RETURN TO THE DESERT
Filmmaker and journalist Daniel Nemet-Nejat took a short break from his blog 40 Years in the Desert but he’s back now with two posts that riff on the ways new distribution technologies can enable new and successful independent film content. In the first, “HIgh Tech Hams,”, he describes his experience reporting on XM Radio for a magazine piece and muses on what filmmakers might learn from the satellite network.
In the piece directly below it, Excuse Me While I Howl at the Moon, Nemet-Nejat begins to describe the business and artistic imperatives behind the construction of an “internet aesthetic” when it comes to independent film.
To date no filmmaker has turned a profit with content geared for online. But, it will happen– and soon. I have brought up Roger Corman in this space before. Not because I think his films are works of misunderstood genius, but because he created a model for surviving– and thriving outside the Hollywood system. He knew that if he exploited a subject or an attitude (think the anarachic feel of Rock N Roll High School) and threw in just the right amount of T&A and/or violence and made it for a certain budget, chances are, he would turn a profit.
We need to apply the Corman model to the Internet. That doesn’t necessarily mean exploitation films (though he has suggested to me that all films are, to an extent, exploitative. But, that is a song for a different album). Independent filmmakers need to develop an “Internet aesthetic,” to develop a style– or styles– that take advantage of the medium. The aesthetic would allow filmmakers to move beyong the bite size viral video (though some of it, I must admit, is fantastic), to create a new type of independent film, tailored for the Internet. Some people argue that only comedy, horror and porn can succeed in grabbing viewers on the ‘Net at this point. But, we need to reach audiences across every conceivable genre– and to invent new ones.