Thanks Apple. And Canon. And Sony.
And all of you- you know who you are. You're the ones who made it just SO easy for everyone to become a filmmaker these days and now we're paying the price. The Facebook messages, the endless event invitations, the please-like-this-project-cuz-I'm-working-on-it-and-we're-friends-right? pleas. Oh yeah, and the constant begging for money: my money so they can go pursue their dreams. Really, who do they think they are?
Don't they know that they're eroding the institution of commercial filmmaking? Don't they know that by creating low-budget projects and distributing them online they are causing audiences to rethink paying $9 for a movie ticket because they can get a wider variety of entertainment at home for a dollar or two? Don't they know that by creating independent content without running the gauntlet of commercial lawyers that they might create something unlike anything that has been done before? Don't they know that they might cause someone to get out of their chair and try to make a movie of their own!?!?!
Take this project for instance: "Recalculating" by Blue Damen Pictures
Here they are planning to create a film in the backyards of good, honest, ordinary Americans and asking for them to get involved. Get involved! What audience member wants to have special access to a film while it's in production? Isn't the whole point for a filmmaker to create a story and then present it to an audience? They aren't just looking for people to donate money, either: that would be too normal. No, they want the audience to actually be part of their "team" as if it were important to get the audience involved before the film is finished.
And what's worse is this is a re-curring trend: they did this same "lets-involve-the-audience-from-the-very-beginning" team thing on a previous project that turned into a film called "Dark Before Dawn" which is now touring festivals. Supporters even got to vote on alternative beginnings, alternative endings, and had exclusive access to a special private twitter feed to get updates from the set while they were in production. Who does that!?
This Independent film trend is getting out of hand. Social media needs to stop making our entertainment so accessible to average people who think they should have a say in what they watch. If everyone started putting the $9 they would normally spend at a movie theatre towards projects like this "Recalculating" it would just encourage more and more people to try to make films that aren't based on toys or TV shows or re-boots of comic book characters. And we wouldn't want that.