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The New Auteur

Independent Film in Times of the Internet

Tag Archives: Journal of Information Communication and Ethics

I got two papers accepted for conferences in 2011 – one more is waiting for a reply. That’s it for my conference activities 2011. I think the next step would be to publish those three papers. Speaking of which: My paper on the Ethics of Piracy is considered for the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics.

These are the abstracts of the two accepted papers – quite repetitive, I just realised. But then again, it is about two aspects of the same research project.

Abstract accepted for MeCCSA 2011 here at Salford:

    Not just a Money Game
    Defining ‘Sustainability’ in terms of Independent Filmmaking

The internet has brought new hope to independent filmmakers – hope of turning filmmaking into a sustainable undertaking. We see films like The Hunt for Gollum, recreating and extending a blockbuster movie on little financial resources but still reaching millions of people. We find films like The Age of Stupid engaging in crowd-funding. We find films like Steal this Film that are given away for free. Other films experiment with new forms of story telling or tools for collaborative production.
Meanwhile, the question how we can use this new technology to systematically sustain independent film is still unanswered. The attempt to sustain the arts is an old one. Discussions and approaches concentrate mainly on monetary solutions.
This paper questions the notion that ‘sustaining filmmaking’ simply means ‘financing’ it. It finds that the situation is much more complex than we might expect. Parker’s (2002) suggestion that a film needs to earn back the production costs of the next film in order to sustain a filmmaker seems unnecessarily limiting.
In this paper, I will present the results of research undertaken to define the meaning of sustainability in terms of independent filmmaking. Eight independent filmmakers were consulted, using semi-structured interviews following McCracken’s (1988) method of the Long Interview.
The paper concludes: 1) The notion of money as sole sustaining factor of independent film needs to be rejected. Instead, an alternative, more complex, model is presented. 2) This means that we need to think about alternative/additional strategies if we want to sustain independent films.

Abstract accepted for Film and Media 2011 in London:

    Sustaining Independent Film
    Case Studies on Online Audience Building

The internet has brought new hope to independent filmmakers – hope of turning filmmaking into a sustainable undertaking. Films like The Hunt for Gollum recreate and extend a blockbuster movie on little financial resources but still reach millions of people. The Age of Stupid engages in crowd-funding. Steal this Film is given away for free. Yet other films experiment with new forms of story telling or tools for collaborative production.
Meanwhile, most debates about sustaining the arts still stress the importance of monetary matters. This paper does not follow this assumption. Instead, it is grounded in the belief that the audience, not financial considerations, is at the heart of sustainable independent filmmaking and, therefore, asks: In the digital age of content abundance, how can an independent film find an audience?
The paper discusses case studies of six independent films that used the internet to build their audiences. Semi-structured interviews with the filmmakers of studied films were chosen as the main method for data collection.
The paper concludes with the suggestion of ten principles how independent filmmakers can use the internet to build an audience and, hopefully, sustain their filmmaking in the digital age.

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