I have read, at some point far back in one of my history of art classes, of painters putting on group shows (example); basically several painters get together, exhibit their work, with all the attendant press, details (food, music, etc.) in tow, and also sell their work at this event.
Maybe this idea can be adapted to the real indie film world because;
- film festivals, most of them (or at least many of them), as we know them now, draw significant attention & attendance from the general public but are not events whose primary mission it is to enable filmmakers to receive money from the public directly, at the event, for their work (either from screenings or DVD sales)
The event could include indie filmmakers as the primary organizers but significant input from critics, bloggers, distributors, etc. (anyone else who really cares about the project and wants to see it succeed & wants a hand in making it come to life) so that there is some kind of a useful (to the public) selection process at work.
It could be a useful experiment; specially since production is no longer the problem in the real indie filmmaking world but the problem is figuring out what to do with the finished film in a world where distributors do not exist to help generate revenue from the project and regular film festivals are not in the business of helping filmmakers make money (however, film fests are very useful for publicity, meeting audiences, etc.).
The first version of this event could be planned out slowly & brought to life slowly. And we probably should do it in NYC; the birthplace of indie film as far as I am concerned (plus a lot of indie film media lives there, plus a lot of indie film fans, plus close to several large East Coast cities should people want to travel to check out the event).
I'd be cool with the first event having a budget of $50K - $100K, maybe a weekend + long, featuring & put together by 10 feature filmmakers & a lot of others, and featuring the same filmmakers at the event for Q & A & other events, at least 10 features with multiple screenings of each feature, and the event generating twice as much money as it costs to produce ($s from sponsors, tix sales, licensing, merch, vendor fees, and any other possible revenue source) with some of the revenue going to the filmmakers.
It could be set up as a non-profit event (depending on non-profit laws & aim of the event, something to research).
Filmmakers can sell DVDs & other merch related to their movies at the event.
For now we'll call this the Filmmaker Group Show Festival Project. E-mail me if you are into real indie film, or indie film in general, or just movies, and are interested in trying to create this event.
We'll take our time. It took me 4 years to shoot & edit a version of Date Number One that I'll be happy with for the rest of my (hopefully long) life. So, let's aim for Summer '09 for the debut of version 1 of this event, and if it takes longer, it takes longer, no big deal as long as we ultimately get it the way we want it. If we do it right/successfully, it could be a model for other filmmakers & film event producers around the country.