This blog is not so much me telling you the answers but looking to start a dialogue on the subject. Please post your comments here or on the Squishy Studios facebook where I’ll be linking this blog.
I’ve always wanted to live during a filmmaking revolution, like the invention of sound, to see if I could have endured that time of change. I dunno, I have a huge amount of romanticism for that age in particular. That’s one of the reasons I love the movie The Artist. It just seemed like such a thrilling time of invention, yet fraught with human drama. Make no mistake, the invention of sound flipped the movie world upside down. It ruined countless careers, put so many people out of work … Akira Kurosawa’s brother, who worked in silent films, killed himself over this transition.
But the thing is, we DO live during a time of DRAMATIC revolution of the film industry. I’m not talking about Digital vs Film. That’s a change in the medium of “filmmaking” that’s big for the filmmakers but the audience is barely aware of. Hell my jaw dropped to find out that virtually every film that I’ve seen here in the valley in the last few years has been a digital projection and not a film print. DSLR filmmaking has dramatically changed the level of quality for independent productions, but it hasn’t really affected the industry itself from top to bottom. It hasn’t affected how people watch movies. No, I’m talking about the internet … and social media in particular. And it’s a little less perceptible because the internet is basically changing how we do everything, not just movies.
One of the things that got me thinking about this is subject is a comment that Wil Wheaton made here. Here’s the short version, “This is the best time in history to be a creative person, because all you need is an idea and a lot of hard work. You don’t have to go impress one person who is a gatekeeper; you just have to be awesome in your own way, and get your creation in front of an audience.”
Just think about how YouTube, Netflix, internet piracy, Facebook, and Kickstarter all have changed the landscape of filmmaking. You can now build fan bases through social media, distribute your work online, get crowd funding financing through that same fan base…
Squishy Studios isn’t so much a traditional production company, as it was originally created to be, but a true independent “studio” that exists in the new age of digital filmmaking.
Now there’s downsides to this, of course … It means a hell of a lot more work because you now have to be your own publicity machine. I mean seriously, promoting your work is your new full time job, with the only ray of hope being successful enough soon that you can delegate some (not all) of this stuff too. Because now, with ten million channels out there, your greatest obstacle is obscurity. Oh and you probably won’t get paid any time soon too … BUT for the creative soul, who’s willing to put in a hell of a lot of work, I do in fact feel it is one of the best times to be alive.
I just wish I could get more sleep!