The Gatekeepers

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Mike Riddell

There’s a basic problem with independent filmmaking. It has to do with the flow of money. The creatives – filmmakers – need money to produce their movies. Quite a bit, though not as much as has traditionally been the case. The audience – moviegoers – pay quite a bit of money for the privilege of seeing films. That should provide quite a good relationship between the producer and the consumer, surely? Well, not quite. For the main part, somewhere between 90% and 95% of your ticket price is being soaked up by the gatekeepers, as they clip the ticket along the way. It’s a good way to keep filmmakers poor, while distributors and exhibitors enjoy full-time salaries and generous expense accounts as they travel the world.

Something’s not quite right about this picture. With any decent luck it’s about to change, as online distribution subverts the profit-taking layers between the makers of films and their audiences. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without struggle and blood, but new technologies will revolutionise the delivery of films.

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3 Comments

  1. Andy Conway says:

    The middle two are rapidly being replaced by the likes of iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, even Youtube. They will allow us all to approach the audience directly from now on. And films like Insatiable Moon, films that people are talking about, will make a lot of money like that.

    June 29th, 2011 at 9:58 pm ()

  2. Mike Riddell says:

    Yep, the new delivery systems help a lot. Even though they clip the ticket, they’re allowing a decent amount to go through to the content producer. We live in hope that The Insatiable Moon will just get its money back!

    June 29th, 2011 at 11:17 pm ()

  3. Mike Crowl says:

    Watched Insatiable Moon again on DVD just recently. Even better the second time around – especially that wonderful funeral scene in the church.

    June 29th, 2011 at 11:56 pm ()

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