One of the things that we've been taking about is trying to find alliances not just with other film festivals and other movies theaters around the country, but trying to create a network of starting to build an audience here, Slamdance will also start releasing data to filmmakers of people coming to see their films here, what communities they're from, and trying to find venues of all sorts around the country, whether they are museums, colleges and try to really create this more permanent alternative circuit around the country so that even the films that don't get the day-date new model can leave Slamdance and start growing an audience and finding a circuit much like the art world and music world has created, starting right from their town. I think that that really starts as a healthy, open filmmaker--festival relationship where a filmmaker -- a filmmaker should come to a film festival today and leave completely educated what they can do the morning they wake up after the festival. As a festival-goer, all through the '90s, every festival I went to with all my films, the day I get back home, it's like the festival blues. I'm bummed out! Then you're just waiting for the next festival, well that should be over now. I think the filmmaker should go back home after his festival, and just "no more festival blues," be able to email, pick up the phone, and just get in the van (at very least) and to go someplace with your film. I think that that's possible now. I think whatever's going to be built here from these new models of VOD [video-on-demand] and day-date, I think that the whole community can come together and really construct the multi-level system that's here to stay this time.

[24:06] Brian: What are the specific ways that you think over the next few years you can see Slamdance changing to build and offer those tools that connect that community to a filmmaker on a year-round basis? I think you talk about those blues coming home after the fest, and if you haven't gotten that sought-after (for some people) goal of a big deal for your film when it's going out, one of the things that you're really lacking is that ongoing connection to an audience, the ongoing community-building, and when we had a conversation yesterday thinking about today we really got into some details on "what are the ways that a festival like Slamdance can on a year-round basis connect people to audiences on an ongoing basis?" I want to tease that out a little more, some specific ideas. They may not be things that you're currently 100% working on, but what are the ideas of what you think you can do next to help filmmakers?

[25:05] Peter: I think that one of the things, and just going back to the Microsoft deal is that with the four films that we have that are actually going to be starting showing next Wednesday, that even if they don't make a good deal of money that you can certainly get from this is that you're going to build an audience and that you're going to be able to take that audience somewhere else, because we've made a non-exclusive deal except for this 7-day period where the films will play, and prove that their films actually have an audience. That's great leverage, say, when you may want to work in the traditional way of finding distribution for your picture, but also for yourself if you want to individually and carry-on building your audience, maybe on a year-round basis when you've reached a point that you can release your film and have an audience that will follow it, pay for it, that is a very exciting proposition. But maybe we're just talking about Slamdance and this really isn't about Slamdance, this is about your community, the filmmaker community, but also about the festival community. It's overdue that festivals should really be working more closely with one another in supporting filmmakers and helping build their audiences. Just one idea that we spoke about was "maybe we formed a festival co-op with a number of film-festivals around the world" where you could perhaps take the winner from that festival and we promise one another that we would show that film in our own festival, and perhaps by doing that by the end of it the filmmaker would have a tremendous audience built internationally, and they would be able to take that to the next level, perhaps trough a VOD festival, but I think that's a very positive example of how in cooperative way a festivals can help build audiences for filmmakers.

[27:03] Brian: Let's tease that out a little more. We were speaking about the fact that I recently in a conference for filmmakers---it's a great conference actually, I didn't mean to denigrate them whatsoever---of conversations where we raise sponsorships and ticking and all these other things. They're a lot of conversations where "how can we, as a festival, maybe collaborate to help filmmaker get their films and their release?" Not just with Slamdance, but I think this is going to be something that affects every festival where new way of dealing with releasing your film, and Slamdance is experimenting with premiering their film on VOD and other platforms immediately after a festival, that completely changes the dynamic of the festival circuit. The idea that you used to premiere it at Slamdance or Sundance or Berlin or wherever it is, and go on a tour and look for a distributor and do all of this other stuff, if now all of these films are premiering possibly to the public just after their premier, a lot of other festivals won't be able to have those films and want that premier in their community in some way and have it on DVD. So what are some of the strategies that filmmakers can work---not just for Slamdance, but for the festival community as a whole, working together, figure out how we as a film-festivals better serve audiences and filmmakers on a year-round basis?

Peter: Well, I think the simple answer would be to stop that. I think that is a really short-sited view, especially in light of what we're seeing in terms of the traditional distribution world, which has broken down and surly that should be the job of a festival to stop thinking like that. For example, we have a film here called Mind of the Demon, the Larry Linkogle and I think the great thing about that film was that it started locally, where it was made, in a community, and it played twice in this local community built up an audience, and now it's at Slamdance, and we're all working together. We've gotten to stage one where they'res a community built, and now it's gotten to the next level of that, because, for example, that is a film that's playing on the Microsoft deal, and so I think that really the festival [build] and festival non-exclusive approach to this is really essential of what's going on in the film industry.

[29:33] Paul: The whole concept, the whole tradition of festivals wanting to do premiers and basically rejecting films because they're not premiers -- it's very narrow-minded because it's not looking at the value of the audience build-up that that filmmaker can bring to your festival. So festivals have really got to look at what this kind of event is bringing. If a film is really successful on a seven-day after Slamdance, and it's going to go to a more regional festival somewhere, it has old-fashioned thinking of wanting premiers. They're going to benefit much much more of bringing that festival and bringing all that attention out of that community that that's going to bring. I think the more noise that's created within the community and the social networking community, that's all going to start creating more and more value, because it's a just a bigger event and there's just millions and millions of people to reach and it goes beyond just offering a smaller community, a premier that maybe a 200-seat theater is going to see twice. I think that this is just starting to be comprehended at-large; Slamdance has been trying to reach out for years. One of the bad things is that it's been impossible for Slamdance to grow in Park City, there's simply no real estate to have more screening rooms. On the plus side, that brings a very intimate, personal relationship with all our filmmakers. We've all taken calls from filmmakers for months after the film festival, because we have this personal relationship, and all the filmmakers do too. That relationship is really valuable and can carry forth between film festivals and between museums, and I think that everyone's starting to understand that more and more, and this is the foundation. There's really the chance to really build the solid, multi-tiered network alternative network, because the VOD thing, the streaming thing gets bigger and bigger, that's going to become commercialized, and that's going to become somewhat exclusive, and that's where films are going to be left out, good films who are left out. We really have the opportunity to build a solid network to offer a way for these films to be seen more and more.

[32:07] Brian: One of the things that I've been talking about working with people I've been working with lately---the internet obviously affecting all of what we are doing in digital---I often say that the past of the internet has been about 'search' and the future is about 'find,' about finding what you want. A big role of film-festivals have been that curator who helps you find the films, and you obviously have to turn down a lot of films every year that you like. Given what we know where things are today and where things are going, if you were re-imagine completely how slamdance can act as that curator, not just here at the fest, but on a year-round basis, what do you hope to be doing by next year to re-envision that role as a curator?

Peter: Well, I think that most of the things that we got right, by accident really, because what we did earlier on is that we realized that full blocks to program the festival, it would be a pretty good idea to open it up and have other voices decide the programming. We live by this mantra "by filmmakers for filmmakers," so the filmmakers who have been at the festival each year come back and program the festival from all different places. We had 67 this year that started off, got smaller as the submissions came in but nevertheless we had 67 submissions to begin with. I think that's really important, because it's the filmmakers who decide the programming and what I'm really excidted about in the future is what Paul is saying, "not just here in Park City, but thinking on a year-round basis." We have that great depth of what the programmers have done for Slamdance already by selecting films that are not here this year, because we did not have room, but a great independent films that we can show. We are trusting

[]: The electricity has gone out, we're no longer live. Paul: Somebody leaning on the wall? Peter: So we're trusting the filmmakers with our programming. We believe that it's the power of the filmmakers that can decide our programming, but in the end what's more important is the audience decides. That's what our program is presenting to them so that they can make the final decision.

Paul: With the advent of getting the selection, we're kind of in the infancy of digitizing the selection process, without a box which has this system where you can upload the film to a festival and they're just going to start watching it that way, and I think that it's in it's infancy. The online section process is kind of in it's infancy but as that grows, I think that Slamdance will be able to -- right now the programming by filmmakers for Slamdance mainly in New York and Los Angles, but in the future we'll be able to bring in all festivals Slamdance alumni from all over the world to decide on the programming, probably. That's something that's not going to happen next year, but we do want to keep the filmmakers involved and strengthening that filmmaker-festival relationship beyond the seven days is really going to be a way for film-festivals to stay part of independent filmmaking around the world. It's that personal relationship that's all-important. Filmmakers will come back and promote you. I think the relationship is important and the technology is making that relationship easier year-round.

Brian: On the discussion board, and in advance of this, they're been a couple panels I've been on recently; there's been some pretty frank dialogue from filmmakers saying "why do I even need a film festival anymore?" "Why don't I just premiere at some special venue, do some special event, program my own theatrical?" with whatever alternate method they are using. There's been a lot of big questions of "does a film-festival really fit in this equation?" I personally believe that it does, just to be really honest from the start, but both speaking of Slamdance and your particular role but also thinking about festivals in general, what are your thoughts on why our festivals are still important, and how can they help people in this new environment?"

Paul: I'm sure they're going to be great success stories in the future about a film-maker who makes a film, and he just stays locked in his room at his computer, and makes millions of dollars sending it out to people. But the value of film festivals, again, is breaking down those walls and coming together in-person and sitting in a room and meeting each other. Take park city for example, you walk down the street, you come to Sundance/Slamdance. You're meeting people, and there's a lot to talk about and that human connection is the ultimate value, and that's going to happen at film festivals at first. So a lot of it's about the type of film you have, the type of person you have, and what kind of filmmaker you want to be. I think the human contact, the being there with other people and I think that's going to have to be preserved somewhat. Film festivals are going to have to be able to preserve that. You go home from a film festival and you remember the people you were hanging out with, whether you were talking about a film or sitting next to them in a theatre or if you were naked next to them in a hottub. Those are the memories that you take home with you.

[38:07] That was a pitch for the hottub party coming up.

Peter: I think that that's true, but I think that what's changing here is the it used to be that a few years ago you really needed a festival after you made your film, as a platform maybe to find a distribution or an agent for your picture. I think that really what we're talking about here today that it's now part of the film making progress, and I think it's really important for independent filmmakers to really grasp now that once they've finished their film, it's really just the beginning and a film festival can be a part of that, but how they build an audience, it could be a festival, it could be other ways of doing that. They have to take charge, and they have to take control of that now in the future. They cannot rely on just a festival alone to do that. They have to have a plan. It really is now part of the full filmmaking process, it's as important as your production---I know that may be disappointing for a lot to hear---but really, as an independent filmmaker to survive and to continue with your filmmaking, that now is your job. That's what you have to take onboard, you have to take control, you have to seize that for the future because you simply cannot rely now on the old system, the gatekeepers that allowed you in to, for example, an acquisition deal, that, as we know seeing this week, that really has gone away. It started last year, and has now fallen. We now have this great opportunity, some of the things that we have been speaking about today, to look forward to our own future, which we are fully 100% in charge of. That now is the job of every independent filmmaker.

Brian: I used to run an independent film-festival in Atlanta, the [Atlanta Filmfest], and my biggest disappointment was that we would have 700 in our biggest house come out to see a film, and they loved it, they loved every bit of it. They stayed for the Q&A and asked the same dumb questions over and over and they would then inevitably ask the same question: they would say "when can I get your film?" Every filmmaker would say "well, we're looking for a distributor" and they would walk out the door never to be seen again and they've lost 700 consumers. Obviously filmmakers have started to figure that out and they've started to sell DVDs at their festival premiers etc. although I have yet to be offered a DVD for sale here at Slamdance (ya' idiots) and in a bigger sense my disappointment isn't so much in the filmmakers because they have a lot on their minds. It was on a festival basis "how can we on an ongoing basis help translate that audience into an ongoing help for those filmmakers?" For example, the film may not be premiering day-and-date, but it might be coming out soon. How can we as a festivals think of new ways to tell those audiences about the film then releasing on [NetFlix] or being on VOD or playing on that town theatrical. How can festivals work together to push audiences in that way, remind them about a film when it's coming out, are there data-sharing policies? You mentioned briefly trying to be more open about that in the future, but can you talk a little bit more about how -- there's a few film-festival programmers in the audience I know, what are the ways that film-festivals can work together really to help leverage that audience on an ongoing basis (because that's what they need)?

[41:52] Paul: I think that at the stage where we are right now, where we don't have this perfect infrastructure or alternative infrastructure yet, I think it does come back to the filmmaker-festival relationship after the festival. I think that filmmakers have to come to festivals really prepared with what's available in their community, and they can come to Slamdance and go "I'm premiering here, and I'm going to go back to [De Moine] or whereever it is and there's this movie theater, there's this museum and it's about offering the brand back to the filmmaker in those communities. If they can go back to their communities and organize some screenings, and invite some of the other Slamdance filmmakers to this event in their home community, that's how this alternative is going to be built. I think that it's really about infusing, giving a little bit of branding power back to the filmmaker from Slamdance back in their community is a good way to start, and that's some of the ways we're starting to think. Giving them the names, giving them the contacts, giving them the institutions that we're starting to contact so that they can go be Slamdance in their community, and that's going to help them go reach out to the community. I think those are the types of things that we're talking about, and I think that's going to help Slamdance, and that's going to help film festivals in general, and it needs to be this year-round two-way avenue and I think that the films that are going to greatly benefit from this are the films that are not going to get the ideal deals. I think that the Microsofts, the [NetFlix], all these streaming deals, those are being run by corporations who are going to kind of fall into this corporate model of selection of what works best for them, what's the easiest thing to market, and there's going to be a lot more opportunities and more films are going to be picked up for that, but the door is going to be shut on a lot of films at that level too, and I think that now with the sense of community tighting up the film-festivals can really give something back to the filmmakers in terms of the brand and building in their community. It's just easier to do now.

[44:10] Peter: 'Share,' I think that's the simple word to use here. I don't think that film festivals share enough information with one another. Perhaps it's easy for me to say because side-by-side with Sundance, but every festival should share information. One example is that once the film is programmed, we can check in with other film festivals we can see what kind of audiences that they found. Certain things that could help the promotion of that film within the next festival program, but the reality is that I really don't think there is a lot of sharing around film festivals around the world, they are very directed towards what they themselves are doing next year as a festival. I think that it's very simple and very easy to share information on a year-round basis with one another, to help the filmmaker.

[]: You talk about filming in South Africa...

Peter: Paul's just mentioned the other events around the world, where we work with local festival organizers sometimes, but that's a Slamdance example where we work with local festival organizers sometimes, but that's a Slamdance example where we work with alumnias, but what we're talking about here is working with other film festivals, and I think that that's essential.

[45:34] Brian: My quick challenge to you and others at the festival: we've been able to come up with platforms like [withoutabox] like [b-side] that are really helping festivals on the backend with a lot of stuff. We need to build things that are helping the audience in connections around aff of this stuff in the long-term. However, I want to open it up to a couple of questions from the floor. We're not going to do a lot of Q&A, because we're hoping that people will join the discussion on the discussion board, but I want to take at least a couple of questions. Whoever's got the smartest thing raise your hand. Right here --

Audience member: How's it going? My name is Tim, I have a quick question: so we're talking about the independent film taken outside of the festival, two things communities, so for someone who's got a short film such as myself, am I supposed to take the risk and bring it into the community outside of the festival, and potentially lose my audience? Perhaps other film festivals, perhaps if they can view it? Does that make sense?

Brian: So the question is "should the filmmaker be going out into their community separate from the festival, and will that risk any of the other festival---

Audience member: I just feel that the film festival might have some regulations about how where the film is shown prior to reception there.

Brian: Right, so: how much should a film-maker think about festival rules and premiers and all those other things in terms of their outreach to their audience. If they're trying to focus on their audience, and community building, how much do they need to follow the festival rules and what should they change?

Paul: Well, I think that a lot more choices are being made available, and I think that filmmakers have got to become a little smarter than just filling out festival applications. You've got to make a choice, if you premier at Sundance/Slamdance where there's some kind of bang, are you going to bigger, are you going to be more notorious, are you going to be more successful showing your film soon after that premier in your community, and maybe added another 10,000 people to your audience or are you going to be more successful waiting 4 months and going to Boston, Atlanta, Rochester, whereever, and get your community there. The filmmaker has to make these decisions -- the independent filmmaker, they are very good at making their films, and the struggle has always been the business of film distribution, and they've relied on a lot of outside advice. Well now there's all this information now that the filmmaker can start making calls for himself, and where's he going to be bigger, and where's the film going to get bigger or your name going to get bigger quicker? It's the lifestyle thing, there's a lot of filmmakers who are like "hey, I want to go hang out at film festivals and meet people and make those kinds of contacts, and that's valid." I know people like that, and that might not be the smart thing to do anymore. These are personal choices that filmmakers are facing, and they're just going to have to become better at it. Film festivals should help them with that, and people with more experience with the exchange of ideas---Lance Weiler and the [Workbook project] and all these blogs now of resources---there's enough information there to go through all this stuff and say "you know what, I'm just going to do this, what this guy did."

Peter: Festivals shouldn't be doing "this," they should just be doing "this." I say be wary of film festivals that have those limitations, and if you accept them make sure that they do something very special for you to help with strategy that you have worked out with your film, beforehand.

Brian: We have precisely one minute, so there's one question in the back, and quick answers back.

Audience member: has there been any thought on making filmmakers that have appeared in your filmfestival their DVD available for purchase through web sites, even if it were a link to be sent ...

Brian: To reword the question quickly, are there ways festivals can be helpful in selling their DVDs or VOD or anything else off the backs of film festivals, are those things thought about strategy wise?

Peter: Sure, with an EST ([electronic sell-though]) as well, but I don't think that will necessarily be DVD, that could be EST . What's exciting about that is the standard that you can achieve for the viewer. That can be a very high standard now, I think for the independent film maker.

Brian: I would just take from your question here, originally, the one thing that I would kind of challenge if you want to think about it in the room is, outside of Sundance, Slamdance, Berlin, a few of the real big top-tier festivals out there, a lot of festivals were really founded because it was impossible to get these films in certain communities unless the festival brought them there. When I was running the [Atlanta Film Fest], if we didn't bring that film to Atlanta, it was never going to show. There now a lot of other ways to get to that audience and that festivals, so I think as filmmakers you need to figure out "are the festivals value-added that help you reach that audience, better than you can do through your own through other means," some of which will be talked about today by the other panelists. I've been told we have other questions in the room, but I've been told that we have no more time; [Satergerg] is just dying to get up here, so we're going to move on, but I thank you both for your willingness to get up here and talk about this. I hope that all the film festival programmers in the room will introduce themselves to these two guys and sit down for a beer later on and think of new ways you can help filmmakers and audience to get together and, thank you all.

Peter: Thank you Brian.

Lance: There's some empty seats if anybody wants to come up and take them I promise the people here won't bite, so you can move yourself forward. Thank you very much guys for doing that for the panel.

<video break> [54:30] Lance: We have so much that we are trying to do today that we're going to try and move quickly and leave some room for interaction with the people who are outside of the room, so this next time when Jamie [] finishes we'll try to take questions from the people that are out there online. I'm very excited to say that Jamie came all the way from Berlin to be here today to be able to talk to us about what he's up to, and I had the privilege of meeting Jamie I guess a year or two ago, and he's doing some really interesting things in terms of torrents, in terms of delivery, so thank you very much Jamie and I'll let you take the floor.

Jamie: A pleasure. Thanks, cheers. I'm in a weird position, because I'm always asked [to present] as the "Steal this Film guy." How many people know about Steal this Film (that we made)? I'm always asked as the "Steal this Film guy" who used the pirate networks and BitTorrent to reach millions of people to speak at a point where either we were being painted as a people painted as destroying an industry, or certainly not as a people that might have a solution or might be in any way able to help. Suddenly it sounds like the conversations that are going on are "here we are building audiences, and finding new audiences online through peer-to-peer at the same time as old industry is discovering them and I'm hearing people saying things like "it's just broken, it's just not there, the distribution system is not just working." Honestly, it makes me feel a bit more nervous because it makes me feel far more responsible than a pirate should.

Since most of you know about Steal this Film, I'll just explain a little bit about where we came from, where we are, and where we're going. We started off in Steal this Film in May 2006 and you can say what you like about the content of Steal this Film but I think that one of the important things about it for us is that we wanted to try to use peer-to-peer networks, these sort of bare-mouth, massively-subtracting value from all of these distribution channels and destroying us all. We sort of felt that they were opportunities for us, and that we could use them to promote ourselves and to be heard and be seen. We kind of make use of those channels by working with centers of attention that exist online already, so places people are going in their millions to download illegally and legally, with authorization and without authorization, but that is practically where people are going to download to watch, to get their entertainment, and we figured "why not be pragmatic about it?" We've got a film, we've got a project, why not go to the place where people are looking for this stuff? It was a result of that that we kind of built an audience of around cumulatively around Steal this Film over 6,000,000 people. It become a kind of global brand, as you can see from how many people put their hands up. I think that what's worth observing about that is that was a sort of zero-pan, zero-pence market budget. From what we were hearing previously, it certainly had value to us as filmmakers, right? It changed everything for us. That's the peer-to-peer communities that did that for us, that's word-of-mouth, that's people distributing our film for us, using BitTorrent technology. I think it's worth meditating on that for a bit, the value of filmmakers and the value of that that's available to us all right now. One of the things that's happened over the years was that I was asked repeatly in situations like this by filmmakers, "how would I reproduce this experience?" Assuming I had a film which I didn't mind giving away, because that's the sort of quid pro quo, it was free to share. Whatever business models you managed to build, they have to be based around giving it away. For years I've answered the same thing since around 2006, you could go to your friendly neighborhood pirate, you could go and work with them directly, you could find out where people are downloading films like yours, and find where they are going. Really, nobody ever ever did it. In time, it became obvious that we should build a system to reproduce what we did with Steal this Film. Since about 2008, we've basically spoken to all the big centers of attention online, and some of them have changed recently quite radically (like [mininova], for example), which used to have around 8 million visitors a day was recently shut down. People like them, people like the Pirate Bay are very famous, I'm sure you all know another global sort of brand. We asked people like this---it's my view that people like this---I'm often criticized as being an idealist, but they're not---I think that they have an eye on the future, that they would like to contribute to a future that helps us to be seen and that helps us to build new business models. This is my view of them. When I asked them was "look, if we found filmmakers who would like to share, who would like to start building business models around sharing, would you help them?" Because these guys have between them, say Pirate Bay would recently have between 17-20 million users a day, that kind of numbers, or [Iso hunt], probably 8 million. We just put together a gang of them and asked them "would you give us promenent, front-page real estate on the front page of your site to promote content makers who want to make use of that?" Every single one of them said yes.

You can read that how you like, but I think it's an important indicator that you can believe what the MPAA says or the industry says and I'm sure that there's something in it by subtracting from old industries and so-on, but clearly these people have a progressive bent and would like to help in some way. (There's somebody calling [on Skype], by the way -- no, it's not Steven.)

[1:01:29] So what we've done is we've worked with filmmakers, for example a [channel 4] British broadcasting foundation to find films and filmmakers who for one reason or another are in a position where they'd like to take advantage of this system, and as you can guess from the previous discussion there's quite a number of people, it not a small number. They find themselves in a position of not having a distribution channel of knowing damn well that they're not going to make a cent out of their work, and are prepared to experiment with a model where at the very least they'll be seen. We what we found so far is that out of all the millions of people who are now seeing marketing for our releases, we're building audiences of around a 250-300 thousand per month for each release. That really stacks up for what you kind of expect for any major portal. You have not a cats-hell-in-chance views on YouTube if you just uploaded your videos. Lance [] has asked me to both say where we're at, and suggest what we think is the way forward. All I can tell you is that we've come right from the edge, we've come from a point where we've never expected to be in a situation like this, even suggesting what a model might be for filmmakers who've been in an industry much longer than we have; we started as technologists. But here we are thinking that a very major filesharing client called [Limewire] (how many of you know Limewire?) just rang us up out of the blue and said "we'd like to help distribute film, we'd like to help with your releases." For something like that, they have 17 million users. It's kind of Microsoft-centered.

I'm going to offer you three possible models, and I'm sure that you will criticize all of them:

1) If we can begin to build an audience, to get where we are now, which is 300 thousand downloads of our films, towards 1 million and over, we think that it's probable that we can find sponsors that would be interested in supporting that activity. I don't know what you think, but to us it seems like a no-brainer, once we get towards 1 million, 2 million, 3 million, and our plan would be "if we accept that if people want to watch your film, they can find a copy of it," and instead of trying to prevent people from seeing the film, isn't the object of cinemetrography is to be seen? So let people see it and reduce the friction and by doing that, by accepting that your film can multiply and reach these massive audiences, we can sort of create such large numbers through BitTorrent networks, through networks that we're using, that sponsors will want to associate themselves with it and will be able to build a kind of business model we can share with filmmakers. What does anyone think? Does that sound sensible, or am I missing something? Because when I say it, people look at me like that sounds too simple. Does it sound too simple?

Question: Do you know Limewire? When I use BitTorrent software on my end there's all types of content on there, and to [] because less appropriate content because you can download it from one of those sites.

Jamie: All these issues are raised because you've got all these upsides, like the Steal this Film story being able to reach millions of people at literally zero cost. Then you have all these downsides, which is you can't guarantee that any single one of those people is going to pay for your media, you can't stop them from accessing it, you can't stop them from remixing it, you can't stop them from putting it on their own DVD, there are all sorts of things that you cannot control. Isn't it about balancing those benefits against the downsides? That's the way that I look at it.

Question: From out here, it's a method. It's a means of getting a film out that have a large audience of some of those venues. You bring up YouTube in many ways it's similar. You have the issue of right now it makes sense where you have a filmmakers putting out, purposely share, and having opportunity to have those shown. But how do you scale? That becomes more of a standard, that a similar issue of people even knowing that your film exists and being able to find it. It comes out of promotion again, it's a network, so how does one actually find the film and stuff they care about?

Jamie: Yeah, so I think the question was about about how people find things and in the end I should say that VODO as well as being a distribution method is in effect an attention-generating tool. What we've done is said "where are the centers of attention online, where are people going to get their entertainment, and what we've realized is that one of the things that's changed is it's become very easy to distribute media out to the places where people are actually watching it, where they are already going to look for things. So why shouldn't we go to them? The old model is "let's build a portal, and then we'll work out some way of getting everybody there." Almost everything you hear, almost every version of reality you hear is a portal of some kind, it's a question is always "how are you going to get these millions of people there?" But if you just flip it and say "we know there are all these people at PirateBay, so let's go and advertise right there, and by the way it doesn't cost anything to get your film to them." In a way what we've done is clearly become another gatekeeper but just a different kind of one and hopefully one that's replicable so that someone else can do it differently.

How many minutes do I got? One minute. That's what you get for answering questions in the middle of your talk. [] OK, so the really controversial one is that for years it's been obvious to me that branded content for example if you look at what costs money for advertisers to make adverts, its media-spend, right? The vast majority of their money is in media-spend. We've kind of nailed media-spend. Steal this Film has been seen this many millions of times, and that would traditionally cost you quite a bit of money to get to those people. So it becomes obvious that we could begin to come to something that's not coincidental that I'm hearing conversations about branded content again and again. I'm just hearing them repeatedly, brands making films, brands working with filmmakers, brands starting to fund films. Clearly, it's possible for us to say "hey, we've got a network where you can reach 3 million viewers, could brands work as co-producers, could they " What do you think about that, could that be more dangerous?

How would you see that play out? Give me an example.

Jamie: There are already examples, right? I don't know which agencies, but there was this film [Summers Town, Shane Meadows] that was a mother and director, and the brand was [Euroso], I remember that part. It was reasonably well reviewed, I don't know how well it did [overall], the distribution model seemed to be cinema, which struck me kind of peculiar because "why bother?" Once you've admitted that it's your own star paying for the film, we could have found an audience of like 5 million for that. I think it's problematic but interesting. What do you think?

Audience: I think that you're going to end up with the same problems, you're just making it more commercially-supported by a company. That's the problem, if it's a problem where you're not going to be allowed to make content with that company if that company doesn't want to pay you. Same problem where you end up with TV commercials sponsoring TV competition.

Jamie: Yeah. I don't know a lot about making films with lots of money, I've only made films for very small amounts of money, but I suspect it's a similar type of discussion.

Audience-to-audience: but two [] aren't working, audience: right, but I'm saying that the problem is that you are limited by the content you can make because they're not going to pay for content they don't want.

[Room discussion] Lance: Do peer-to-peer-released films have obstacles to getting broadcast to getting on cable? Jamie: Somebody wants to know if you can go from stuff that we've distributed to cable. I can tell you that two public-access channels want to distribute films that have gone out on VODO, I haven't had a paid cable channel yet, but I'm sure it'll happen. Because it seems that a few distributors have written to us saying that "we've seen the film on VODO, and could I do something with that?" It's just a question of if it cannibalizes their market. My suspicion is not -- the ones that would watch your film on tele are different than the ones that would watch it through BitTorrent.

Audience: Can you talk about the [identity fund]? I'm curious about your model around generating some revenue for the filmmaker. It's not about the downloads, it's about donate.

Jamie: Yeah, sure. 'Donate' is really interesting and really problematic, because for Steal this Film donate worked really well. We sort of messed up in some ways, like when we asked for $1 we had this idea that a million people would download Steal this Film and we'd ask for a dollar and everyone would give us a dollar. Well, everyone doesn't give a dollar, 'k. About one-in-a-thousand, 'k. But, but, that sharpens the mind a bit when you get $3,000--$7,001 minus 30¢ to PayPal each time. That's really annoying. So the second time we said, if you said $5, because of the 30¢ that's going to go to PayPal, and if you give us $15 we'll give you a free mystery gift (which is just like stickers and stuff) and I'll tell you that 98% of people gave us $15 and so it becomes much more significant, which is how we got to this point of getting to $25-30,000 just in donations. But you have to bear in mind that Steal this Film is really, really big so you can't reproduce it for other filmmakers automatically and it will be like wrong to say that you say that you could. What we know, and what we've got to do with VODO is to have filmmakers say "look, if you're trying to get them to do deals with people who want to support them, we'll give you stickers for $5, we'll give you a special signed poster for $10, because actually people just want an excuse to support you as much as they can, really." It's really strange, but we see that as one channel that's important, and it kind of goes to the last thing I'm going to say---I'm sorry to go over---if you, for example, look at our latest release on VODO, which is called The Lionshare fiction film, I looked at our tracker which is how we manage the distribution of content and I think the last time I looked it was like 80 terabytes had been transferred, and if you look at the value of 80 terabytes of data, if you bought it off of [S3], it's many thousands of dollars that's been underwritten by our community. It's literally been paid for by users, people like you who have home internet connections sharing data with other people, and that's a cost that we don't have to shoulder. I think that things like donation and things like donating bandwidth to distributing film on the behalf of the independent filmmakers points the way to the future in which the distinction between being a producer, consumer, and distributor is just breaking down and I think that we should try to involve or incentivise people to distribute our films for us, instead incentize people to promote our films. Incentivize people to blog about our films, go out there and promote them, go out there and share bandwidth for us. I haven't got time to go into detail about that now, but I think in the future it's going to be really important to recognize that it's important to realize that "we shot the film, put it together, and a distributor got it and managed to get it to the people and they paid for it." Now they're even paying out of their own pocket to help us get the films to other people, and that's like the reality right now. We could plot that forward and start to see a dynamic that really challenges the entire story, and if you add in the fact that producers consumers are making films for various reasons, and it all gets really interesting and complicated, and we're right in the middle of that and I think there's a lot of really exciting possibilities. Thanks for listening.

[1:15] Lance: Thank you very much. Excellent. We're going to have two giveaways in the room, and maybe we'll do it on a voted question or something like that. One of the books that we have is by [Christopher Holm], which is called [Film Festival Secrets], and Christopher is here, he's actually the author, and maybe he'll actually sign it for you. We also have a book by [John Rees], which we will be giving away later as well. So we are going to go to Finland now, and this next session is about crowdsourced filmmaking, and this is [Timo].

Lance: Timo, can you say hello to everyone?

Timo Vuorensola: Hello, how are you doing? Lance: So, this next session is really about the idea of crowd-sourced filmmaking, and Timo has been doing a lot of stuff on the cutting edge of that for quite some time, he has a wonderful new project called [Iron Sky], which I'll let him explain that. He's also working on a thing called [wreck-a-movie], which is www.wreckamovie.com, which is a crowd-sourced destination, so if you're looking to make films with other people in the world you should defiantly check it out. So Timo, I'm going to pass it off to you and let you take it from here, thanks so much for joining us.

Timo: Thank you very much. OK, so, hello from Finland. I'm here to talk, as Lance very well explained already, bascially about what I feel and what I think about collaborative filmmaking and how I think that they are actually is quite an enormous possibility there to help independent filmmakers and why not even independent filmmakers to actually realize their projects? My experience is actually limited to only two films, of which the latter one is still in production and the first one was released in 2005, which is like 5 years ago. Much has changed from that, but I've been trying to understand how to get people involved in your film production, and how to get them working for you making relevent and important things for you which would be otherwise out of your reach as a budget-wise or time-wise. Lance actually asked me to first bascially explain what kind of a place is the area in which I'm working on as a filmmaking, "what is it to make film in Finland?" To sum it up very shortly, it's bascially the problem of Finland is that this is a very small place with a very, very small language with only 5 million people actually speaking Finnish, so you either need to do Finnish-language films or English-language films and there's not very much talent for working on English films here. The good thing about making films in Finnland is that we have a lot of possibilities to fund the film from so-called soft money sources, meaning that we can go over to [Finnish Film Foundation] or [European Union] or we can go over to [Nordish Film and Television Foundation] and that sort of stuff. Again, quite a lot of money for the budget from there, we don't operate so much on private investments and that sort of stuff, but it's very restricted and limited who can get those monies and be able to prove yourself quite confidently before you're able to even apply for that money.

My first experience with film that I'm going to explain to you briefly is something called [star wreck]. I'm not sure if you've heard about the film prior, it's a science fiction parady, it's in the Finnish language, it's about Star Trek and [Bayblon 5], if you remember the [Bayblon 5] television series back in 1995 they started, I don't know how long they ran, but our basic idea with with [star wreck] was to get two big brands which are Star Trek and [Baylon 5] and get those guys fighting each other because there was a lot of talk on the internet that "what would happen if Star Trek and [Baylon 5] universes would clash?" We thought, let's make a film out of that, that will be possibly quite a funny thing and we started to craft all that, but we had three major problems with the film: 1) we had never done a film, 2) we didn't have any money, and 3) we didn't have any crew or equipment or anything like that. We had to come up with all that by ourselves and instead of actually going out and begging filmmakers to help us and fund films and that sort of stuff [] sources to make this film because we would have been laughed out of the room if we were to say that we're going to make this and we don't know how to make it. We turned over to the internet and started to ask people, we said "OK, here's a concept and we have something to show and we have a little bit of an idea how to make this work and started to gather data of a kind of core community around film production. It was basically like a few-hundred people from all over the world who started to help with [Star Wreck] and started to put it together in some sort of package which would be eventually seven years later released as a feature-length film on the internet for free distribution by using torrents and direct downloads, and [Star Wreck] became quite an "important" film; it happened to be the first feature-length film ever released for free on the internet. That was more or less interesting to many people because little bit before the time of YouTube and a little bit before this kind of internet video revolution, whatever you want to call it, we happened to pull in there and throw quite a good-looking science fiction film. OK, terrible amateur acting in a way, but a lot of people loved that, they felt it was an important part of what we were doing. "You need to act like shit, otherwise this wouldn't so worthwhile." Then again, as a contrast we would have more-or-less an American-television-serious quality.

[Skype call reset.] [1:24:10] Timo: Hi there. Hope you can hear me now. As I was talking, the film had quite cool special effects and stuff. It became quite a big internet hit, and it was downloaded around 8-9 million times on the internet and we were able to make quite a bit of money from it because we were still selling DVD and television distribution and rights to the film, but still the basic idea was that you could want this film to be available on the internet for free. If you want to distribute it on a DVD or show it on television or that sort of thing, OK, if you pay us and you agree that it's not going to be taken out there, so that was our philosophy there. But one thing that made the film more-or-less interesting one for us, at least, was the fact that we were able to use our community so effectively to get this stuff done. I would say that 50% of the stuff that we see on the screen is more-or-less touched by the community. This was something that we worked on further, and we wanted to develop a platform for that that would make it easier for anybody to first say that our idea is easy for us to continue with the next film, but then we started to think then "OK, why not have the idea of every filmmaker in the world use this?" Of course, that's not going to happen, but that's still the idea and we started to create this community platform called [wreckamovie.com], where the idea came from "wrecking," which we were thinking of doing in more or less in the traditional ways to make film. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but the basic idea was that anyone from over there could come over here and setup their own film production and ask the community to help on different kinds of that we call "tasks." The idea is that the filmmaker lays out these certain tasks to the community, which can be anything. They can be anything from beginning from "I need this kind of graphic" and "I need you to help on this small piece of script" or "I need you to do this whatever part of production you could be helpful with," and by using these tasks you can create this kind of big force of collaborators who can help you in the areas that you don't have expertise or possibilities because of the budget or anything. It started to work actually quite well. What I found out by working with communities was kind of the first question which most people usually ask: "Why should I do this for free for this assholes in Finland or this asshole somewhere else?" The thing is that it's just a way for the internet, if something meaningful is layed over to you, you can sense that there's somebody who has a passion for this thing. There's a lot of people that want to help, and the thing about film is that there is actually no profession who couldn't be at least somehow helpful in the production of film, either through his profession or through his hobbies and we were able to gather quite a nice group because we were able to work on the next film called [Iron Sky], which I'm going to tell you briefly about now, which is that [Iron Sky] is a science fiction comedy, tt's a little darker science fiction comedy, and the pitch line is that in 1945, the Nazis went to the moon, and in 2018 they're coming back. With this idea, we started to create our next feature film using the community to help us realize things that we wound't be able to do, because as said in Finland, budgets are unfornatuely not big enough for massive productions and in addition to that we wanted to not just create the film but create quite a believable world around it, and explore there were in this quite interesting setting. We built this [wreckamovie] community first for us but later on as we opened it up and asking people to join us we found out that there's thousands of people that want to do this also. Right now it's not a massive site, it's definatly not a Facebook-status site, but we have about 250 film productions going on there and about 350,000 users. The user base is getting bigger all the time, and the good thing about that is that whenever somebody lays out a task there's always 10 or 50 people who are willing to help and willing to collaborate. This idea is also borne of the fact that I am also a little bit let's say skeptical about getting money from the community as-such. I found out that there is a kind of certain limit, which is a big limit, you can get I'm sure a lot of people who say "bullshit" but you can get let's say $100,000 from the community, but after that it gets more complicated and more-and-more time consuming compared to what you could do with that time. I personally think that the biggest help from the community can actually be by getting their professional share on the film and there's of course a possibility to get some money from there and we're defiantly doing this, we're selling what we call "war bonds," which is kind of a piece of paper which costs you 50€ or something like that, and these kind of things. But personally, we're more interested in this kind of collaborative kind of idea.

[1:30] Now, I'm going to wrap this up because I think that I'm starting to run out of time quite soon, but basically, but about Iron Sky in brief: I said that it's a film we're working on in this collaborative platform, but in addition to that we have quite a big team working on it here in Germany and Finland. It's sort of a bigger film, it has a budget of 5.7 million euros (or 8 million in dollars), it's collaborative, it's a co-production between Germany and Finland, so these parts are making the film, and the film will be shot starting the 27th of April we start shooting and the film should be out hopefully in theatres, hopefully on internet, hopefully on DVD, [bluray] what you get, sometime in 2011. So this is my kind of wrap about this, to kind of put it together in the end I think that what I want to say for the filmmakers is that there is a lot of thousands of people all over the world who are more than interested in joining you and helping you get the film done. It's at the same time you get much more that you were able to do with your current budget or current time limits, but in addition you also get wonderful marketing for the film. What happened for [star wreck] was that we had about 3,000 people helping us, and those 3,000 started telling to 10 of their friends and they started telling 10 of their friends and suddenly the film found very easily a very fast, although those people became the critical mass that was required for it to become more-or-less successful.

Thank you everyone! I hope that you have enjoyed this.

Lance: Thank you very much Timo. Timo, we're going to have some people ask you some questions, can you hold on for a second? Does anybody in the room have any questions for Timo? We have somebody in the back there.

Audience: I have a question: when you have 10-15 people respond back wanting to do something for the film, how do you edit those entries, because obviously there can only be one person that becomes elected for that particular task. How do you manage the expectations given your time for your project.

Lance: The question is: How do you manage tasks amongst the various people that you have when somebody goes forward, and determining who's going to do it, and who's going to manage the task? Is that accurate?

Timo: In short, it's a tagging sort of idea, we have categories for each of these kinds of tasks which "this one goes to writers" and "this one goes to art people" and "this one goes to actors" and whatnot. By this way they should more or less find the best possible people through the community, and yes, there's also a lot of developing that we have to do to make it effective because what I've found out in many cases with tasks is that it actually needs quite a fast response to it, because "I need it all by Monday" and so I have 1-2 days to get it done. So it's important that you're able to put it out there, find the people quite fast, and to get them motivated to help you quite fast because usually it's not just a few months of waiting around, you really need it fast. Does this answer the question?

Audience: If three or four people respond back to your request, how do you pick which one does it, and how do you manage expectations with those people who have... Lance: If you have more than one or two people who want the same task, how do you determine who you take, and how do you make sure that you're not alienating the community in doing so?

Timo: Right, actually this one also goes with the collaborative idea which it's not sort of a community where we're giving out that your're setting up a task then you get people joining in on the tasks, each one of them gets something out there and you decide which one is the best and you say "this is the best one so far, let's continue working on this." It's sort of an iterative model where during a certain amount of time you're able to direct the community into the right direction. I know that there's a possibility that sometimes this might alienate people because some people can get quite personal with a lot of stuff they do, but this is something that I've found out is very important, chopping the tasks into as-small pieces as possible because to activate the community it's like "I don't go out there and say I have an idea for a zombie film, could you write the script for me?" but you instead go out there and "I've an idea for a zombie film and I need you to come up with a cool setting for this, like this is cool area where it could happen, and build upon that." Eventually, as I've told it, it's kind of time-related issue to get good tasks out there but also at the same time to get the best out of the community always like if you were to prepare a little bit and give it time so you could give it a couple of iterations you get the best out of there.

Lance: I think that we're going to have to move forward, but Timo, thank you very much. It's been like watching an astronaut in space, but thank you for your insights and everything. Take care.

[1:37:09] Timo: Thank you, take care, goodbye.

Lance: OK, so next we're going to go to the Philippines, where we'll wait until we get Khavn, but [Kavin's] been doing some things there in terms of accessibility and has collectively made over 85-90 feature films this past year, many of which have been playing in various festivals but doing some interesting things online as well, so we're going to bring him in from the Philippines.

Audience question: [] Lance: Tiffany is making a plug for an event called [The Conversation] which will take place in Columbia University March 27th. Anybody in the New York area is invited to go. You'll have to Google it for more information, and you'll find it.

Lance: Also, you can find it through Scott Kirsner's blog, cinematech.blogspot.com. So, actually since we have a moment, why don't we promote that OVA [Open Video Alliance] thing that you have there, as we work through some of the technical issues with the Philippines. OK, it looks like we have him, so we're going to go into space again, but this time from the Philippines. So we'll switch back?

It is very very early for [Kevin], I think it's about three in the morning, maybe? He's a trooper, and I definitely owe him a beer the next time I see him for making him be up so late to talk with us. Khavn, thank you for joining us. Can you hear us OK?

Khavn: Can you hear me? Lance: Yes, we can hear you. So Khavn, we're live now, and since we're running a little behind I'm going to let you kind-of just go right into it if you could share with us an introduction and then walk through those various points. Thank you.

Khavn: Thank you, sure. So I'm [Kavin d'la Cruz], and I'm a musician, a filmmaker, and a writer, and part of this loose collation of Phillipio filmmakers who have been making 80 features for the last year, and I'm premiering my 25th full-length film next week in [Roterdam], something that I shot in Africa and I've been writing books and I'm also part of this band called the [Broccas], it's a group of filmmakers who also do music and we also do live scoring of our films, to silence films, film concerts, to screening our films. I'm also a festival director for a film festival called [mallsfest], and it's held every three years, and the next one will be next year. I'm going to talk about how technology enabled the new wave of Philippine filmmaking, because in the 80's and 90's there's been lots of short films being made but not really features, but astetics and energy to create the spirit that's already there. Only in 2000, we started making digital features with thanks to digital technology, the DV camera, to the digital editing, through [PCnMac], but it's only in 2005 that 40 features were made and exposed in [Roterdam] festival and there were two grant festivals called [cinelemmiah] and [Cinema 1], which came in at around $11,000 grant to make a film, so there were about 20 films made with them, then 20 films made through personal efforts. In the beginning it was just a handful, then last year it became 80 and this year and the following years it. The budget runs around 11-22 thousand dollars and can go up to $200,000 and it can be really no-budget and be shot for one day and several features in one day, and the average is like a week, yeah, that's it. Regarding exposure outside the Philippines, the Philippines have had retrospectives in Europe, through film festivals. That's really very viable avenue. In terms of publicity and promotion, they're not many books written about Philippine cinema, so it's really been an effort. I'm coming up with a book called [This is Not a Film Movement: New Philippine Cinema Speaks] and it's about 17 filmmakers of the so-called new-wave, their aesteics, their processes. Promoting them via online, the usual avenues like YouTube and Facebook, there. Locally, there have been aside from this cinema part of the Philippines most movies are shown in mall chains and other chains and there's this one cinema chain which allotted their space for Philippine-independent films. It's called [Independent Films, or NBC-na], and we've been showing our films since 2-3 years there, and it also varies like the underground bars, the rock bars, music spaces, art spaces that have been showing there. Also there have been outreach programs showing the cinema in the streets, like the [] guys and also through DV and local TV local cable and piracy is a very big in the Philippines, that's also a channel. Then through mobile phones, because here in the Philippines we use the TXTing is very big and everyone has a mobile phone everywhere, and also of course the schools. A good idea would have a film canon touring the whole nation and various levels of academe to show films to advocate as well. It would be great to have a really functioning archive system which we don't have right now, and we don't really have a movie-film magazine. That's it.

Lance: Khavn, can you share with us a little about the process of how you guys are making films? I know you mentioned that you are making two features in a day, or you're shooting two features a week, can you explain that?

Khavn: Just one feature, I've exhibited features which I've just shot in a day. I've just had the concept like when friends are actors from wherever, []. That's been possible -- my play shoots for a year and thought that maybe we could just squeeze it into a day and also that would be very cheap because you don't have to feed people more. It's like squeezing, because cinema is what you can afford financially you can compensate creatively. It's a true gate of energy. You make-do with what you have.

Lance: So when you're going out and you're doing a feature film in a day, interested about that, are they non-narrative films, narrative films, are there dialogues too? Action movies, a whole bunch of stuff.

Khavn: It can be very experimental, very abstract, all over the place, floating, whatever. It can also have a full script -- yeah, it's been done. So whatever your imagination can come up with in a day, it's possible.

Lance: So what do you think would be opportunities to bring maybe films from other countries to your country and maybe bring films from the Philippines to other places? Have you ever thought about that or any ideas that the collective has been kicking around?

Khavn: Well, showing foreign films in our country be a festivals, we've been doing that and also exchanging our films, why, why not?

Lance: OK, so because we have some time still, any questions for Khavn?

Audience: How do they recoup their costs? Lance: There's a question on how you recoup your investment of $11,000-$20,000.

Khavn: Through DVD sales, through cable sales, locally, yeah. In my case, I really shoot my films low-budget so recouping them isn't a big issue. It's just like being able to make the next film and the next film and the next film.

Lance: Well, Kavin, thank you so much for dialing in. We'll let you go to bed, and we appreciate you taking the time today. Thank you.

Khavn: OK, cool.

Lance: OK, so we have one more Skype, and then when Steven calls in he did try to call us at one point but we missed the call. (It might have been his assistant, I don't want to get your hopes up too high.) Next we're going to Australia, meet up with Christy Dena, who is a prominent practitioner of transmedia. Transmedia is bascially the idea of telling cross-multiple platforms. Christy just recently finished a doctorate around the subject and is very knowledgeable in it. She's going to be talking about how filmmakers can embrace the value of being able to take transmedia and apply it to the work that they do. I think that hopefully Christy will have a bit of a cleaner internet connection, she did when we tested with her the other day. We'll be with her momentarily.

Lance: So this would be a good time to give away a book. Maybe somebody can give us an idea on why film festivals are relevant, and then we'll give this book. If somebody wants to voice why I think they're relevant, or maybe not relevant, anybody have an opinion about that? Anybody?

Audience: You get to first meet your audience face-to-face, you get to learn from them and they help you launch your film.

Lance: OK, so the human interaction. Anybody else have an opinion about that? Audience: [] Lance: So you're saying in terms of theatrical? Audience: It is seen by those who most want to see it. There is a thirst for independent films in small towns that 10 years ago they were getting Sundance films and Slamdance films that were making distributions coming around. That has very much changed, and film festivals where people want to see it on draft tape get to see those films. Lance: OK, so that's another plus for festivals. Does anyone have an opposite opinion of that? Audience: [] Lance: In the back? Audience: [] Lance: So somebody is saying that they lost a shitload of money on doing distribution theatrically, somehow, and that basically a festival was a good way to offset that cost. One last opinion. Audience: validate a film

Lance: So everybody in this room seems to be in favor of film festivals exist, that being said do we want to give this to somebody? Do you want to pick who you thought was the most relevant?

Paul: Well, I'll give it to the Slamdance alumni. Lance: Ahh, a little favoritism there! A little favoritism.

[1:53:48] Lance: OK, so this is Christy, thanks for dialing in from Australia. I had just given an introduction for you, so I'm just going to throw you into the room. OK?

Christy: OK, yes, sure. For those are who are on Twitter, my Twitter handle is @christydena, so feel free to send some messages there; I'll try and stay even shorter than my time to try and allow some questions at the end also. So Lance has asked me to try to talk about the landscape of transmedia story telling. There's been a few terms like cross-platform 360 cross-media entertainment and I'm sure a lot of you because it's being a buzzword that's around for awhile. Now there's sort of three things that are related to the key things this whole phenomena, and that is firstly that you need to think in terms of multimedia platforms: 1) having your film available on more than one media platform, allowing someone to experience it on more than one media platform, 2) marketing on more than one media platform, and in an interesting way---now this is something that Jamie touched on before, but it's really important---happening with marketing in the last century is the idea of branded content. What's happening is that the marketing industry is leaning towards actually creating content to market products and services, but it's the same thing with the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry is looking to promote their own productions actually with content. This relates to the final aspect of platform paradigm and that is that your story is your story, your fiction, the whole world that you produce can actually extend beyond the screen, beyond the film. You can create almost anything, you can create webisodes, you can put out books and comics and you can create online experiences and you can create games and you can create almost anything, and that's one of the things that has been happening not only in the film industry but in the TV industry in the print and the literature industry and the gaming industry and across the board. That's an important thing to know about that. I guess an example to set the scene with that is [Josh Wedens] television series [Firefly]. Now he put out a feature film later called [Serienty], now to bridge the narrative between the television show and the feature film he created some viral webisodes to help promote the film but also to bridge the narrative, but also to a graphic novel. The point is that he was involved in the writing of every piece of that content, because what has been happening have cared about the idea that you're basically continuing your story across crossmedia platforms and they go off and they probably commission someone else to actually create some content. Now no matter what your budget is, the emerging paradigm that's coming out to be the most effective is if the original creators are actually involved in creating that content. So you've got the writers, and the directors if it involves live action and things like that, but also producers. So what's happening is that there's the need for, if you like a transmedia producer who is able to oversee the production across a whole load of media platforms, but the other problem that's been happening is that people have been just grabbing just whatever they think is popular, creating a treasure a 'treasure hunt' or a 'graphic novel,' but that's not necessary what is actually appropriate to your film. It may be, but it's not necessarily appropriate. What I encourage a lot of filmmakers to do is to work with the artforms that they actually enjoy engaging with themselves. For instance, if you like watching films and reading books, perhaps actually think about having a book or a short piece actually created or if you like going to art galleries or seeing live music then perhaps you can have a live music event around your film and work with some musicians or even have an art gallery or art installation like [Peter Greenway], for instance, with the [tall suitcases]. He not only got some other people involved in some gaming elements, but he created the art books as well and had these exhibitions because that is artistic preferences actually lie. There are all these artistic elements and these things right at the concept development stage, so when you're actually writing the script---I mean this is the ideal, not actually the case---but this is the ideal, to actually work at the beginning when you are actually writing the script and you're thinking about how your world can actually continue both before people see the film and after they see the film. Before they see the film they're helping to promote it, and it may be a whole different production at different points of [launches]. For example, Lance Weiler (who you all know), he basically created an alternate reality game around the video-on-demand release, to help with that actual launch. You can create those, but you can also create things that people can actually experience after the film. That's an important things to do for a few reasons, one is that people are more likely to be more interested in actually engaging further with the world you create after they've seen your wonderful film. They actually usually want more, and you can actually provide them more, and you possibilities for gaining revenue from actually people going and finding this extra content or if you supply prompts to go and find it. So I wanted to mention a couple of things around that:

1) it's crucial that all of the elements that you create that you design a way to find the next piece of information. A lot of people are actually creating isolated pieces of content that don't necessarily refer back to the main website, or to the film. So it's important to have a traversal strategy in-place and that's embedded within all of the content.
The second thing related to that is basically in terms of use of leveraging revenue streams. There are many different ways that you can concentrate on one for now, and that is creating fictional websites and products that are related to your film, and that actually do merchandise related to your film. The things that people are loving that are a cultural phenomenon that has been happening in all industries is that people love products that are set within the fictional world, that are fictional merchandise if you like, which of course doesn't mean it doesn't exist, what it means is that what the characters use is what they can buy. This relates to what Timo said before in terms of war bonds, that people can buy bonds and they can actually contribute money towards the film, but it's themed according to the film. So the merchandise for instance would be some product, some prop that the characters use and that is something that the characters can actually buy, so it's a powerful immersive device and it's something that people are willing to actually put money over for. There's some brief points that I've mentioned there, and I though that I'd prime that and open to questions now.

Lance: Sure, does anybody in the room have a question for Christy? Anybody need more explanation in terms of what transmedia is? The question is some of your favorite examples?

Christy: Well, it depends on what the goals are. I like ones in which the creators are involved in the process and they're actually thinking of how the different art forms actually contribute to the meaning of the film. For instance, Darren Aronofsky's [The Fountain], he actually created a graphic novel with a graphic novel artist that was based on an earlier script of the film, and he's like an adaptation, but it's a meditation on the same theme, and so people who actually enjoyed the film can go and experience the graphic novel and can experience an artistic rendition of it. he actually made the some assets of the film available for people to create remixes and things like that as well. As I said, I like what [Peter Greenway] did, and what [Josh Weeden] is doing with his experiments in the area, and Lance Weiler of course with with all of the productions that he has done, there's a few examples there. In television, there are a lot more experimentaions done with this area and there's a great opportunity there for people to think about people actually creating films to be actually screened on television, and working working ways where they can actually engage on how they're actually watching the film, there's opportunities there as well.

Lance: Does anybody else in the foom have a question for Christy? Yes, the gentleman here.

Audience: []

Lance: Transmedia opportunities away from gaming, comics, anything that is a little more outside what you would normally think of adaptation, is that something that you've seen in that space, is there any experience that you've had there?

Christy: In terms of ones that people that are doing the intros? Lance: I'm sorry Christy, [in terms of] defining media platforms. Basically, the question is defining transmedia platforms in terms of the ways that you could use it. You talked about comics, you talked about the idea of some of the other media can be done, is there anything else outside of that that you .

Christy: Yeah, basically anything goes there. That's what I'm talking about, the problem is that the majority of people have actually just been using comic end-games, especially with blockbusters and things like that, a computer game is the thing that you sort-of have to have with every feature film. They're not necessarily producing that quite well, and graphic novels have been sort of slapped on with a lot of things, but basically anything goes. You can have an art gallery experience that goes with it, like [Ralph Dahere], with his film [10 Cannoes], and he did a wonderful job. He did 20 canoes and basically 10 canoes was the film, he also had an art gallery installation there as well, he also had a documentary that went with it, he also had a program there for indigenous youth to find out about how to actually produce content, and the list goes on. The point is, you think about what actually goes into being appropriate for your film, and where your audiences are in terms of what your goals are, and then you can actually go from there. You try to create, obviously using art forms and media platforms that bascially scalable in a sense, that bascially purchase en masse or experience en masse or events that can be replicatable in that sense as well.

Lance: Yes, we have a question from the back, then. Audience: [] Lance: The question is that somebody feeling it would distract from the process of creating the film that they wanted to tell and feeling like doing the transmedia extensions to it, they feel like they would like to wait until the end because they find it to be a distraction. Do you have any comments on that?

Christy: Yeah, there's a lot of work that goes into producing a film, but this is where you can actually engage collaborativly with people. You can have a plan of things that you can actually be doing at the script development stage, and plan to actually reuse assets or re-shoot extra elements while you are actually producing the film and actually engage other people to actually engage other people to work with you to collaborate with you. It may be that you have to write near the end of the process where you can create something, but if you can engage practitions to actually work with you then that's great. I would say that one thing in that regard is choose practitioners who are somewhat equal or on-par with where you are artistically, or at least share your same intuitions or interests in terms of style and theme and tone and that I see a lot of practitioners who seem to know the area but they're not necessarily at the same sensibilities, so that's an important point to think about when actually choosing collaborators. But you do need to work with them and give them access to information and content.

Lance: There's a question that comes from Twitter, or it's a statement that says that the workflow for producers is heavy enough these days. "I can't design an app too." Can you talk about the idea of how you were just loosely saying finding those people to collaborate with. Do you have any recommendations on how somebody can go out and find those types of people or the types of roles that might need to be -- how the process changes now, because some of these roles are in-addition to what you normally do for filmmaking.

Christy: This is what I mentioned before about the idea I mentioned with the transmedia producer, this is something that's becomming a vitally-important thing not only in the film industry but the TV industry, just across the board is that having a producer who bascially is familiar with different areas or at least have with different areas or can have friends of friends who can find out this sort of information. These people are merging now and becoming extremely in-demand. There's a huge network of people who that are interested in this area coming from all different art forms. You can basically find these people if you reach out, use your social networks, use the communities of people that you know who use these sorts of networks working session. I mean, one of the things that's also needed are events in which filmmakers are not just invited, but you've got game practitioners who are also there, you've got print-writers who are also there, artists who are also there, you've got technologists who are also there. It does happen, but it doesn't happen enough. That cross-pollination being encouaged and needs to happen more to setup to help facilitate that.

Lance: Does anybody else in the room have a question for Christy? Christy, do you have any closing statements that you'd like to make, anything that you'd like to tell the world about transmedia, or anything that you might be able to share about next steps for you or what you're working on?

Christy: Oh, I'll just briefly say that for me, basically the paradigm that's important for me is as a creator for someone who basically want to create a sustainable future for myself, I'm looking at basically I've immersed myself in the last few years in working entrepreneurs and technologiests and practitioners in different areas and marketers and basically absorbed all this different information and working to create our services and products that can help facilitate this area and be this backbone to my production company that let then allows me to have an on-going revenue stream and information source in which I can then pivot from that. It's a few people doing that, but it's important to consider not just working on project-by-project basis, but a sort of paradigm but actually thinking about how you can engage with people hand have a company that is continuous, most defiantly.

Lance: Well, thank you Christy for joining us from Australia, most defiantly.


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