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in Filmmaking
on Sep 3, 2008

This piece by Karina Longworth discussing a panel discussion at Telluride on the crisis in independent film is essential reading. Ann Thompson, director Danny Boyle, distributor Michael Barker, critic and professor Annette Insdorf and writer/director Paul Schrader all talk about changing models and whether or not independent film as we know it is dead.

There’s a lot of great stuff here, but these words by Schrader are choice, and they echo the comments I far less eloquently tried to advance in the Filmmaker magazine panel discussion that we recorded for the next issue.

From the piece:

“Technology is leaving behind much that we are fond of,” Schrader warned. “I personally believe that movies are a 20th century art form, and they’re basically over.” Several times over the course of the session, Schrader expressed enthusiasm for short-form episodic work made on low budgets for small screens. Referencing the rise number of “professional” media makers who have jumped to the webseries format, Schrader announced that he’s currently planning a film that would exist in a couple of different versions: one feature designed for arthouses, and one “X-rated” version, cut into 12, 5-minute episodes, for viewing on cellphones and/or on the web. Schrader’s not planning to go this route because it’s lucrative, but because it’s what he sees as our inevitable future. “There’s [currently] no money in it, but it’s much better to gore the ox than to hold the ox that’s being gored.”

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