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in Filmmaking
on Jun 23, 2008

I’ve posted before about Hammer to Nail, the website launched this year in which Michael Tully, Mike Ryan and others are posting opinionated, passionate and politically informed reviews and commentary on independent films and the indie film scene. Today I received an email from producer Ted Hope, who announces more content at Hammer to Nail, where he, Ryan, Tully and Corbin Day will try to make sense of today’s paradigm-shifting independent business. So, if you haven’t already, add Hammer to Nail to your list of bookmarks. And, below, is the entirety of Hope’s email:

I was on a panel at the Provincetown Film Festival this weekend (which is a great festival – go!). Actually two panels, one on Towelhead (opening 9/12/08) and the other with Greg Araki, Mary Harron, Tom Kalin, John Waters, and Christine Vachon on “filmmaking on the edge”. In these discussions, and in the articles attached below, it’s clear that Business of Indie Film is looking for a new paradigm. We are between things and the old model no longer works and the new one is undefined. But I see some real hope nonetheless.

This change has been much discussed for the last fifteen years, but the digital revolution is very slow in coming. This slow trickle has, in my opinion, allowed for a withering away of what truly made the indie film world unique, which is the glue that kept it a community and not just a demographic. Digital downloads won’t be anyone’s salvation, but the internet can truly rebuild what has collapsed — but it’s time to look at the infrastructure first.

Time and time again, films emerge that define a community and the community comes out to support in droves. Similarly, it truly feels to me that we are at a cultural crossroads, where we — as a community of filmmakers and film lovers — are in real danger of losing access to a dynamic range of personal cinema, unless the various communities start to take steps to unite and speak up for the world they want. We can’t keep settling for the crap that is hoisted upon us (see George Carlin RIP below).

I have several thoughts on how these communities can be brought together and strengthened, and I hope to expand upon them in the months ahead, but in the interim I wanted to point out a blog that I have started together with Corbin Day, Mike Ryan, and Michael Tully entitled Hammer To Nail. It’s our attempt to build a home that has a passionate appreciation for ambitious film, for films of limited release and more limited budgets, but for films that still dare to reach, dare to aknowledge the world they come from and the world they hope to be, films that reach both narratively and formally. It’s only in it’s early alpha stage so be gentle. We also would love to have more filmmakers who want to write about other films and what constitutes ambitious filmmaking, so let me know if that interests you.


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