Movie trailer on Youtube points to the future

It’s been under 48 hours since the trailer for Papadopoulos & Sons was released onto Youtube. I tweeted 100 or so followers on Twitter and also added a link on the Facebook Fan Page (which currently has only 600 followers).  In just 48 hours and with 50 or so people retweeting or sharing, the trailer has had 1,000 views – and it continues to rise. I’ve had email requests from journalists, distributors and I’ve made new friends.

Today, Mark Kermode in his brilliant vlog post asked, “Who Cares About Festivals?” If you put that into the context of the film business as a business one might ask a bigger question. In light of how connected we all are via the internet, does any film need a middleman in order to find its audience, such as a film festival, distributor or even film critic? Or do middlemen get in the way now?

Festivals, distributors, film critics are intermediaries. Unlike a property agent that connects a house seller with a buyer, these intermediaries help films find audiences and vice versa. The very best will always have a role to play because they will be adding value. I don’t imagine the Cannes Film Festival or Sundance will ever disappear or even Mark Kermode. However, now that we are all connected perhaps the poorest will start to struggle.

Independent filmmakers are now in the wonderful position of reaching audiences themselves. Making a film is one of the hardest things you can do. If you have the entrepreneurial drive to make a film, you’ve probably got what it takes to get it out there too.

To have received over 1000 views of a 2 minute trailer in just 48 hours, for free, is telling me something. It’s screaming it. The audience is one click away. Are there any limits to how many people can see this trailer? Over 800 million people visit Youtube every month. Today, over 10% of all media time consumed (radio, TV, Cinema, PCs, Laptops) is on smartphones and that figure is growing exponentially. The percentage of videos that are forwarded on by people on Youtube is huge. We seem to be marching towards a single media consciousness. If its good, it will fly.

I always ask what would an indie film making giant like John Cassavetes be doing in 2012 and I suspect he would be distributing his films directly via the internet.

The true spirit of independence that underlies how Papadopoulos & Sons was made will  continue through to how it will be distributed. That feels right.

I’d obviously be crazy to turn down a huge offer from Universal or Paramount but that model of independent film making is broken. And you cannot blame the studios. They are, like so many in the media business, struggling to adapt to technology and understand how to make the most of it. Picking up indie flicks is not core to their business. Some of them are fighting to stay in business.

I’m new to blogging. This is only my second article. If you liked it and you think I should write more, forward it on along with this trailer:

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