Morgan Spurlock on Taking Chances
Morgan Spurlock, probably best known for his documentary
SUPER SIZE ME (2004), which earned him an Academy Award
nomination for Best Documentary, has some advice for
Spurlock suggests that independent filmmakers must accept and embrace some
new realities …
- smaller budgets and shortened production schedules
- the need to become marketers and use social networks
- the viability of alternative distribution channels, such as the web
Because every filmmaker’s dream of having a commercial release is becoming harder and
harder to attain, Spurlock advocates that filmmakers should try taking chances on alternative
forms of distribution.
He writes in his article,
“Biggie Smalls: Morgan Spurlock’s Advice for Filmmakers,”
on tribecafilm.com :
“When my film COMIC-CON: EPISODE IV was released earlier this month, it was on every possible digital platform one day after its theatrical release.
Comics fans across the country jumped on the release and drove people to various outlets to see the film, and within 24 hours it was the most watched independent film on iTunes …”
“Conventional wisdom used to be that releasing a film online was equivalent to dumping it in a digital landfill.
That’s changed as platforms have evolved to accommodate new viewing habits …
While returns from most Internet distribution partners are small, they may also give you the ability to negotiate more favorably for yourself and the film: shorter license period, higher percentage on the split, limited release footprint, or retention of other venues (such as DVD, TV, VOD, or international) …
You should be willing to take chances.
And while some people may think you are sacrificing quality or that you are being relegated to the latest “gutter” for filmmakers, I think you’re doing the smartest thing possible… because you’re living to film another day.”