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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A possible revenue generating model indie filmmakers & bloggers could adopt from the 90's indie music world

Back in the early 1990's, long before I spent most of my free time on the web, I would go check out a lot of indie & punk bands in the DC area. These bands, for the most part, were strictly DIY businesses/operations - the bands made the music, self-financed tours & CD releases or worked with small labels started & run by fans of the music, and generally got their art making & distribution business done outside of the bigger, more commercial music industry.

However, at these indie rock shows, there were usually dozens to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of audience members. People who paid to be at the event & check out the bands.

How did these bands get the word out about themselves? They relied on fanzines - DIY publications written & distributed by fans of DIY music making.

Some DIY record labels - such as Dischord, Simple Machines, etc. would (as I understood it) buy ads in 'zines in order to both support the 'zines & to get the word out about their products - CDs, etc. - to the 'zine's readers.

Since many of the indie films made recently & in the near future will most likely be self-distributed by the filmmakers themselves, and most people will hear about these films on blogs, it is probably a good idea for filmmakers to buy ads on film blogs that they like & support the continued existence of those blogs.

To avoid conflicts of interest, filmmakers & bloggers can discuss what is appropriate to advertise on blogs & what isn't. Ultimately arrangements that make sense & will not compromise the integrity of the blog/blogger can be arrived at, I believe.

Indie filmmakers benefit from the existence of a healthy indie film blogosphere - so we should look into sending some money to good bloggers or even "bad" bloggers that we like :) so that they can keep doing what they do.

I am not talking about anyone going broke or getting rich enough from ads to be able to quit their day jobs, but, I think a blogger who blogs out of love for the communication form and out of love for the art form (indie film) might be encouraged to keep doing it if they were receiving a couple of hundred dollars each month from ads placed on their blog by indie filmmakers/self-distributors/small film labels/businesses.

This I think is definitely an idea worth exploring. Blogs are very useful in developing the real indie film industry.

So I guess I'll get the ball rolling: indie film bloggers who are interested in an ad for my/Wild Diner Films movies & events in the future (I've got screenings to promote, DVDs to promote, plus who knows what else - in 2009 & beyond), let me know - if I am a big fan of the blogs & we can figure out a way to resolve any conflict of interest issues & if the ads are affordable to this DIY filmmaker/distributor with a day job at a bookstore - I'd totally be into supporting the continued existence of various blogs by advertising there (if you absolutely hate my movies & other real indie movies & don't think they should even exist, don't bother contacting - but if I see that your reviews & coverage of movies are fair - focusing on both the good & bad aspects of a movie - and most importantly that you support the idea of real indie film (that good movies can be made outside of Hollywood & indiewood & can be self-distributed if/when need be), I am sure we can work something out).

- Sujewa




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