Over a decade ago, I have started working in the film industry in what qualifies easily as a dream job: programming and acquisition for an independent film distribution. My actual work experience with movies had started much earlier, when selling tickets in a local movie theatre, but it was with the film distribution that I really plunged in, attended film festivals all over the world and learnt about the trade. A trade, an industry, fairly untouched yet by the internet. No social media yet.
Since then, a lot has changed: social media has arrived. So has broad band internet. Digitalisation everywhere. Piracy has become an issue.
In the meantime, my knowledge of the film industry as a whole has increased: I have notably had the chance to also work with film makers, producers and film festivals, gaining valuable insights and an exceptional understanding of the entire industry.
Add my academic background of Sociology and Information Systems as well as my close relationship with Social Media, ongoing for several years by now, and you have the best possible ingredients for providing accurate information, education and advice for the film industry in digital matters. Which is what I have been aiming at doing.
I consider it a way of giving back to an industry that I owe a lot to.
For the moment, my main “battlefield” is what I have previously called step one: explaining the landscape. Because there is still too much push marketing expertise around – sometimes even tried out on the internet, making things worse by postponing the possibility of real attempts for years. And for independent filmmakers and arthouse films, push marketing simply won’t work anymore.
And IMHO this knowledge has to be spread.
Now you might better understand why I gladly accepted when Fonction:Cinema invited me to give a talk earlier this month about the benefits of a digital presence within a coherent digital strategy [in French].
I had already given a presentation during the Zurich Film Festival, organized by Focal, focusing on Video on Demand and the Social Web [in German] (and I’ll contribute to Focal’s Digital Film Marketing seminar held in March), because I am sure: the better independent film industry people (be it filmmakers, producers, distributors, festival directors or theater owners) understand the transformation their business is undergoing, the better they can make adequate choices.
And then, the independent film industry will not only survive but even prosper – there is still so much unused potential…
PS: In case you’re interested, you can find my (French) slides of my talk at Fonction:Cinema in my French post about film industry and social media.