Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Question To Our Readers


Hello our dearest and well respected readers! I have a question to pose to you all. I hope you are aware and supportive of the fact that we have become more focused on shining a spotlight on the works of independent filmmakers. I'm not talking about those who are funded by a major studio posing as an indie one. I'm talking about the filmmaker who's essentially made him/herself bankrupt in the hopes of making just enough money in order to dump it into their next feature.

Now, I am not in the business at all of incrimination so I'm hoping you all share with me your open and honest opinion. Are you more likely to take a chance on purchasing a film and taking on the risk/reward that's inherent in such a venture? Or would you rather download the film for free first and then, if given the option, pay a nominal fee and have the opportunity to donate some coin to that filmmaker? I know, I know. Most people would rather download for free. I get that. But if given the choice between spending the money and having the high likelihood of it being crap and downloading it for free and then agreeing to throw a little coin in the direction of the filmmaker (regardless of quality), which option would you choose?

The question is important as I've engaged multiple filmmakers and I'm doing my all to get their phenomenal works out there to the masses. They are thinking about new and different ways to get their films out there instead of the traditional approach of selling and buying.

Cortez the Killer

17 comments:

John J Sears said...

Maybe a third path is preferable, a subscription model with all-you-can-eat downloads. It helps to spread the risk, so that you stand a greater likelihood of getting something you want, while allowing you to try new things at zero marginal cost, beyond your time. Crunchyroll is doing it for anime and is apparently pretty successful.

John J Sears said...

Err, I should have said, Crunchyroll does streaming, not downloads per se. Though you can watch the stuff as often as you like, as long as it's up.

Emily said...

With the advent of Netflix, I find myself far less willing to blind buy indie films (or films in general). I don't know that streaming a film in full is always the best way to lead to a sale, since again, movie fans today have so many chances to see so many films that we simply don't always buy something we life if we've already seen it. I like the idea of a great hook that's streamable, i.e., putting the opening sequence or the first 20 minutes of a film online. Whet the appetites and hope for enough generated interest maybe?

J. Astro said...

I'm not a down-loader, illegal or otherwise... I prefer a physical copy of a movie, for some arcane and nostalgic reason.

That said, I have resorted to Netflix for a rental or 'watch online' now and then, because I have been burned by too many unknown, "indie" features that end up being just cheap and amateurish knockoffs as opposed to fresh or innovative... all things considered, I try before I buy when it comes to untested indie horror. But I still pay for it up front; that way I feel fully justified about complaining when I feel I've been suckered. ;)

Punkenglish said...

My strategy is essentially "download and if i like it i buy it." This is mainly because im a pretty fucking poor college student. If i have some expendable income i'll buy a movie that i like because i like actually owning the hard copy. This doesnt really happen all that often with indie horror though since its not usually at a cheap enough price for me to jump at it and say "thats totally worth not being able to buy a couple extra packs of ramens." Even if i wasn't dirt poor i think that this would still be my preferable method, but i would be able to buy considerably more of these films. However, i would still only buy those films that i though were good and/or that i liked because im not going to support something that i dont like. Dont get me wrong, i respect the fact that, even for a film that i dislike, the people involved put forth effort to make it and entertain me. Id still like to see what im buying first, but id still buy it even though i got to see it for free [and i liked it]. Obviously this wont work with everyone since they may not want to buy the movie if they can get it fr free, but that is my modus operandi when it comes to indie horror, or any movie for that matter.

Marvin the Macabre said...

I tend to rely on word of mouth (or word of blog). If an indie movie is generating a lot of good buzz, I will buy it sight unseen if the price is less than fifteen bucks or so. Most of my movies I get from pawn shops, so the studios don't see much of my money, but indies are harder to come by, and thus more valuable to me.

Strange Kid said...

I agree with most of the above. Until things change for us fiscally, I'm much less likely to gamble on an indie film being good or bad on blind luck.

I prefer waiting for a few trusted reviews to come out and even then I'd be more likely to "rent" it for 1-2 viewings before deciding to grant it a "buy."

Emily and John's suggestions for a subscription streaming service would also be an interesting route... almost like an online indie horror channel.

Spooky Sean said...

I think a good idea would be to allow the first half an hour as a free download, and then if they like that they have to pay for the rest.
They sometimes do that with books, and if I read a free sample chapter, and it piques my interest, I usually buy the book.
So, I'd assume the same would be true with a movie.

chris said...

I have bought a total of 2 DVDs in the last 5-6 years (around the time I started using BitTorrent) based alone on reading a review. I'm happy to say I was satisfied with both but in all honesty, if the movie is good I am much more likely to purchase it, but at this point I doubt I'd ever make a blind buy, again, unless the review makes it look really good. That's just me though, and I'm kind of a dick when it comes to downloading shit......by the way just for the record this entire comment was written from a third person point of view about someone I know, not me

Todd Miro said...

FYI - IndieFlix offers an "all you can eat" streaming option for all of their films - $9.95 a month. They have a bunch of features and shorts, and you can sort by genre - specifically, horror.

Pax Romano said...

I prefer to see the film (if I can) at a film fest, barring that, then if I can stream it online (for a fee or not),I would go that route. If I really enjoyed it, I would probably purchase a copy - which is what I did with David Kittredge's "Pornography: A Thriller" - actually I rented the disc via Netflix, and then bought it later.

Cortez The Killer said...

Thanks everyone for sharing your candid thoughts and ideas.

Todd brings up a great site. Have anyone of you checked out or rented a film from IndieFlix? It's like Netflix for indie films that haven't found major distribution yet and are not available on Netflix. For $9.95, you can stream an unlimited amount of films. Do you think this is a fair and reasonable price and would you be willing to give it a shot?

Horrorphilia Jason said...

The see for free and pay if you like it option would never work. There are too many dishonest people out there that wouldnt pay even if they loved the movie. $9.95 is a little steep especially if you are already a netflix suscriber. Probably around the 5 to 6 buck range would be better.

Sir Jorge said...

I'll always rent before i buy, unless it's a must own

Mike Snoonian said...

With Netflix, I'm MORE open to buying indie films that have gotten favorable reviews on sites I respect, since I can rent or stream mainstream films and have them at my fingertips within a day or two. Unless the BluRay is on special for $10-$12 or it's a classic I'll watch often, I don't buy.

I'm much more willing to take a risk on an indie, and have been fortunate, especially with films like The Commune, MakeOut With Violence and Zombie Love.

I won't bit torrent a film. I need to try indieflix for rentals. I'd be much more willing to do so if they had a "channel" on the ps3 or roku which allowed me to view and listen to it on my home theater.

Spooky Sean said...

I'm gonna go check out indieflix, that sounds killer.

Carl Manes said...

I wishlist DVDs for years until they inevitably drop down to $0.01 on Amazon, so I am the most unlikely candidate to pay for any digital content, and less likely to take a chance on anything I cant get for under a buck.