03 April 2010

Local Film Might (and Should) Be Next

I just got finished posting that movies are a lost cause. Because of articles about industry leaders like this one. Cyrus is the best that the Duplass Brothers have yet offered, and they're among the very best that indie has to offer right now, but how many theaters will this play in? And so what hope is there for the rest of the world of filmmakers, especially for their all-important-for-your-morale debut effort?

Which is why I got up today and talked so earnestly about an idea for a start-up called film(yourcityhere).com -- a partnership with local governments to promote and even finance their local filmmakers, for the sake of promoting local culture, i.e., local coolness (sort of like our new local-foods market, which my wife founded, has done, at least in the opinion of our fair city). Kind of like winning the Super Bowl did for formerly-forsaken New Orleans. Local coolness could be even further served should the locally-made film highlight local businesses, landmarks, anything that says (yourcityhere). Cities/communities win, and every local filmmaker gets a chance to be spotlighted, not to mention find and support from their fellows.

A long time ago I made a short film in Ann Arbor, MI called God's-Eye View. It was my debut, and it wasn't genius, but it basically held together, and the PV's were decent. It showed at a "local filmmakers" show at the Michigan Theater. The next day one of the other filmmakers featured at the show emailed me to ask how I got that master overhead shot. It was a local connection with another filmmaker in my community (who wasn't a U of M student). It was cool, and something that could have kept somebody like me going (except I moved to upstate NY to start a farm -- and decided I wanted to write for TV, after starting to write for TV).

But of course giving moral support to filmmakers is not the only or even main reason for putting something like this forward. It's about getting films, more films, made and shown (and sold on DVD). Sort of like OpenIndie (one of the companies in the Incubator at DIY NYC) is trying to do. Everywhere else in the world, government financially supports all kinds of film. Why shouldn't we?