It’s been an interesting last few days. Suddenly, The Last Lullaby has two more one-week theatrical engagements: Lake Park, Florida at the Mos’ Art Theatre July 31-August 6 (www.mosarttheatre.com) and New Orleans at the Zeitgeist August 7-13 (www.zeitgeistinc.net).
One other thing I wanted to mention before hopping into this week’s entry: Many people in the movie business have a bad habit of not saying “no.” In other words, oftentimes their disinterest in a project comes in the form of you never hearing back from them. It’s frustrating, but just in case you haven’t already figured it out: In the movie business, most of the time, not hearing back equals no.
OK, onto this week’s post… We’re in an interesting time. Easiest time ever to make a movie. Hardest time ever to monetize the finished product. Easiest time ever to find an outlet for your finished movie. But with a proliferation of outlets comes a decrease in the importance of each outlet.
It’s fragmented out there. Everyone is getting their information from so many different sources. How as independent moviemakers, with very limited marketing budgets, do we possibly break free of this quagmire?
We don’t. We’re screwed. Pack it in and call it a day.
And there are many things to back up this feeling:
1. People are going to movies less than ever before
We’re in an international economic crisis for one. Plus, other things are competing for people’s free time that perhaps movies once dominated—the Internet, better home entertainment systems, pay-per-view and Netflix, to name but a few.
We all know what’s become of the music industry. I don’t think the question is, “Are we’re next?” but rather, “How long before it happens to us, too?” In certain countries, piracy’s already a major problem and it’s affecting the price foreign distributors are paying for movies, big time.
3. Media spend
I’ve mentioned several times in this blog that distributors are offering smaller and smaller advances for the movies they’re acquiring. So why is this?
a. It’s become harder for distributors to market their movies. They have to spend more to get people’s attention in an increasingly noisy and fragmented world.
b. More movies are being made every year. And more important, more movies are being released theatrically every weekend. So, it becomes harder for a
distributor to make their independent movie stand out from the pack. So that’s the bad news.
The good news is that something has to give. Moviemakers can’t go on forever making movies that don’t at least make their money back. And distributors can’t keep squeaking by in the marketplace.
A change is coming. I don’t know what it will look like, but I think soon we will see a new model for delivering our movies to our audiences. And, frankly, I think it can only be an improvement.
After living in Los Angeles for seven years, Jeffrey Goodman returned to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct The Last Lullaby. Co-written by the creator of Road to Perdition, and starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander, The Last Lullaby was filmed entirely in and around Shreveport and financed by 48 local investors.