Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Direct Film Distribution Is The Future Of The Online Digital Movie Marketplace

If you are a press journalist covering the Internet, or a passionate independent film-maker hoping to make your next video get some festival awards to finally get you noticed by the "big" guys, I have something that will interest both of you:

Photo credit: Pam Roth

Next week, on Friday April the 22nd, I will be delivering a live press conference from the prestigious San Francisco City Club.

The title of the press conference is:


New alternative approaches to online grassroots movie production, delivery and distribution"

In my live presentation from the richly colored CityClub (great murals from Diego Rivera), I will be officially launching the WeblogProject to the international press while making some breaking announcements relative to the shooting, the funding and sponsorship of the project, and the growing team of partners being formed around this unique initiative.

If you don't know what TheWeblogProject is, here is a brief summary:



TheWeblogProject is the first open-source, grassroots movie, created and produced by bloggers and distributed by using the most disruptive and cost-efficient online delivery technologies available.

TheWeblogProject is a movie about what Blogs are, what they can be used for, and why they are so important at this point in our history.

Blogs are software tools and/or online services which allow any non-technical person to post articles, essays, news and just about anything on the Web, in a very simple and direct way.

The immediate consequence of blogs existence is that talented communicators, reporters, journalists who have strong skills and messages to communicate, need not anymore find a job at the local town paper. Anyone can become a trusted news and reporting authority on a specific topic online.

To find out more about TheWeblogProject please see:

The presentation connected to TheWeblogProject announcement, is even more interesting as it attempts to challenge the mainstream consensus on what the movie production and distribution industry/marketplace may look like in a few years from now.

The simultaneous convergence of several factors, including:

a) the availability of low-cost digital consumer video production equipment that rivals the quality and performance of the expensive TV station gear,

b) widespread access to inexpensive and powerful digital movie editing software that runs on all types of computers,

c) availability of unlimited online storage space for video and music files for free or at very low-cost (see Internet Archive, Ourmedia, Prodigem, etc.)

d) emergence of alternative, low-cost and highly efficient distribution technologies such as P2P, BitTorrent and direct distributed streaming (Olivelink)

e) explosion in the number of new independent video productions, indie movies, documentaries, home-made shows throughout the world,

f) increasing awareness that credentials and authority can now be easily built online (when deserved) by sharing and allowing others to access, re-use and combine (with due credit) your early good work with theirs,

g) acknowledgement that what books and more recently the music industry have learned online, applies to movies as well. The "long tail" of films is next. There is as much or more of a market for unknown, niche productions of sorts that there is for all the blockbuster movies produced each year.

h) understanding that mass production, communication and distribution are done with. There is no more creating stories for the largest audience possible, or the lowest common denominator. There will be no more Madonnas and Michael Jacksons. The pop-star age is over.

i) insight into seeing that the only smart and intelligent road to take (for the majors and any entrepreneur) is being early at provisioning the ability to access the largest possible collection of digital video and film material (just like Amazon does) in ways that make it easy to find and access anything archived,

creates the logical foundations through which one can start seeing where the future is headed.

Once individuals are provided with the means to search, preview and select through affinity what their interests dictates, we will see just like for books, that the market can be profitable for everyone.

As television, radio and traditional newspapers, loose increasingly larger portions of their audiences to new media technologies, home theatre, DVD distribution and the Internet, the world will again let everyone see what a veil was placed over everyone's eyes.

We are a million tribes and growing. We are NOT one homogenized audience wanting to drink Coke, wear Levi's and drive Honda cars.

Though apparently heretical to say, you can check that what I am saying is indeed already happening, by following any group of individuals that is not strongly bound to TV and mainstream media. Their interest and fashion can vary a great deal. Their ideas and talents too. But to serve the god money mantra, a Ford Model T for everyone, we have gradually closed our eyes and slowly forgotten that our beauty and strength is in diversity, and in bringing and mixing together deeply diverse but complementary forces and ideas.

We are not all looking to buy and live by the products and standards of living portrayed by the tube.

Not so much because they add little to the deeper traits of life, but because they propose a common identity, a pre-designated set of status symbols, which less and less matches the goals and ideals we would like to serve during our lifetime.

We are all very different. And though human nature makes us appear similar on the surface, there a million different ways in which we can go through life without ever being in contrast with the laws of nature and our infinite abilities to co-operate.

As we move from being pushed and deprived of a 360° view of information and news dictated by the inherent infrastructure and communication system used by mainstream network TV and radio, all owned and directed by a handful of people controlling many vested interests, we realize that there is so much more to know and uncover that we would have never found out if we had let them
continue to make this selection for us.

We can now pull, select and decide what we really want to hear, research and study. And our search is not limited anymore by a set of few hundred channels owned by the same publisher.

The Internet gives us this possibility.

If my reference news sources can now be trusted individuals who scan for me The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a hundred qualified blogs, what advantage do I have in reading the narrow view sent through the tube?

And if the above is true, it is not difficult to see, how the interests and desires to learn and know more of many, cannot be satisfied only by the homogenized commercial approach that Hollywood serves us.

Next to commercial films as we know them today, there is an unlimited virtual shelf space for thousands of documentaries, shorts, animation films, music videos and training movies that thousands of passionate individuals are producing today.

Each one of them has a niche audience awaiting to pay a fair cost to download and see it.

Once we get off the hook that we need to go to a movie theatre to see a great movie (just like we don't need to go to Tower Records anymore to buy and find the hottest new cuts), then the fog will clear, and what we know today of movie production, marketing and distribution, will be a thing of the past.

Just like it has already happened for music.

What do you think?

N.B.: My presentation will be webcast live from the San Francisco CityClub, and there is no fee or registration required to attend online. (To find out where to access the live webcast you need to follow the instructions that will appear on TheWeblogProject blog and RSS feed. If you want to join me live and be among the first who hear my complete rap on this, mark Friday April 22nd at 9:30am PST on your calendar.

If you can't make it to the live event, a full recording will be made available after the event.

I will deliver the same presentation also a week later in Rome, at the Studio 20 of Cinecittà Studios, to an all-European audience of film producers, distributors, directors, festival organizers, and university researchers.

Seating is limited at both events. If you want to participate in person please send me an email with Subject: "TheWeblogProject: Event Invitation Request" to Robin.Good[at] - I'll be happy to keep a good seat for you until I run out of them.

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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, April 13 2005, updated on Tuesday, March 22 2011

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