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in Filmmaking
on Feb 15, 2009

Because our Winter, 2009 issue went up online during the Sundance Film Festival, I think some of what’s in it has been slightly overlooked by the blogosphere. One article I want to point you towards is Lance Weiler’s “Virtual Discovery.” It looks at some of the ways that creators are building audiences by embracing collaborative models of marketing and even production. Weiler also discusses the importance of data portability — the ability for filmmakers to take the aggregated info about their audiences from online platform to online platform. Why is this important?

From the piece:

The real strength of data portability for filmmakers is not just in making their own audiences portable but in allowing these audiences to make the films themselves portable and social. In the not-so-distant future media social graphs will be created allowing film content to benefit fully from the promise of the Long Tail.

Relationships to films will seamlessly flow from one film to the next once the connections can be made in a simple fashion that moves beyond a basic IMDb or Google search. Visualizing the connections between films and allowing them to be spread across blogs, sites and social networking pages could produce media social graphs that link actors, shooting locations, genres, or musical references across multiple films. However in many cases these connections will be guided by an infinite number of nuances, referenced and generated by an audience that has a desire to discover, share and engage with the media they care about — references built upon core elements such as what a person likes and dislikes, watches or reviews, comments on, or personally recommends.

Or maybe it will be things that connect people in personal ways, like where they first met or how they felt at a particular moment in time. This is nothing new. The mind has been making these connections around music and films for years. A certain combination of musical notes or a crisp line of dialog will immediately trigger a memory from one‘s life. But it is such personalization of media in the online space that will fuel the next generation of distributed social networking as well as a number of new discovery and distribution business models in the process.

Another valuable aspect of this media social graph will be a layer that enables point of purchase to ride in close proximity to any reference to the media. For example, links to purchase digital downloads, DVDs or even to book tickets for an upcoming screening will accompany these social graphs.

Check out the piece online (or, even better, pick up the magazine on the stands), and then, when you are finished reading it, head over to The Workbook Project because Weiler has posted three of his “This Conference is Being Recorded” podcasts with the key interviewees in the article. Here, Larry Lessig talks about the “hybrid economy” detailed in his new Remix book. At this link Chris Saad discusses his Data Portability Project. And over here you can listen to Justin Ouellette talk about his Muxtape music discovery site.

And, for another take on issues related to online audience building, visit this blog tomorrow — I’ll be running a short interview with Tommy Pallotta in which he discusses his decision to leave Facebook.

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